Boxing Day Test is one of the biggest events of the year in the World of Cricket, and Pakistan will be playing in one after a gap of 7 years. Only skipper Misbah-ul-Haq, veteran batsman Younis Khan and pacer Mohammad Amir have experienced the environment of a boxing day Test at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) with a packed house. It can be intimidating for anyone but Asad Shafiq, fresh off a brilliant century at Brisbane, reckons Pakistan is up for the challenge.
"We know the importance of the game," Shafiq said, ahead of the Test. 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 it a little 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."
Pakistan will be buoyed by the fact that four of their wins in Australia have come at the venues for the next two Tests, i.e. Melbourne and Sydney.
"Yes, I have heard about this 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. "We are playing positive and good cricket. 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." Shafiq concluded.