Sarfraz dispels fear factor ahead of final Test

Paola Ditto
Ottobre 16, 2018

Abu Dhabi: Pakistan were consolidating after a stunning short leg catch from Marnus Labuschagne, and four wickets in six balls from Nathan Lyon, gave Australia a golden opportunity to press for their first Test series win on Asian soil since 2011 on a remarkable opening morning at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.

"We are coming into this Test with a bit more momentum and guys know what to expect a bit more in these conditions", said Paine, who announced paceman Mitchell Starc will play in Abu Dhabi.

The captaincy and tactics of Pakistan's Sarfraz Ahmed has come under question following the first game of the series.

Paine admitted Pakistan were a "very good team".

The draw was still enough to keep Australia in with a chance of winning their first series in Asia since the 2011 tour of Sri Lanka.

Pakistan handed Test debuts to opener Fakhar Zaman and 26-year-old left-arm paceman Mir Hamza, replacing the injured Imam-ul-Haq and out of form fast bowler Wahab Riaz.

Since then they have lost 4-0 in India (2013), 2-0 in United Arab Emirates to Pakistan (2014), 3-0 in Sri Lanka (2016), 2-1 in India (2017) and drawn 1-1 in Bangladesh previous year. "We know what we are up against and we know they are an excellent team and even better in these conditions".

'We're trying to get better every day, and if we manage to play our best next week maybe that is possible.

"There is nothing like that (fear) and you would see that with the way we played the first Test".

Paine recalled former England captain Michael Vaughan's thoughts on seeing opponents delighted with a stalemate, believing it sent the wrong message ahead of the next match.

On the other hand, Australia are fielding in an unchanged side that drew the Dubai Test.

"I think we were clearly pretty excited by what we've been able to achieve, because it doesn't happen too much, but you've got to keep a bit of perspective on it and realise that we had been outplayed, particularly over the first few days".

PAKISTAN: Mohammad Hafeez, Fakhar Zaman, Azhar Ali, Haris Sohail, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Sarfraz Ahmed (captain), Shadab Khan, Bilal Asif, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Abbas, Mir Hamza.

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