'Doing Well In Australia Will Be A Top Priority', Says Mohammad Hafeez Ahead Of Test Series


(MENAFN- IANS) Perth, Dec 11 (IANS) Pakistan Team director Mohammad Hafeez thinks the Shan Masood-led side are ready for the three-match Test series challenge against Australia and that doing well in the country is a top priority for him.

Pakistan have never won a Test series in Australia and their last tour here happened in the 2019/20 season, as the hosts' secured a 2-0 series victory, winning by an innings margin in both matches.

“This Pakistan Test team is well settled and they have done well for the country in the past. It is heartening to see that these guys are excited to take on challenges and doing well in Australia will be a top priority,” said Hafeez to reporters after Pakistan's first practice session happened ahead of the Test series opener beginning from December 14.

Pakistan will not be having the services of leg-spinner Abrar Ahmed, who has been ruled out of the Perth Test and undergoing rehabilitation for a right leg injury, so that he can be fit for the second Test at Melbourne happening from December 26-30.

“We have ticked most of the boxes in our training. Everyone on the team is excited to showcase their ability and eager to win. Unfortunately, Abrar Ahmed is unfit but everyone else is fit and ready to take on Australia,” added Hafeez.

He was also critical of the pitch and conditions laid out for Pakistan's warm-up game against the Prime Minister's XI at the Manuka Oval in Canberra, which ended in a draw, and felt the arrangement was more of a tactical measure.

“I was surprised and disappointed at the four-day match surface offered at Canberra. It was a slow wicket that might be part of Australia's strategy. There was no point of saying it again and again and raising the issue with Cricket Australia.”

“The disappointment was really high because we weren't expecting these kinds of arrangements. But we are still fully ready for the series. We're not using it as an excuse, we're absolutely ready for the challenges coming up.”

Hafeez also talked about Nathan Lyon's return to Australia's Test team after recovering from a calf injury which cut short his stint in the Ashes earlier this year.“Lyon is a great bowler. He has won Test matches for his team but we generally play off-spin well and we have scored a lot of runs against him in the last few series. I hope our batters will do well against him in this series as well.”

--IANS

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