Paine: Write Aussies off at your peril
Tim Paine says Pakistan talk of 'blood in the water' is cheap despite the tourists' demolition of an Australia A side featuring Joe Burns, Travis Head and Cam Bancroft in Perth.
And, Paine says Australia A batsman Will Pucovski will benefit from focusing on himself and domestic cricket before being ready to be considered at Test level again.
Legendary speedster Waqar Younis says Pakistan can win a breakthrough series on Australia having softened up Australia A.
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"I saw that Pakistan are smelling blood in the water. What happened in Perth has nothing to do with what is going to happen at the Gabba," said Paine with Australia A rolled for 122 in Perth.
"To judge the whole Australian batting group on one innings in Perth is a little bit harsh. I think we made some good strides in difficult conditions in England. In Steve Smith and David Warner we have some quality back in our side."
Paine noted how Australia sealed Ashes retention in Manchester after being written off for coughing up the 'unlosable' Ben Stokes Test in Leeds.
"It was the same with the Headlingley Test, all these words like momentum that don't matter. We start from scratch at the Gabba and looking forward to getting out there," said Paine.
"I think we look at one innings, a pink ball game which they haven't played with for a long time in difficult light. It is a challenge you don't get often. There was some good bowling.
"Pakistan is a dangerous team to play. It will be a great summer to watch."
Paine believes vice-captain Travis Head will enter the first Test next week in solid touch courtesy of a ton (109) against a 'world class' New South Wales attack featuring Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon.
"He will take a lot of confidence out of that. Trav's record is excellent for such a young cricketer," said Paine of Head with a Test average of 42.
Opener Joe Burns will partner good mate David Warner in Brisbane and while his early season form is patchy, four tons in 16 Tests is the mark of a quality batsman.
"Going back a while he scored a big hundred and has shown he is a class player and his best cricket will score Test runs," said Paine.
Paine will 'touch base' with Pucovski on Friday but was conscious of giving the prodigy 'space'.
"I have a lot of time for Will, is a great young kid and sad to see him going through this," said Paine.
"We know how talented he is and making the right decision to stand away and get himself healthy and in the right state of mind is going to be important because he is someone we think has a huge Test future.
"We forget Will is still a kid and has a lot of pressure put on him from outside sources and expectation."
Paine has played three first-class matches - which included his second first-class century - since breaking a thumb in Australia's loss in the Ashes finale at The Oval.
Now fit, Paine relished a four-day hitout in Tasmania's drawn Sheffield Shield clash against South Australia in Adelaide.
"It is good to get plenty of keeping under my belt and be ready for the first Test," he said.