Australia batter Usman Khawaja heaped praise on Pakistan skipper Babar Azam by calling him "one of the best batsmen" ahead of the first Test clash between the two cricketing giants.
Pakistan's tour of Australia will comprise of three-match Test series which will begin on December 14 at the Optus Stadium.
For the first time in two years, a new face will lead the Pakistan team in red-ball cricket - Shan Masood. Still, all eyes will be on Babar's performance after he gave up the pressure of captaincy.
Babar's statistics reflect the prolific nature of his style of play as he has an average of 47.74 and nine hundreds in Test format to his name becoming the most prolific batter for Pakistan in recent years.
Ahead of the clash, Khawaja heaped praise on the right-handed batter and told reporters as quoted from ICC, "Babar Azam is one of the best batsmen in all three formats. Steve Smith is the greatest batsman of our era. When they both will be playing here in the Benaud-Qadir series, it would be exciting.
“Matching Babar with Smith is almost like matching Smith with Kohli. He performs not only in Pakistan but actually does really well in Australian conditions too. He's scored hundreds out here in the past."
The left-handed Australian batter not only praised Babar but also expressed his belief that this is one of the strongest teams from Pakistan to visit Australian shores.
"I actually think this is one of the strongest teams they've had come over. You've got Babar, Imam-ul-Haq scores a lot of runs, [so does] Abdullah Shafique. They've always had great fast bowling, and spin to match," Khawaja said.
"They're one of the better teams in the world. Normally when they've come out you think that maybe their batting might not be able to match, but I'm really excited because I think it's going to be a really good challenge," Khawaja added.