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Vivacious Asad sends positive vibes ahead of daunting Australia Tests
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Vivacious Asad sends positive vibes ahead of daunting Australia Tests

Asad Shafiq is sending positive vibes to Pakistan dugout and looks in great touch ahead of the much-anticipated Test series against Australia.

The sturdy batsman played one of his finest knock (137) at Gabba Test in 2016 where he almost got Pakistan over the line while chasing a stiff target of 489.

Asad is riding high after scoring two centuries in tour games against Australia A and Cricket Australia XI. The 33-year-old may well hit a purple patch in the forthcoming daunting Test series.

"It feels great to score in warm-up matches before the Test [series]. It's good to get runs under my belt,", said Asad.

"As a batsman, it's very important to get confidence going before the big games.  

The middle-order bat vividly recalls the bittersweet memories of his terrific knock for a losing cause in 2016 Australia tour. 

It was a typical rearguard action from the stout-hearted cricketer who refused to knuckle under the brilliant Australia bowling attack - boasting the likes of Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood.

"I have only played once at Gabba; the experience was good for me. As a team, we lost that match, unfortunately, but individually I scored a century and we came very close to that target. The atmosphere was great [at the ground].

Azhar Ali is shooting for the stars and wants to put the coveted feather in the cap by outsmarting Australia in their own backyard - a feat that has evaded all previous touring parties from Pakistan. 

Asad, being a seasoned player, backs his colleague by jumping on the 'create history' bandwagon. The belief is getting stronger by the day in Pakistan's dressing room and Azhar's goal may serve as a shot in the arm.

"It's a wonderful opportunity for everyone and captain Azhar Ali told us we have got an opportunity to create history. 

"We have got an exciting team and as a batsman, I am also very excited. It's a great honour to represent Pakistan and we will [strive] to play good cricket in this series.

The Gabba has been a fortress for Australia that Pakistan almost breached in their last outing. They would take heart from that spirited fightback but the challenge is bigger this time around, considering the hosts won the Ashes series and possesses a full-strength squad. 

'We are experienced enough to cope with their bowling attack' - Asad

Pakistan do not have the services of Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan, therefore, the onus will be on Azhar and Shafiq to exude control in a chaotic situation.

"I have played 70-odd test matches. After Misbah and Younis, I and Azhar have got the responsibility to hold the batting together. 

"We are the experienced players so we have to play responsibly. It's challenging to deal with responsibility but I am up for it and ready for the challenge," Asad added.

The new-look Pakistan squad features marvellously talented Naseem Shah and the comeback of Iftikhar Ahmed has instilled hope among fans for a tooth and nail contest in coming weeks.

"It's always good to get some new guys [in the side] because they come with very good energy and the new bowlers are very skilful. They have pace and swing so we can surprise Australia.

The vivacious batsman, who is enjoying a run-fest at the moment is aware of the fact of facing a much potent pace battery in the two Tests but he believes in his ability to come out on top.

"Australia have one of the best bowling attacks right now. Everyone in the team realises this fact but we are experienced enough to cope with it," Asad remarked.