Pakistan v Australia, 2nd ODI, Abu Dhabi

Need to play spinners better - Clarke

ESPNcricinfo staff

August 30, 2012

Comments: 23 | Text size: A | A

Michael Clarke uses his feet to the spin, Pakistan v Australia, 1st ODI, Sharjah, August 28, 2012
Michael Clarke scored a 96- ball 66 before falling to offspinner Mohammad Hafeez © AFP

Michael Clarke, the Australia captain, has said that his team needs to get better at playing spin and although the conditions pose a challenge, he expects his top order batsmen to come good in the series, ahead of the second ODI in Abu Dhabi on Friday.

"I guess playing spin bowling is an area that we'd want to continue to improve as a batting group," Clarke said. "It's something that we're focused on, it's an area we need to continue to get better at."

Australia lost all six wickets to spinners during their chase, as they limped to their target of 199 in the 49th over, in the first ODI on Tuesday.

Pakistan's Saeed Ajmal and Mohammad Hafeez shared five wickets between them and strangled the scoring, going for 30 and 29 runs respectively in their ten overs as Australia hobbled to the target in 48.2 overs. Australia were in trouble when they lost their fourth wicket on 67 in the 18th over. However, crucial half-centuries by Clarke and George Bailey helped them secure a win.

"We were under pressure at different stages throughout that game, our batting could improve in areas from the other night, I'd love to see somebody in our top four go and make a hundred."

Clarke said that the hot conditions and the slowness of the pitch hinder free scoring and the batsmen need to show more patience.

"I've got two starts, two fifties (75 and 66), and I haven't been able to go on, heat is certainly a factor, [but] more than that it's the conditions," Clarke said. "It's the slowness of the pitch, slowness of the outfield in Sharjah.

"Due to the conditions, and also good opposition spinners, it's hard to hit boundaries with five fielders out [in the middle overs]. So you've got to bat for a long period of time."

Clarke, however, was all praise for Australia's bowlers, who put the reins on Pakistan's innings by taking the last six wickets for 38 runs to keep the target under 200. "I thought our bowlers did a great job against Pakistan. It was really nice to get off to a winning start."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (August 31, 2012, 14:33 GMT)

@Meety : Btw I read an article that mentioned Ajmal's "angles" (frankly the whole thing confuses me) and interestingly, his DOOSRA is more legit than his offspinner. Both measurements were within the ICC legal range, but the doosra's angle was lower than that of his offspinner.

Posted by Hammond on (August 31, 2012, 13:20 GMT)

@thebrotherswaugh- mate I wouldn't be surprised if we agreed on a lot of things, we are from the same country. I currently work only the next suburb away from where Mark & Steve grew up.

Posted by Meety on (August 31, 2012, 12:43 GMT)

@ WickyRoy.paklover - what is it with you & critiques of Paki players??? The FACT is Ajmal in his FEW appearances in Oz has not done well, he has not played a Test against India, so there are a few things he will need to address. ATM - he is the best spinner in the world, but to be thought of as better than good, he'll need to prove himself in places other than Bangladesh or UAE on a REGULAR basis. @thebrotherswaugh - Ajmal's action is a lot more legal than it looks, not 100% sure about the Doosra he bowls, but whilst he bowls with a BENT arm, it does not straighten. To the naked eye, I'd say he was more legitimate than Murali, who's arm seemed to bend everywhere. But, yes they have adjusted the rules, & left some umpires out to dry, so there does appear to be looseness over techniques atm. There was an interesting article on this site which suggests that testing DURING a match may become viable SOON!

