Asad Shafiq was fluent in his innings of 137 vs Australia at The Gabba    Getty Images
Asad Shafiq was fluent in his innings of 137 vs Australia at The Gabba Getty Images

After a spirited batting display in a daunting chase set by Australia, Asad Shafiq states he is well equipped with the essence of playing a Boxing Day Test, starting this Monday. Pakistan are coming to the second Test after losing the series opener by 39 runs. But the visitors must be elated after the inspiring fight put forward by their batsmen with Shafiq leading charge. Shafiq was immaculate with a flawless 137 in the second innings which took Pakistan to 450 before they lost the battle by 39 runs. Ahead of the second Test at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), Shafiq stated his side is in a positive frame of mind and is hopeful of levelling the three-Test series.

According to Cricbuzz, he stated, “We know the importance of the game. It’s a big Test match, the Boxing Day one. We all grew up watching this match in Pakistan. We know the value of this Test. We will feel pressure because we probably haven’t played in front of such a big crowd. And this ground has a really prestigious history and playing here is a big honour for me, for everyone but especially for those playing here for the first time, there is also a lot of excitement. But the way we played that first Test, we’re very united and are hopeful that we can get a good result in the next two Tests.”

Full Cricket Scorecard, Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test at MCG

Pakistan can also look at the statistics and keep up their chins, given that four of their wins in Australia have come two each in Melbourne and Sydney. Talking about his side’s run in the venues for second and third Test, he said, “Yes, I have heard about this [record] and seen it too that this wicket suits Pakistan a bit more. This is in everyone’s mind, that if we do get to bat first and put up a good total, we are capable of winning the match. But every day is a new day, every match is a new match. You have to work hard and play hard for every win. We are hopeful, we are positive, especially after the first Test,” he added.

Shafiq also spoke highly about his side’s comeback in the first Test and feels confident going ahead in the next two encounters. “Nobody was expecting we would come back like that. But we all showed the character, we all showed courage. And these kind of matches always give you confidence as a team, as a player. Especially if it’s the first Test of the series – it always helps in the next Tests”, concluded the Man-of-the-Match from the series opener.