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Aussie quicks to target Pakistani veterans

AAP logoAAP 13/12/2016 Laine Clark

Spring chickens, they ain't.

But veterans Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq have been identified as the spark Australia must snuff out if they are to break Pakistan's batsmen this summer.

Together, captain Misbah and Younis have a combined age of 81 and have played 181 Tests.

They have amassed an extraordinary 14,554 Test runs combined.

And it seems Pakistan's batsmen will need every bit of their experience when the day-night first Test starts on Thursday in Brisbane.

Hazlewood predicted Pakistan would struggle on Australia's bouncy decks - especially if 42-year-old Misbah and Younis, 39, fell cheaply.

"They are very experienced players and the younger guys in the top order feed off those two," he said.

"They look to them to lead the way especially in Australia where most haven't toured before."

Not one member of the touring Pakistan squad has played a Test in Brisbane.

Not even Misbah - a veteran of 69 Tests - and Younis, who has played 112.

Pakistan have not contested a Brisbane Test since 1999 - and not won a Test in Australia since 1995.

Still, big things have been predicted for Pakistan's top order this summer.

Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur has already compared his No.3 young gun Babar Azam with Indian master Virat Kohli.

Babar struck three straight one-day tons against the West Indies in October and was one of the few to show resistance on Pakistan's recent ill-fated Test tour of New Zealand.

But Hazlewood wasn't so sure of Pakistan's top order after they again battled with the bat in their sole warm-up clash - a day-night tour match against a Cricket Australia XI in Cairns.

"They definitely struggled," Hazlewood said of Pakistan in north Queensland.

"I think it will be a great challenge for their top order (in Brisbane).

"The two wickets which they'd like to play on are probably Melbourne and Sydney (in second and third Tests).

"I think this is a key week for us and, if we can get one-nil up here, that'll go a long way for the series."

Pakistan-born Australian No.3 batsman Usman Khawaja tried to put the challenge facing the tourists in perspective.

"It's just like us going over to India or any other sub-continent country and playing on a really big, turning wicket," he said.

"It's a big difference from their home but it doesn't mean they can't adjust."

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