Posted by atuljain1969 on (August 31, 2012, 11:16 GMT)

Any leg spinner in the class of ABDUL QADIR

Posted by   on (August 31, 2012, 11:02 GMT)

@WickyRoy.paklover : That comment doesnt do our country proud. Why should we prepare rank turners if teams start touring us? For one thing our wickets never were rank turners, either totally flat, or maybe some help for pace in Rawalpindi. Our bowlers are so great because they have excelled on the same tracks that the likes of Dennis Lillee considered graveyards of bowlers. However, time has proven that Australian pace attacks fare much better in alien conditions than other non-Pakistanis. One excellent example is the previous game. It was their pacers who did us so much harm. You should give credit where credit is due.

Posted by   on (August 31, 2012, 10:49 GMT)

@thebrotherswaugh: All true but I don't see how that refutes my point that bowlers, esp pacers, CAN do very well inexperienced whereas batsmen in general cannot. Far as I see, apart from Tendulkar, it is mostly bowlers who make a big name for themselves at a young age.

Posted by WickyRoy.paklover on (August 31, 2012, 9:28 GMT)

@dsig3,well well well,i guess its vry relative term,had glen mcgrath been playng in pak,he would have stpd crickt n turn to othr worthwhile wrk in his life,richard hadlee would have strugld to get 200 wickts,lili n thomson might had been playng soccer in uk aftr getng fade up of these "grave yards" 4 pacers like turfs in pak ,.... U people talk so high big about ur stars delibrtly ignorng d fact that they playd more than 80% of their games on bouncy,pacy,n most of time,fast bowlng frindly wickts,so whats big thing about this?,most of these bowlrs dn't have great recrd in pak n subcntinent,i request pcb to prepare square turners then i can't see aus,poms,nz,wi scorng 150 against dis pak atack.

Posted by dsig3 on (August 31, 2012, 4:11 GMT)

We often struggle against spin in the initial games. Hopefully the guys will get a bit better. They are really making it look hard. Hussey played all around a straight one. I dont believe ajmal actually turns alot of deliveries but they tend to hold up alot, especially on these wickets. He is a good bowler, but if you watched him on unhelpful wickets you would think he was a club cricketer. If Ajmal was playing in Aus it would be a different story as we have seen in the past.

Posted by IndvsEngseries on (August 31, 2012, 3:34 GMT)

Clarke has impressive record against Pakistan, and he will definetly score big today. Aus will this match easily.

Posted by thebrotherswaugh on (August 31, 2012, 1:35 GMT)

@Hammond, holy #@#@, we actually agree on something; they changed the laws, made accomodations for a certain player, and now we're reaping the rewards of that madness. Can't do nuthin about it now, though, they've already opened that particular Pandora's Box. @Aina Maria Waseem, there's only one way to get test match experience, and that's by playing them. At the end of the day, the quality and mental strength of the player has always dictated whether they succeed as a long-term player or not, it's got nothing to do with age or a perceived lack of experience. @g.narsimha, sounds like sour grapes to me. Your fellas were beaten by the better side on the day - we'll see what happens in the next game. The next WC is in 2015, so all of these tournaments are basically training runs for that contest. I want OZ peaking in 2015, until then, I really don't care that much, as long as we're competitive (no more 4 nil floggings).

Posted by Biggus on (August 31, 2012, 1:22 GMT)

@premnauth-Australia does have turning tracks, and The Sydney pitch is generally particularly helpful for spinners. A team that tours Australia will have to play on a wide variety of pitches, and we consider this to be ideal, providing a good spectacle for the watcher and varied 'Tests' for the players. To us, Indian pitches lack variety, being seemingly a sucession of low slow turners, which also tend to produce many monotonous draws. If you think this is a superior system then I can only shake my head in disbelief.

Posted by landl47 on (August 30, 2012, 23:44 GMT)

With this wicket a little faster and bouncier than Sharjah, Australia's seamers will have more of an advantage. This isn't a strong Pakistan batting side, so their only real hope is to bring in the extra spinner and hope Australia continue to find scoring quickly a struggle.

Posted by   on (August 30, 2012, 20:59 GMT)

@Muhammad Saad Ghani: You cannot bring inxcperienced batsmen but history has proven, especially in Pakistan's case, that inexperience is never bad for bowlers. Even ordinary bowlers might get a fifer on debut, due to the unknown entity factor.

