Playing Pakistan in home conditions will be a terrific challenge: Smith

ISLAMABAD – Australian batter Steve Smith believes playing against Pakistan in their home conditions will be a terrific challenge, saying the green caps have got a great squad and quality players.

“Pakistan has got a terrific squad, a lot of quality players all throughout their lineup. So playing against Pakistan in their home conditions is going to be a terrific challenge. We played against them a couple of years ago back home, so we saw quite a few of the players there and there seems to be a lot of terrific players coming through the Pakistan system. They’re a great squad and we have to play really well over here if we’re going to beat them,” he said in a presser on Tuesday.

To a question on facing players like Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf, he said they were high quality and world-class players. “It’s hard to tell yet, we’ve got to see the surface that we’re going to be playing on and play accordingly as that’s the best way to play away from home. We’re excited about the challenge. “In terms of Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf, I think they’re both terrific bowlers and are progressing nicely in their careers. We look forward to coming up against good players so we’re excited.”

He added: “This is our first away tour since the Ashes in 2019, but we’re excited again about playing some cricket away and challenging ourselves in foreign conditions. I performed really well in the last away tour and hopefully I can replicate something similar in this series. Hopefully a good preparation the next few days and then some big runs this series.”

Smith said he was excited to be here in Pakistan and bringing Test cricket back here as an Australian team. “I think it’s going to be a terrific series, we’re all excited and we have to work really hard and adapt on to whatever is thrown at us in the series.

“I love playing on different surfaces and all the challenges of playing in different places around the world. They have all got different aspects to them whether you’re playing on England wickets or in the sub-continent on spinning wickets. We’ll see what we’re faced with out in the middle and adapt accordingly. I’m looking forward to that challenge,” he said.

Smith said it was great here so far in Islamabad. “The hospitality’s been outstanding we had a team barbecue together last night, it was amazing the food was sensational.” On the incident of team-mate Ashton Agar, he said we were aware of the unfortunate events that can occur on platforms across social media.

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