Pakistan have brought in several new faces for the Test and T20I squads against Australia as the likes of Mohammad Musa Khan, Usman Qadir, Khushdil Shah, Kashif Bhatti and Naseem Shah look to impress at the highest level.
The new players are raring to go in their tough assignment ahead and are relishing the challenges that lie ahead.
“I am really happy with my selection for the Australia tour,” pacer Musa Khan said as quoted in a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) press release. “I am not thinking about bowling to the likes of David Warner or Steve Smith. I want to make an impression with my pace and penetration. My strength is bowling fast, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar are my fast bowling idols and I want to replicate their performances and instill fear in the batsmen like they did.”
Musa’s pace partner will be Naseem Shah who said that his selection for the tour was a dream come true for him.
“All professional cricketers aspire to the same and work hard day-in-day-out. Bowling coach Waqar Younis has asked me to bowl to my strengths and that is exactly what I will aim to do in Australia. I have always been inspired and encouraged by watching videos of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar.”
Naseem added that he is looking forward to making an impression with his speed and swing if given a chance in the Tests against Australia. “The conditions in Australia help fast-bowlers, my aim is to make maximum use of the conditions and give a tough time to the home side, playing on hard and bouncy pitches will be a great experience and a learning curve for me.”
Spinner Usman Qadir, the son of Pakistan cricketing legend Abdul Qadir, hopes to live up to the coaches’ expectations and use his experience of playing in Australian conditions.
“I am really happy at my inclusion in the national team. I have good experience of Australian pitches and conditions, (and) I would try my best to live up to the expectations of the head coach and selectors.”
He paid homage to his late father Abdul Qadir, who innovated the art of bowling googlies, and hopes to make him proud.
“My father re-invented the googly and I feel that I am its custodian, I learned a lot from him and now is the time to deliver, when I left for Australia my father asked me to give it my all to don Pakistan colours and I am proud that I have made it to the national squad. Leg-spinner, googly and flipper are my main weapons, I am confident that I can trouble the batsmen on Australian pitches with these three deliveries.”
Batsman Khushdil Shah is looking forward to repeating his impressive performances in the domestic structure on his maiden international assignment.
“I am thrilled at my inclusion in the national T20I squad. I want to replicate my domestic cricket performances at the international level. My style of batting has always been aggressive; I will enter the international arena with the same mindset. In domestic cricket I have played alongside Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmed, so having them around in Australia will be a great help.”