Pakistan great Wasim Akram is warning his countrymen not to read too much into their solid performance against the Prime Minister's XI as they prepare for a challenging three-Test tour of Australia.
Navigating a period of upheaval off the pitch, and winless in their last five Test tours Down Under, Pakistan have been tipped to struggle against the reigning World Test Championship winners in the series that begins in Perth on Thursday.
But Pakistan gave a good account of themselves against the PM's XI in last week's tour match at Canberra's Manuka Oval, where weather concerns brought play to a premature end.
New captain Shan Masood led the way with an unbeaten double hundred before an under-strength bowling attack kept Australia's top order, bar Matthew Renshaw (136no), from gaining a foothold.
But Akram, arguably Pakistan's greatest-ever cricketer, said there was little to take from the match as the tourists prepared for Perth.
"Canberra is too early. OK, the captain got 200 ... they got some runs, so there's a bit of confidence," Akram said.
"(But) new management, new captain. It will take time, especially at the first Test match in Perth.
"We know the pitch is very bouncy, different pitch altogether from Canberra.
"It'll be a big Test for this team."
The bowling great also pointed out that history is not on Pakistan's side.
When Pakistan last won a Test match in Australia, 29-year-old star batter Babar Azam had only just celebrated his first birthday.
The hosts have obliterated recent touring sides, belting West Indies in both five-day matches last summer and then recording their first home Test series win against South Africa since the summer of 2005-06.
"Australia is a difficult country, the last time Pakistan won here was 1995 (in) a Test series," Akram said.
"It's kind of a blessing in disguise, a tough start for a new captain.
"But if they do well here and compete against the mighty Australians, that will give them a lot of confidence."
Australian Associated Press