Shan Masood wants Pakistan to ‘change history’ on Australia Test tour

Published November 29, 2023
Captain Shan Masood speaks during a press conference at the Gaddafi Cricket Stadium, Lahore on Wednesday ahead of the team’s departure to Australia to play the three Test cricket match series. — AFP
Captain Shan Masood speaks during a press conference at the Gaddafi Cricket Stadium, Lahore on Wednesday ahead of the team’s departure to Australia to play the three Test cricket match series. — AFP

Skipper Shan Masood set Pakistan a tough target on Wednesday for Pakistan’s forthcoming Test tour of Australia — make history.

The Green Shirts have never won a Test series in the 12 times they have toured down under, with the team losing the last 14 five-dayers in a row there.

But Masood, 34, who took over the Test side after Babar Azam relinquished the captaincy in all formats following Pakistan’s disastrous World Cup campaign, sees an opportunity.

“When you have not achieved something in history, then you have an opportunity to change it,” he told a news conference in Lahore ahead of the team’s departure.

“So we will make an effort to produce positive results for Pakistan and for the World Test championship,” he said.

Pakistan are on the top of the World Test Championship 2023-25 cycle with wins in both Tests against Sri Lanka, while India are second and Australia third on the nine-team table.

But Australia are flying high after winning the last cycle of the championship and lifting the 50-over World Cup earlier this month.

The Test series starts with the first match in Perth on December 14, followed by Melbourne (December 26-30) and Sydney (January 3-7).

Pakistan lost both Tests by an innings margin during their last tour — a series Masood was part of.

“We need to score 400 and then take 20 wickets,” Masood said of what was required. “We did not do that on our last tour in 2019, so that is the goal.”

Masood admitted Australia would be high on confidence.

“The positive thing will be to have the belief to play well, and all those playing contribute to give Australia some tough times,” he said.

He also insisted the tourists had prepared well for the series.

“We tried to replicate the Australian conditions in our training camp in Rawalpindi, which has a bouncy pitch,” he said.

He also hailed the appointment of former England skipper Adam Hollioake, who coaches in Australia, as the team’s new batting coach.

“Teams hire people who have local knowledge, and he is an expert of Australian conditions so his appointment will help us to apply ourselves in those conditions,” Masood said.

He also backed his predecessor Babar to have a big tour, saying the team’s batting “will go around him”.

“We want to play the type of cricket that our fans enjoy — a good and fighting brand,” he said.

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