Karachi: Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik said that his young team can transform their Twenty20 form into success in the forthcoming Test series against South Africa.
Pakistan finished runners-up to arch-rivals India in the inaugural Twenty20 tournament in South Africa on Monday, marking a comeback after their disastrous 50-over World Cup campaign earlier this year.
"We have performed very well and since the boys are in good form I am confident that we will carry this form into our Test series against South Africa," Malik told reporters on his return from Johannesburg.
South Africa arrived in Pakistan on Wednesday for a month-long tour that includes two Tests and five-one day internationals. The first Test starts in Karachi on Monday.
Malik arrived on the same flight as Graeme Smith's South African squad. The Proteas were welcomed by strict security after doubts were raised over their tour due to unstable conditions in Pakistan.
The 25-year-old said it would be a challenge to face the South Africans.
"South Africa are a very good team so we have to be at our best to beat them. But I am confident that we have some good players who can transform their Twenty20 form into Test cricket," said Malik.
This will be Malik's first Test series as skipper since he was handed the job in the wake of Pakistan's first-round exit from the World Cup in the West Indies in March.
The flop forced then captain Inzamam-ul Haq to quit the captaincy, but the burly master batsman has said he is still willing to play Test cricket subject to his selection.
Malik however denied that Pakistan missed senior players such as Inzamam and Mohammad Yousuf in the Twenty20 World Cup.
"Twenty20 cricket is different, so a player can come good at one time and can fail in the next, so all the available players made the team stronger," said Malik.
Malik also rejected suggestions that the pressure of playing bitter rivals India led to their defeat in the final.
"No, it's not that we were playing against India, There was no such pressure. We batted poorly and India defended a gettable target of 158," he said.
"But all in all it was a good final and a very good tournament for Pakistan."
Malik said he thought the troubled Pakistan side had made a fresh start in international cricket after months of controversies, including the 2006 forfeiture of the Oval Test against England and a drugs scandal.
"The players are very committed and that was proved by their performances," he said.
"We don't think about what happened in the past, our focus is on the future, especially on the series against South Africa, then the tour of India and finally on the series against Australia."
Pakistan tour India in November-December to play three Tests and five one-day internationals before hosting Australia for the same number of matches in March-April next year.