Pakistan to debut 16yo Naseem in 1st Test

Pakistan skipper Azhar Ali (R) has confirmed teen quick Naseem Shah's Test debut at the Gabba.
Pakistan skipper Azhar Ali (R) has confirmed teen quick Naseem Shah's Test debut at the Gabba.

Pakistan captain Azhar Ali has no concerns about tossing 16-year-old Test debutant Naseem Shah into the Brisbane cauldron.

Ali says Naseem will make his Test debut on Thursday against Australia in the series opener at the Gabba.

Naseem has played just seven first-class games but Ali, who has captained him for the bulk of those, says he's shown he has the mental and physical strength to mix it with the best.

"Not many players can be at that standard so early but there are exceptions and he is one of them," Ali told reporters on Wednesday.

"And hopefully, we are all looking forward to it, that ... he can have a very successful career."

Ali admitted he was shocked when he initially witnessed Naseem's raw talent.

"When I saw him first, I was so surprised," he said.

"The control he had, the pace he had - and the temperament and the composure when he bowls is so much exciting to see."

Naseem displayed his composure when he played the day after his mother's death.

"Obviously, it was a hard time for him but he coped with it very nicely and he came out and bowled the very next day, which is very heartening," Ali said.

"He is opening up a little bit. Obviously, when he came in to first-class cricket, he was a bit shy but now he is starting to enjoy it."

Ali said there was no reason to nurse the precocious quick through his Test debut.

"The good thing about him is he is very fit ... I have no doubts in his fitness and his bowling skill," Ali said.

Despite Australia not losing since 1988 at the Gabba, Ali says his side have the confidence and skill to end that streak.

"We go in here with a lot of confidence," he said.

"We have the talent to do well here and we have done well in patches in previous series (in Australia).

"We're very confident that if we execute our skills ... (we can) beat Australia here.

"To do that, I think we have to keep believing and also play with no fear."

The two-match series concludes with a day-night Test starting on November 29 in Adelaide.

Australian Associated Press