Pakistan v Australia, 1st ODI, Sharjah

Conditions trim Australia's advantage

Despite having an excellent record against Pakistan, an out-of-sorts Australia will be tested at venues that are likely to favour spin

Madhusudhan Ramakrishnan

August 27, 2012

Comments: 20 | Text size: A | A

Michael Clarke wasn't troubled too much during his 75, Afghanistan v Australia, only ODI, Sharjah, August 25, 2012
Michael Clarke has the highest average among batsmen with 750-plus runs against Pakistan © AFP
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While Australia will be looking to get their ODI form back on track after a heavy defeat in England, Pakistan will seek to reassert their dominance in familiar conditions. Here are stats highlights ahead of the three-match ODI series to be played in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.

  • Australia and Pakistan have played each other 35 times since 2000 with Australia having an overwhelming 26-8 record. The head-to-head record since 2005 is also loaded in favour of Australia (13-4). While the contests in Australia have been completely one-sided (9-1 to Australia), the record is far more even (4-3) in neutral venues.

  • In the last series played between the two teams in the UAE, Australia beat Pakistan 3-2. Pakistan, however, caused a massive upset by ending Australia's 34-match unbeaten streak in World Cups when they registered a four-wicket win in Colombo in the group stage of the 2011 World Cup.

  • Pakistan enter the series with a mixed record in the last 12 months. Pakistan beat both Sri Lanka and Bangladesh comfortably but lost 4-0 to England after winning the Test series. They went on to win the Asia Cup beating Bangladesh in the final but lost the following ODI series in Sri Lanka 3-1.

  • Australia, on the other hand, lost their way after wins in South Africa and the CB series. They drew 2-2 against West Indies and lost 4-0 to England which resulted in them slipping in the ODI rankings. It was only the fourth time that Australia lost four matches in a bilateral ODI series.

  • Australia will miss the all-round skills of Shane Watson in this series. Since 2009, Watson has scored 3300 runs at an average of 44.59 and strike rate close to 91 with five centuries. In the same period, he is also Australia's second-highest wicket-taker with 85 wickets at 26.15. However, Mitchell Johnson, Australia's highest wicket-taker since 2009 (105 wickets at 26.56) returns to the squad. Among non-subcontinent bowlers who have picked up at least 50 wickets in Asia, Johnson's average of 21.10 is second only to that of Allan Donald (19.60).

  • Michael Clarke has scored nearly 800 runs against Pakistan at an excellent average of 61.23. His average is the best among batsmen who have scored at least 750 runs in ODIs against Pakistan.

  • With Umar Gul missing out, the top three wicket-takers in Pakistan's squad (since 2009) are all spinners. Shahid Afridi, one of only three players to score over 7000 runs and pick up 250 wickets, has a best performance of 6 for 38 against Australia in the UAE in 2009.

  • In 11 day-night games in Abu Dhabi since 2009, the team batting first has won six and lost five. There is no significant advantage in Sharjah either with the team batting first having a 3-2 record in five day-night matches. Sharjah, which hosts the first and third ODIs, has been the better bowling venue for both pace bowlers and spinners. In day-night games in Sharjah since 2009, pace bowlers have picked up 41 wickets at 28.36 and spinners have 34 wickets at 28.32. The corresponding figures in Abu Dhabi are 85 wickets at 31.91 (pace) and 62 wickets at 31.14 (spin).

Madhusudhan Ramakrishnan is a sub-editor (stats) at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (August 28, 2012, 20:39 GMT)

@Munafbhai Having lost against England 4-0 (who suck against spin) and against Aus 4-0 (who looked most disinterested), most Indians feel their team is now a top test nation. Moment you went to Asia Cup you lost to BD.....for gods sake not SA/AUs/Eng you lost the cup. Didn't even make it to the final.

Posted by The-love on (August 28, 2012, 15:11 GMT)

Anything more than 220 will be very difficult for aussies....they won't score more than 100 in 30 overs of hafeez,afridi and azmal....if fast bowlers bowl win then i can see pak winning easily....

Posted by thebarmyarmy on (August 28, 2012, 13:47 GMT)

Just another day, Just another slide down the rankings. Bye Bye Australia! :)

Posted by   on (August 28, 2012, 11:50 GMT)

finally some cricket, Gul not playing is a big advantage for the aussies, if the ball is as slippery as it was when the aussie bowled against the Afgans then who ever bowls 2nd they gonna struggle to control the length. bowl first chase then chase. thats what i would do.

Posted by   on (August 28, 2012, 11:10 GMT)

Writer mentions Aus vs. Pak record in UAE before mentioning a game when Pakistan beat Australia in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka =/= UAE. Australia has an excellent record in Sri Lanka, and Pakistan for that matter. Likewise Australia is not England, nor NZ, and I don't think it's very accurate to describe Australia as being particularly "tested" by venues that favour spin. This being said, Pakistan could very easily win the series. Oh and while Doherty's OK, leaving him out isn't ridiculous, but I wonder what this Maxwell has done that O'Keefe hasn't, Still, at least Steven Smith isn't playing

Posted by REH223 on (August 28, 2012, 5:57 GMT)

@RandyOZ: Upset????? come on man....... Aus are no longer invincibles..... both teams are evenly matched but i think pak has the advantage of the conditions they are familiar to

Posted by RandyOZ on (August 27, 2012, 23:55 GMT)

Will be an easy victory to Australia, although I do rate Pak's spinner and they mgiht cause an upset.

Posted by Meety on (August 27, 2012, 23:24 GMT)

Interesting match up, from an Ozzy POV, I am interested to see how a more ODI-specific squad fares against a good opposition in their familiar surrounds. I'll be interested to see how the pitches fair at this time of the year, they MAY have different charactoristics!

Posted by Lees_Legends on (August 27, 2012, 23:04 GMT)

The last stat regarding day/night matches is kind of irrelevant given it is a night match

Posted by   on (August 27, 2012, 21:38 GMT)

Pakistan needs commitment and strong pace bowling to win this encounter.

I feel our biggest trump cards will be Sohail Tanvir and Anwar Ali, both very swing reliant bowlers more than just pacers.

Shahid Afridi blows hot and cold but he generally does well against non subcontinental teams such as Aus/SA/Windies etc. so he will be useful,

Saeed Ajmal needs to work more on his line and length which have gotten him so many wickets right now I feel he's not been accurate as he usually is,

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