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Shafiq backs Pakistan to shine in MCG Test

AAP logoAAP 24/12/2016 Roger Vaughan

Batsman Asad Shafiq has backed Pakistan to cope with the pressure of a packed MCG, saying their Gabba heroics have bolstered the team's self-belief.

While the tourists are 1-0 down heading into the Boxing Day Test, they came close to pulling off a miracle win in Brisbane.

Shafiq was outstanding, scoring 137 as Pakistan fell just 39 short in their massive 490-run chase.

"We will feel it a little because we probably haven't played in front of such a big crowd," Shafiq said of the added pressure surrounding the second Test.

"And this ground has a really prestigious history and playing here is a big honour for me, for everyone and 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."

Shafiq and his teammates are also mindful that historically, Pakistan have produced some strong performances at the MCG and SCG.

"Yes, I have heard about this and seen it too that this wicket suits Pakistan a bit more," Shafiq said of the MCG.

"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."

Shafiq's Gabba century meant he passed the legendary Sir Garfield Sobers for the most Test centuries by a No.6 batsman.

Nine of his 10 Test tons have been scored at that spot in the order.

"I'm really happy to break the record - when I started playing at six, I never thought I would break that record because I never played at six in my career before playing for Pakistan," he said.

"I always batted up in the order."

When pressed, Shafiq admitted he would like to bat up the order again.

"I always say whatever the management ask me to do, I am happy to do that role and bat at any position," he said.

"As a personal thing, I always like up the order."

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