Teen quick has Pakistan teammates' backing

Ed Jackson
Pakistan players feel 16-year-old quick Naseem Shah (R) is ready for a Test debut against Australia

He's 16-years-old with seven first-class games under his belt, but Pakistan teammates have no doubt Naseem Shah will cope if he makes his Test debut on Thursday at the Gabba.

Likened to Dennis Lillee, Shah's express spell a week ago in Perth against Australia A caught the eye and left Marcus Harris and Usman Khawaja ducking and weaving.

Even more remarkably, Shah took to the field just two days after the death of his mother in Pakistan.

It was a courageous decision which hadn't gone unnoticed by those in the touring squad.

"A 16-year-old being that mature, if we only talk about how he's doing in cricket right now that's a lot of maturity there," batsman Shan Masood said on Monday in Brisbane.

"But losing his mother and still stepping out on the field when we're all the way in Australia, the other end of the world and not going back, staying here and putting his hand up that he wants to do well for the team, for the country, that's commendable.

"That sort of attitude is what we're looking for in all the guys. As a team, we're trying to stick behind him.

"We're all very happy with how he's responded and, hopefully, he's going to be a star in the making."

Pakistan have held their first training session at the Gabba as they attempt to claim their first Test series win in Australia.

One huge barrier standing in their way is Steve Smith.

Masood is an avid watcher of Smith, revealing recently he'd followed all of this year's Ashes just to watch the Australian batsman at work.

He did, however, suggest it was important Pakistan didn't narrow their focus solely on Smith heading into the series opener.

"We can't get into the trap of just planning against Steve Smith," Masood said.

"I think if we stick to our strengths and respect the conditions and respect the opposition, I'm sure we're here to put a good show in as well."