Australia stalwart Steve Smith is ready to gauge the resolve of young Pakistan pacer Naseem Shah when the two sides meet for the first Test in Brisbane on Thursday.
Pakistan have given up a maiden call-up to 16-year-old Naseem Shah and the youngster recently impressed with his pace in the drawn tour match against a Cricket Australia XI in Perth.
However, the Pakistan prodigy is bound to have his task cut out against Smith, who is ranked No1 in the Test format and comes into the two-match series on the back of some excellent form.
“This week is going to be about getting used to the Gabba bounce, working on my leave and just being patient,” Smith was quoted as saying by Wide World of Sports (WWOS).
“I’ve never faced (Mohammad) Abbas, he stands the seam up, any sort of movement he’ll get the most out of it.
“And it looks like (Naseem) Shah bowls with some good pace.
“Being as young as he is, he probably hasn’t bowled lots of overs consistently so it’ll be about making him come back and bowl as many spells as he can and see if he can maintain it.”
Meanwhile, Australia skipper Tim Paine has urged the rest of his batsmen to step up against Pakistan following their displays in the Ashes where Smith almost single-handedly carried the batting unit.
“We felt we made some strides in England, but it means nothing if we don’t continue to improve,” Paine said.
“We can’t be so reliant on Steve all the time, so that’s a huge area of focus for us this summer – scoring hundreds and putting big first innings runs on the board.”
The two-match series will be Pakistan’s first assignment in the inaugural ICC World Test Championship. They have a new skipper at the helm in the form of veteran skipper Azhar Ali.
Know more about Sport360 Application