LAHORE: Prolific opening batsman Abid Ali and fast emerging right-arm pacer Nasim Shah, who are keen to consolidate their places in the Pakistan team, have vowed to give their best on the upcoming two Test matches series against Australia in Australia.

Pakistan is to play the two-Test series from Nov 21, soon after playing the three-match T20 series which concludes on Nov 8.

In their interaction with media here on Saturday, Abid said: “Though in Australia there are different playing conditions, I have prepared myself just to give my best and for I know have to be accustomed with those conditions as quickly as possible.”

Abid, 32, further said: “Yes there will be bouncy tracks but obviously we are professionals and we have to tune up ourselves according to the playing conditions Down Under.”

Abid, who have been in and out of the ODI squad despite performing well against Australia in the UAE, added: “My aim and mission is to give good, solid performance whenever I get a chance to represent my country. Yes I am also human and sometime I do get disheartened. But my resolve is not to lose hope and stick to my aim to give my best and I am also going to Australia with the same spirit.”

Abid made a fine ODI debut against Australia and struck a century (112) in Dubai earlier this year. But despite that, he was given just one match on the tour of England before the World Cup 2019 in which he scored five at Leeds. Later he was dropped from the World Cup squad. He was again tested against Sri Lanka in the last match of the three ODIs in Karachi and scored a scintillating 74 to boost his career average to 47.75 with one century and one fifty in four matches.

However, now Abid has finally got a chance to play a full Test series although it remains to be seen whether he will be tried as a regular opener in the presence of captain Azhar Ali and Imam-ul-Haq.

Meanwhile, the 16-year-old pacer Nasim Shah said that he is thankful to God for providing him a chance to appear in international cricket at such a young age. “I have been working on my skills and fitness considering both are essential to achieve success in top level cricket and now I will try my best to deliver on the tour of Australia,” he said.

“I belong to Lower Dir, (a small town in Northern areas) where facilities to play cricket are not great. I used to bowl with tennis ball. On the advice of some people who have know-how about the game, I came to Lahore and joined Abdul Qadir Academy and later Lahore Region’s coach Saud Khan worked with me to polish my skills,” recalled Nasim. “And when I was injured Mudassar Nazar helped me a lot at the National Cricket Academy to go through a 10-month long rehab process. I am thankful to all for helping me and now I am at a level that I feel confident about giving a good performance in international cricket.”

Nasim has never played any international match and his domestic career is also just a season old. The national selectors have taken a big gamble by selecting the youngster and only time will tell how he will fare on the tough tour Down Under.

Nasim has played just six first-class matches taking 26 wickets at excellent averages 16.50. He played just four T20 matches at domestic level taking three wickets for 133.

To a question, Nasim said it it a general perception that playing against Australia in Australia is not easy. “But I will try my best to execute my best and to focus on my own strength, which is speed, irrespective of which batsman or opposition I am facing,” he said. “I am not depending on any particular delivery to use as a weapon. Eevery batsman has his own weak and strong points, so we have to analyse those and have to bowl accordingly. But speed and bouncers have always been playing effective role in cricket and bring wickets to bowlers.”

Published in Dawn, November 3rd, 2019