One of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) selection committee member and former cricketer Tauseef Ahmed has effusively praised splendid effort of Asad Shafiq with the bat in fourth innings of the Gabba Test to keep Pakistan in hunt for over two days, before Misbah-ul-Haq’s men lost the pink ball game by 39 runs against Australia.
The 58-year-old Tauseef stated it was the “spirited performance” from the national side which will indeed boost their morale for the remaining two Tests.
“Asad Shafiq is our future and the way he regained his form during the first Test is commendable. He has proven himself as a world-class batsman. Any player from Asia who scores a hard-fought century in Australia gets the certificate of a top batsman and he has achieved that,” said Tauseef, quoted as saying by Express Tribune.
Playing his first-ever Test match in Australia, the middle-order batsman Shafiq scored a gritty hundred and was bestowed with the Man of the Match award for putting a fighting spirit alongside tail-enders to take the match to the final day.
“Our tail-enders batted exceptionally well which helped me to continue at will. I’m looking forward to give my best.” said Shafiq at the post-match presentation
The 30-year-old underrated cricketer has notched up centuries in Australia, England and South Africa and is the only player to achieve this feat in the current Pakistan team touring Australia.
During the pink ball affair, the Karachi-born lad shared a crucial partnership of 92 with Mohammad Amir for the seventh wicket followed by a quick 66 and 71-run stand with Wahab Riaz and Yasir Shah respectively.
“It almost feels like a victory after the way the team fought back following their first innings collapse. More importantly, the team has sent a stern warning to the hosts after such a spirited performance, and it will lift their morale for the remainder of the series as well,” said Tauseef.
Achieving the milestone about which he can brag about among his team-mates, Shafiq casted a shadow on the West Indies legendary batsman Sir Garfield Sobers’ record of most centuries while batting at No. 6.
The great Sobers had eight centuries in 42 Tests at No. 6 whereas Shafiq notched up his ninth ton at the same position after scoring 137 in Brisbane.
“This fightback has set the series alight and I am hopeful that Pakistan will get positive results after a fighting performance,” Tauseef concluded.
Tauseef played 34 Tests and 70 ODIs for Pakistan.