Pakistan v Australia 2012 August 27, 2012

Past record not a worry for Pakistan - Hafeez


Mohammad Hafeez, Pakistan's vice-captain, has said his side is "professional" enough to adapt to the UAE heat. Pakistan haven't won an ODI series against Australia since 2002 but Hafeez said he wasn't looking too much into past records.

"We always try not to keep the past in mind and we're thinking [about this] as a new series," Hafeez said. "Pakistan have been playing away for the last three years and every time we come to this part of the world we always have to adjust. As professionals, we have to adjust according to the situation and conditions. Pakistan have been a better side in last one-and-a-half years and hopefully we'll give our best shot."

Captain Misbah-ul-Haq said the fact that they have not beaten Australia in so long could inspire his team. "Whenever there is such an [instance], it charges the team up extra, [and that helps because] it needs an extra effort to combine and beat an opponent who we have not beaten for some time.

"Pressure is always there, because we are going to play against a top team. But if we win, then we have an advantage and it will help us in future. It helps us improve when we play a top team."

Pakistan have left out Umar Gul and Younis Khan for this series and dealing with their absence could be a challenge. The middle order includes captain Misbah-ul-Haq, while the spinners - Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal and Hafeez - are likely to be relied on heavily.

"Our spinners got some success here against Sri Lanka and England... Ajmal is one of the best in the world and [we have] Afridi. So we have got good spinners for the conditions," Hafeez said. Hafeez, recently, replaced South Africa seamer Lonwabo Tsotsobe as the No.1-ranked bowler in the ICC ODI rankings.

Pakistan's players didn't get a chance to watch the one-off ODI between Australia and Afghanistan in Sharjah but the contest was on their minds when discussing tactics. "Seven or eight wickets fell to quick bowlers, but maybe they [Australia] will be playing more spin on Tuesday," Dav Whatmore, Pakistan's coach, said.

"Pakistan's attack won't revolve around spin, but it's a fairly decent component of our attack and that will certainly be true for us. We are going to bowl more spin than the quicks and it's important that we do that well. In return, whatever they deliver we need to be on our toes to ensure we are good enough to chase totals or set good totals."

Whatmore suggested his team would have the upper hand against Australia, who are without the injured Shane Watson and fast bowler Brett Lee, who retired last month. "Australia have had a retirement or two and an injury so I suppose we can have an edge to start with," said Whatmore. "The timings are different, but it's interesting given the time of the year and the exhausting schedules.

"The opposition is licking their wounds a little bit from their recent performances, Watson is not in the ODIs and Brett Lee has retired and results are not going their way but they can come back pretty hard and try reverse that."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • MOHAMMED on August 28, 2012, 13:27 GMT

    Series will be onesided and Australia will thrash Pakistan both in onedayers and T20s. Pak is one of the weakest team in the world

  • romi on August 28, 2012, 12:22 GMT

    hafeez should play attacking game rather than playing defensively.

  • Faraz on August 28, 2012, 9:45 GMT hope is that Anwar Ali shines here, he is the future of Pakistan fast bowling ... little do people know about this. I dont like whatmore strategy of playing too much spin - Pakistan's legacy has always been fast bowling...Junaid and Anwar Ali should be opening attack with Afridi and Ajmal as the other the two weapons....we need Umer Gul back after his break. These three quicks and possibly Jamshed (domestic circuit) should be all we need until we can find another Shoaib Akhtar.

    Pakistan Zindabad, Pakistan Paendabad

  • Randolph on August 28, 2012, 8:22 GMT

    @Hammond - welcome back, we've missed you throughout the entire South Africa test series, where you have mysteriously gone missing. Funny to see you pop up in an article involving the country you most envy, Australia :)

  • Abdul on August 28, 2012, 7:38 GMT

    why you guys are dissing hafiz in regards of opening ? he has best average in both bat and bowl in current he has mind to compete with strong opposition. rest umer Gul has to be in 16 squad anyhow whether performs or not he is world class bowler will back to his form soon or later.Pak should forget about the ranking they must take this series as confident builder for coming up t20 world cup . because playing with Australia before such huge tournament is bonus and golden opportunity.

  • Pleasure on August 28, 2012, 6:04 GMT

    It's the present & future of Pakistan Cricket worry us all. If he doesn't score at least 50+ runs with near or better 100% strike rate in 1st couple of games then he must be dropped like a hot potato, regardless of his bowling record. Ciao...

  • Faridoon on August 28, 2012, 5:46 GMT

    So sad to see good players like Hammad Azam and Umar Gul playing SLPL while their colleagues play for the nation.

    I hope Kamran Akmal and Afridi can contribute big with the bat; a treat to watch when on song. I am a little worried about the bowling line-up. What if the Aussies start playing spin well. Our fast bowling is little light. Cheema is average, Junaid has potential but lacks experience. Anwar Ali is a newbie although I think he will only get a game if Pak go 2-0 up in the series or if God forbid Cheema or Junaid get injured.

  • Amjad on August 28, 2012, 2:06 GMT

    @jimmy2s: If I were Misbah I wont let Hafeez anywhere near the ball even if he is the top ranked bowler and there is no doubt that he is a magnificent bowler but we have enough ranked bowler who can do the job. Nasir and Azhar would provide a nice left right hand combo and both are technically far superior batsmen than Hafeez will ever be!

  • martin on August 28, 2012, 0:26 GMT

    @Imsrk - calm down - you've posted the same comment to every article, I think we get your point but what are you basing this claim on?! Also last I checked UAE is in the middle east not the subcontinent so conditions are not the same.

  • Rahul on August 27, 2012, 20:23 GMT

    Pak will win the series as Australia is no better than ENG in subcomtinent

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