Pakistan have a chance of shooting up the ICC Test rankings if they seal a series win against Australia, but for their head coach Waqar Younis, rankings are less important than making his team a more consistent unit.
"To come in top three is a big thing but for me bringing consistency is much more important," Waqar said during Pakistan's training session in Abu Dhabi. "Because we have always been unpredictable, sometimes up and then down, so we need to give consistent performances. It is necessary that if we give a performance then we must have a follow-through so that people have confidence in us as a side. We have proved in the first Test that we have got the talent and the potential so if we apply ourselves then results will come."
In the last 20 years, Pakistan have never won a series against Australia. If they beat them 2-0, Pakistan will leapfrog England, Sri Lanka and India into third place in the ICC Test rankings, and a 1-0 win will take them to fourth. Australia have already lost their chance of regaining the No. 1 ranking from South Africa.
Waqar said Pakistan were targeting a 2-0 scoreline, but warned that Australia would be smarting from their defeat in Dubai and desperate to hit back.
"The message is simple - don't give up, the series is not finished, there is a second Test and we have to win the second Test," he said. "You have to work hard consistently every day to win the series. We have the potential, the spinners did well, and the best thing is that new players are emerging and are taking more responsibility.
"But it's a long way to go, the second Test will be tough. We all know that they are very positive about their cricket and they feel hurt and they can bounce back. So we have to be sensible and be very well prepared."
Waqar said he wasn't surprised by the performance of Pakistan's bowlers in Dubai, since he had observed how Australia played while losing to Pakistan A in their four-day warm-up match in Sharjah. Before the Test he had said he had spotted Australia's weaknesses and was looking to exploit them.
"I was expecting [the success of Pakistan's bowlers], especially after watching the Australians play the four day game," he said. "We saw the weaknesses, we saw that spin can cause some problems for them, even the faster bowlers did well. Rahat [Ali] bowled well and so did Imran [Khan], even though he was playing his first Test. We had the feeling that if we keep putting the pressure on we can get the best out of our lot."
Waqar took over as head coach before the Sri Lanka tour in August. There, they lost the Test series 2-0 and lost the ODIs by a 2-1 margin. Going into the Test series, Pakistan had lost all three ODIs and the solitary T20 against Australia.
Waqar said the Dubai win was a sign the players and the new team management were slowly beginning to gel and understand their roles.
"It's tough to answer this but maybe people are realising more responsibility and it [Sri Lanka] was our first tour as management, so we were still trying to understand each other," Waqar said. "I will not say that we lost because of that, but we should have won that series as well, but it takes little bit of time to understand and once you do it will surely pay off.
"The whole idea was that if we have got the skills and the potential then it's a matter of applying ourselves and we did that in the first Test and I am sure and hopeful that the boys will be more determined to apply more. There is always room for improvement and we need to do that in every session, every match. It's a pure test against Australia, they really feel proud of their cricket and beating them is always fun."
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. @kalson