Sydney: Pace great Waqar Younis believes Pakistan’s young and largely untested fast-bowling attack can cause big problems for Australia in their imminent Test series as the team looks to bounce back from a poor Twenty20 campaign.
Following the retirement of Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz this year, Pakistan have brought 16-year-old Naseem Shah and 19-year-old pair Musa Khan and Shaheen Afridi to Australia, along with veteran seamer Imran Khan senior.
While Imran destroyed Australia A in Pakistan’s warm-up match in Perth this week with 5-32 in their first innings, Nasim produced eight high-quality overs in the second innings. Younis, Pakistan’s bowling coach, said he saw enough during the match to suggest Nasim and Afridi, in particular, can shine on Australia’s hard, fast pitches.
“Of course, that sort of performance (against Australia A) makes you feel that you’re not naive being here and you can really do the job,” he said in The Sydney Daily Telegraph newspaper Thursday.
Pakistan dismissed an Australian team featuring Test aspirants Joe Burns, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marcus Harris and Cameron Bancroft for 122 then restricted them to 91 for two in the second innings. “All those batters have played for Australia or are knocking at the door,” added Younis.
“So getting them out early and bowling out the entire team cheaply will probably give us a very good message, that we are here for the business. We want to win and we want to challenge this Australian side, so there’s definitely confidence.”
The first of two Tests against Australia gets underway in Brisbane next week, with Pakistan looking to improve after losing the Twenty20 series 2-0. Babar Azam and Iftikhar Ahmed, who are both in the Test squad, were the only Pakistan batsmen to make an impact over the short format. But Younis believes their batting stocks are deep enough to cope with a Test barrage from Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and James Pattinson. “I don’t think Pakistan is worried about facing them or scared of any of them,” he said.