He may never have shot the baggy green, but Pakistan-born spinner Fawad Ahmed will help Australia prepare for their historic streak in the region.
After specialist spin coach Sridharan Sriram was unable to obtain a visa, Cricket Australia shrewdly brought in former international spinner Ahmed, who played in the Pakistan Super League.
The former Australian leg spinner, who took 205 first-class wickets at 31.11 and played a handful of short-form internationals, will act as net bowler during the tour.
Australia have three spinners in their 18-man squad – Nathan Lyon, Ashton Agar and Mitch Swepson – but it’s far from certain selectors are selecting twin slow bowlers, with Pakistan’s wickets not expected to be bowls at dust like those found in India or Sri Lanka.
It will also provide invaluable clues to the ‘unknowns’ Australia are about to enter, with few internationals played in Pakistan over the past decade.
“When I was at Big Bash, everyone was asking a lot of questions about safety and conditions, like ball behavior, the pitch,” Fawad told Geo News in Pakistan.
“So I shared information in a good way and also convinced them. I also spoke to CA and other officials, and tried my best from my side to convince them, especially in matters of security.
“I explained to him that security in Pakistan will make you feel as safe as anywhere in the world. Security here will be very strict.
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Fawad’s reassuring words will be worth their weight in gold for Australia, which landed Sunday morning in Islamabad.
“Yeah, it’s going to be great to have ‘Fuzzy’ back on the team,” Cummins told reporters on Sunday.
“I haven’t seen him for a few years, so it’ll be good to catch up.
“He has a wealth of experience here playing in Pakistan in the PSL. He knows the venues quite well so it’s going to be really helpful and just having another pair of hands around training is always great fun for the group to see him again.
Cloudy-eyed, the Australian cricketers got a taste of things to come over the next six weeks as they were whisked away to their team hotel.
Unlike previous tours to Pakistan, the Australian squad will be largely confined to the team hotel and various cricket grounds.
With the tour representing an important moment in the history of the game, nothing is left to chance and some 4,000 police officers are on the ground to protect the teams.
Cummins said he felt safe and excited for the tour.
“I feel incredibly safe,” he said.
“We were very well taken care of by the PCB when we arrived.
“Lots of security, straight off the plane and straight to the hotel, so feel really safe.
“We have a good setup at the hotel.
“We will be pretty much confined to the hotel, apart from the matches and training that will take place at the stadium.
“I’ve traveled to India and places like this where you probably don’t leave the hotel too much so we’re used to it.”
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Meanwhile, Cummins did not predict any drastic changes to the squad from the one that cleaned up England in three days in Hobart to seal a 4-0 win in the Ashes series.
“We really feel confident with our team, we’ve covered all the bases,” he said.
“But you don’t need to examine it too deeply unless the conditions are really, really telling you something else.”
Josh Hazlewood is likely to return to the XI for Scott Boland, who has had a remarkable streak after making his Boxing Day Test debut.
The first test starts in Rawalpindi on Friday.
March 4-8: 1st try, Rawalpindi
March 12-16: 2nd try, Karachi
March 21-25: 3rd try, Lahore