Low on confidence Pakistan are ready to face new-look Australia in the first Test of the two-match series, which will start from Sunday in Dubai.
The Men in Green will be desperate to rebuild the damaged reputation after the team suffered after a horrendous performance in the recently concluded Asia Cup, where Sarfraz Ahmed-led unit managed to win just two out of five matches.
In the batting department, the onus will be on veteran batsmen Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq, who are now the most experienced players in the squad, to do the bulk of the scoring.
There will be added pressure on captain Sarfraz, who is under pressure after lackluster performances in the recent past with the bat and badly need runs under his belt.
In the bowling department, the team will be banking on pacer Mohammad Abbas to damage the opposition’s batting lineup early with immaculate line and length, on which, leg-spinner Yasir Shah, who is undoubtedly Pakistan’s trump card in the series, will look to capitalize on.
First Test of the two-match series starts from Sunday
The presence of all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez will be a welcome sign for the hosts, as he not only has an impressive record in UAE with the bat but can also prove to be a more than potent spin option.
On the other hand, Australia will be also eager to control damage, not necessarily because of the results in the recent past, but because of the famous ball-tampering scandal which rocked the cricket world earlier this year.
In the batting department, the team will be heavily relying on left-handed batsman Usman Khawaja, who is all of a sudden becomes the senior head in the dressing room, whereas captain Tim Paine will have the responsibility of making sure that the team will show some fight in the later stages of the innings.
In the bowling department, the pressure will be on left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc and off-spinner Nathan Lyon to deliver the goods.