Waqar Younis says bowling out Australia A cheaply in the first innings sent a very good message to the home side, adding that Pakistan ‘were here for business’.
Pakistan head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq decided to give 16-year-old Naseem Shah and 19-year-old Musa Khan a green signal, despite questions over their lack of experience in first-class cricket. The young duo was paired up with the likes of Mohammad Abbas, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Imran Khan senior.
Imran Khan was the chief tormenter in the first innings of the practice match against Australia A, using the angles and lateral movement to trouble the batsmen who have played at the highest level for Australia.
He picked up a five-wicket haul as Australia A were bowled out cheaply for 122. Western Australian batsman Cameron Bancroft top-scored with a dogged 49 off 155 balls.
"All those batters have played for Australia or are knocking at the door," said Waqar in The Sydney Daily Telegraph Newspaper on Thursday.
The second innings of Australia A was all about the 16-year-old quick Naseem Shah. The impressive part about him was that he looked extremely sharp, hammered away on a good length with a hint of lateral movement. He managed to induce a few outside edges but the Pakistan fielders didn’t support him as much.
Naseem got the only wicket of Marcus Harris with a sharp, rising delivery which would be deemed unplayable by a lot of red-ball batting technicians. Usman Khawaja’s demons against the short ball were back at the Perth Stadium after he was struck ferociously by the young quick.
Waqar said his young pace battery was good enough to do the job on Australian tracks which have more bounce in them.
"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.”
"We want to win and we want to challenge this Australian side, so there's definitely confidence."
Batsmen from sub-continent face the challenge of coping with the short ball in particular when they come to Australia.
But Waqar sounded confident when asked how his batsmen would fare against the likes of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins.
“You look at the experience of Azhar Ali, who has done extremely well in a previous tour. Asad Shafiq scored a massive, big hundred here.
"I don't think Pakistan is worried about facing them or scared of any of them.”