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Babar Azam Receives High Praise from Australian Bowlers Ahead of Test Series

Pakistan’s star batsman Babar Azam has earned the respect and admiration of the Australian bowling attack, who have hailed him as one of the world’s best players in a video released by Cricket Australia on Instagram.

The video features Australian captain Pat Cummins, fast bowlers Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc, and spinner Nathan Lyon, who all share their views on Babar’s batting prowess and the challenge of dismissing him in the upcoming three-match Test series starting on December 14 in Perth.

Cummins, who is ranked as the number one Test bowler in the world, said Babar has a “pretty tight technique” and can score “all around the ground”. He added that Babar is in the “upper echelon” of batters and getting him out would be “satisfying”.

Hazlewood, who is known for his accuracy and consistency, called Babar a “class player” who has been performing well in both ODI and Test cricket. He said Babar is a “quality player” who can “hurt” the bowlers if they miss their line and length and put the “pressure back” on them.

Lyon, who is Australia’s most successful off-spinner, said Babar is “extremely talented” and has “beautiful hands” when he bats. He recalled that Babar scored some runs at the Gabba the last time he was in Australia and said he always wants to compete against the best players in the world, which Babar is.

Starc, who is renowned for his pace and swing, said Babar has a “great batting temperament” and can play "all shots". He said Babar can either “build an innings” or be “ultra aggressive” and change the “momentum” of the game. He hoped that the Australian bowlers can keep him “quiet” on this tour.

Babar Azam will not be leading Pakistan in the Test series, as he stepped down as the all-formats captain last month following Pakistan’s failure to reach the semi-finals of the 50-overs World Cup in India. Shan Masood, who has been appointed as the new Test captain, will have a tough task of leading a young and inexperienced side against a formidable Australian team.

Pakistan have a dismal record in Australia, having lost their last five Test series by a margin of 3-0. The last time they won a Test Down Under was in 1995, when Wasim Akram and Mushtaq Ahmed inspired them to a thrilling one-wicket victory in Sydney.

Pakistan will hope to defy the odds and history and put up a spirited performance against the world Test champions, who have a formidable record at home. The first Test will begin on December 14 at the Perth Stadium, followed by the second Test at the Adelaide Oval from December 22 and the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground from December 30.

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