(Hand)shaken, not stirred?

Mitchell Marsh gets a handshake from his brother on reaching fifty Getty Images

To shake hands or not to shake hands is perhaps not the most important conversation Sarfraz Ahmed will have this week. But to Tim Paine and this new Australia, as they move on from that era to this, what Paine called, "bit of a new one", it is slightly more important.

The two teams will shake hands before the Test begins, it was decided in a conversation between the two captains in between their press conferences that lasted about as long as a good, sturdy handshake.

Sarfraz was slightly bemused by the request, asking only when and how it would happen (after the team photographs, before play, in case you were anxious to know).

"Yes definitely, why not?" Sarfraz said later when asked whether he would take up Paine's offer. "We have no issues. We actually talked about it just before the press conference. So we have no issues with shaking hands. It's a very good sign. No issues."

One of the first things Paine did after finding himself cleaning up the mess post-Newlands was to make it a point for his teams to shake hands with the opposition, a practice generally restricted to football.

"There's no doubt this Test series is about winning," he said. "We're playing international sport so its the highest level and I think players will be judged on how many games we've won," Paine said. "That's certainly really important, but on the flip side of that, the image of Australian cricket is also really important to me and Justin and the rest of our team, so we're going to be going about things in a really professional, really respectful manner and we'll continue to do that for the foreseeable future."

That practice continued during their ODI series with England, the handshake becoming the clearest sign that this Australia would be better behaved on the field and more respectful towards their opponents than previous sides.

But the pre-game handshake was absent from the last time Pakistan met Australia, in a T20 tri-series in Zimbabwe over the summer, where Aaron Finch was leading Australia.

In fact, after the final of that series TV cameras clearly captured Glenn Maxwell not shaking Sarfraz's hand as the Pakistan captain offered it after his side's win. Maxwell later clarified it had been an oversight and "not the way I play the game". Sarfraz and Maxwell had been at each other verbally during the game when Sarfraz was batting, and also right after the winning runs had been scored when Sarfraz ran on to celebrate.