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Handscomb relishes Pakistan spin challenge

AAP logoAAP 10/12/2016 Laine Clark

It's enough to send a shudder down any batsman's spine.

Legspinner Yasir Shah on a juicy Gabba deck - with a pink ball - under lights.

But Australian newcomer Peter Handscomb admits he is looking forward to challenging himself against the Pakistan leggie in the day-night first Test starting on Thursday in Brisbane.

Australia might yet dodge a bullet at the Gabba with Shah in doubt for their three-Test series opener with a back injury.

However, Handscomb - a noted player of spin - is keeping his fingers crossed Shah will prove his fitness.

"He's a world-class bowler," said Handscomb who arrived in Brisbane on Saturday with the Australian team ahead of the first Test.

"Personally, I am looking forward to getting out there and seeing what it is like to face him.

"I haven't seen a great deal of him.

"But I would dare say he would be able to use the bounce at the Gabba and turn the ball as well."

Shah was forced to miss Pakistan's sole warm-up match against a Cricket Australia XI in Cairns this week due to injury.

And 17-year old spinner Mohammad Asghar has been added to Pakistan's squad for the Test series as back-up.

Shah should not expect any "get well" cards from the surviving batsmen of Australia's last Test series against Pakistan in October 2014 in the UAE.

David Warner and Steve Smith are the only batsmen still standing from the crushing 2-0 series loss in which Shah took 12 wickets at 17.25.

It was Shah's debut Test series.

But Handscomb is full of confidence after a half-century on debut for Australia in their convincing third Test win over South Africa in Adelaide.

"I have never faced him before but I am sure he will be difficult and hard to pick with the pink ball," Handscomb said of Shah.

"I am going to enjoy the challenge of getting out there and seeing what happens."

Handscomb said batsmen were starting to get used to the pink ball but admitted its behaviour varied at each venue.

He said he would chew the ear of skipper Smith and deputy Warner after they both scored tons at their last day-night game in Brisbane, a Queensland-NSW Sheffield Shield clash in October.

"Those guys have played pink-ball Shield games here so we will looking at them at getting an understanding at what the wicket and ball might do," Handscomb said.

"Playing more and more with the pink ball, you start to get an understanding of how it does react.

"But it does vary from place to place.

"I have played most of mine down south, not at the Gabba under lights."

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