Pakistan run machine ready for Gabba Test

Justin Chadwick
Pakistan batsman Asad Shafiq is ready for Tests against Australia after two tons in warm-up games

In-form Pakistan batsman Asad Shafiq says his recent mountain of runs has left him well placed to fire during the upcoming two-match Test series against Australia.

Shafiq has enjoyed the perfect lead-in to the series, scoring an unbeaten 119 against Australia A, before following it up with an unbeaten 101 against a Cricket Australia XI side.

Pakistan have never won a Test series in Australia, and the Gabba is generally considered a graveyard for visiting teams.

But the Brisbane venue holds no fears for Shafiq - quite the contrary in fact.

In 2016, Shafiq scored 137 in the second innings to almost lift Pakistan to what would have been a famous victory.

Pakistan fell 39 runs short of the 489-run target, but Shafiq gained huge confidence from his one and only Test outing at the Gabba.

And his recent run glut has also boosted his belief.

"I feel good. As a batsman, whenever you score runs you get confidence," Shafiq said.

"It's very important to get some confidence before the big games. It was good that I got some runs before the Test match."

Shafiq has now played 69 Tests, and knows he will have to shoulder a big responsibility if Pakistan are to win their first ever Test series in Australia.

"The captain has already told us we've got this opportunity to create history," Shafiq said.

"We've got a very good, a very exciting team.

"It's challenging as a batsman to have extra responsibility, but I'm up for that and I'm ready for the challenge."

Pakistan's youthful pace attack has generated huge interest.

Naseem Shah is just 16 years old and has already drawn comparisons with Dennis Lillee, while 19-year-olds Muhammad Musa and Shaheen Afridi have also earned praise.

Veteran Mohammed Abbas has en excellent record against Australia after snaring 17 wickets at an average of 10.58 in the United Arab Emirates in 2018.