Over the past five years, Pakistan have had a number of teams visit them but none have been as big as Australia.
The home side routinely has routinely crushed the likes of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the West Indies on own turf or even borrowed turf of the UAE but they’ve never been challenged the way Australia are expected to.
They bring a very good recent Test record into the series, having won seven of their last eight matches. However, they are without a number of their regulars. Opener Abid Ali hasn’t been cleared following a heart scare, while Hasan Ali, Faheem Ashraf and Haris Rauf are also missing.
The three men who could hold the key to Pakistan’s success are Fawad Alam, Sajid Khan and of course Shaheen Afridi.
Afridi is one the most devastating pacers around, while Fawad provides spine to Pakistan batting. Sajid is the spinner-in-chief for the series.
Not only have Australia not played in Pakistan since 1998, they have also not played any Test cricket on foreign soil in almost three years.
When they’ve played at home they’ve of course always been dominant – as recently seen too in the 4-0 mauling of England in the Ashes. But the conditions in Pakistan will be completely different to what the Aussies are used to, not to mention that several of their batters have zero or very little familiarity with conditions in South Asia.
They also haven’t been able to practice much, with their Thursday session also wiped out due to rain.
One man who does thrive in Asia is Steve Smith but he was concussed in the recent Sri Lanka series and only started facing pacers in nets two days ago.