“They both bowled well and troubled the Aussie batsmen every time they were on,” said Waqar ahead of his induction as a Bradman Foundation honoree at a function at the SCG on Wednesday night.
“It was good to see them taking wickets and making the Aussies think that we’re not just here to play, we’re here to compete.”
Waqar says all three teens can bowl north of 145kmh, which will suit Australian conditions much more than it would if they were taking part in their first Test series on the subcontinent.
“I don’t think it’s a bad place to come on your first tour as a fast bowler. I came on my first tour of Australia back in 1989/90 and I learnt a lot. It gives you all the perspective,” he said.
“If you do well your name becomes big very, very quickly and these guys have a great opportunity. All of them have what it takes to do well at Test match level but we just have to remember that they’re very young – they’re teenagers. It’s going to be a great learning curve for them.”
If they can match it with the Australian quicks, Waqar hopes the introduction of the young guns will mark the birth of a new era for Pakistan cricket.
“Coming to Australia is a different ball game,” he said.
“You need a pace attack and since Muhammad Amir and Wahab Riaz have retired from the longer versions this has given an opportunity to the selectors as well as to the boys.
“These youngsters can come in now and learn, they can move forward. They’re very talented. It’s a matter of how quickly they learn and how quickly they adapt to pressure.
“All they have to do at the moment is stay fit. They’re very tender, they’re very young, but it’s not easy.
“If they can get through this tour, going forward, they can really help Pakistan in the near future.”
Waqar is also confident Pakistan’s batting stocks are deep enough to survive the onslaught that Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and James Pattinson will unleash back on home soil.
“We have all the respect for Hazlewood, for Cummins, we have all the respect for them,” he said.
“But looking at our batting – I think we are really well equipped.
“You look at the experience of Azhar Ali, who has done extremely well in a previous tour. Asad Shafiq scored a massive, big hundred here.
“Then we have Babar Azam, who is growing in confidence and Haris Sohail, too.
“We have to respect their bowlers and play accordingly – play disciplined – and I’m sure if we do all of that and we tick all these boxes, I think we can handle the pressure.”
Sam is a sports reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.