Posted by   on (August 30, 2012, 18:55 GMT)

@ Waqar Hasan,i totally agree with you,Pakistan have to realize their strentghs sooner rather than later especially against the Aussies as they had to work extremely hard to get 200 runs in nearly 49 overs.But,on the other hand,ithink playong Anwer Ali would be a risk as he has not played any competitive cricket at this level so i dont think that he will be able to handle the pressure as our batsmen are extremely inefficient in terms of consistency and we have been relying heavily upon our spin trio,but i think now Abdur Rehman and Junaid Khan should both be a part of plans in one day and test cricket to say the least,however,i would not mind seeing them in the t2o squad as well.

Posted by   on (August 30, 2012, 17:29 GMT)

though Pak dominated in the match through their spin bowling but i don't support the idea of playing another spinner in place of a fast bowler. Misbah should bring in junaid or anwar ali sooner that later. shoaib malik can also be slotted in the middle order and azhar ali can be moved up as an opener. that looks more fitting at the moment.

Posted by TaylorSwift on (August 30, 2012, 14:59 GMT)

Pup and Bailey were phenomenal in tackling the pressure created by the fall of early wickets. With the dearth of quality fast-bowling options, Pakistan should consider playing Rehman. A left-arm spinner will add variety to the spin attack, and the Aussies will be tested with 40 overs against spin. Junaid Khan should be played as the lone seamer in the squad. The Aussie quicks were a handful for Pakistani batsmen and it will be wise to sit Doherty out again. Besides selection issues, Pakistan must also tinker with their batting order. Hafeez has failed constantly as an opener. Swapping Kamran with Hafeez might be worth a try. Best of luck to both teams tomorrow.

Posted by MunafAhmed811 on (August 30, 2012, 14:46 GMT)

People calling Kangaroos lucky ..dont forget Warner, Hussey failed last match but will not always. If Warner or Hussey get set..the same logic of 200+ is ungettable for this Pakistani lineup will apply. Afridi 0(1) has become more of a formality now. Umar akmal was dropped on 3 a fact most Pakistani fans ignore or else Pakistan would not have gone 150 either. Remember its a game of cricket. Past performances good or bad dont set a trendline that will be followed. No fan gave Bailey a chance after watching him play first 10 deliveries but he scored a match winner 50. Maxwell is underestimated and can chance course of game in 5 overs.Except ajmal all others posed no real threat except maybe Hafeez.Its obvious Aussies are not pushovers as some iamgined them to be. They may be down on talent compared to team of past but the aggressive winning atitude still exists.

Posted by Hammond on (August 30, 2012, 14:09 GMT)

Hard to play when people are chucking them Pup. Batting techniques haven't caught up with the chucked wrong's from the off spinner. Was never in the game before Murali.

Posted by haq33 on (August 30, 2012, 13:45 GMT)

I have a lot of respect for the Australian self-imposed philosophy of perpetual self-criticism and kaizen-style continuous improvement. It was actually a very good batting performance against the best ODI spin trio in the world. I think anything around 200 is a tough chase when they start strangling the runs. 220 would have been enough for Pak to win.

Posted by g.narsimha on (August 30, 2012, 13:04 GMT)

KANGAROOS were lucky , PAK was short of 20 -30 runs at SHARJAAH they must give a target of 220+ AUSSEEs cant play quality spin

Posted by CricketMaan on (August 30, 2012, 12:50 GMT)

It should be no surprise that Aus, SA, Eng, WI struggle on sub continent against quality spin, just like Ind, Pak or even SL do against high pace fast bowling overseas. The difference is though that Aus and likes of SA or yesteryears Windies still find/found a way to win despite this shortcoming, while the likes of India, Pak or SL haven't been able to manage to do the same facing fast bowling overseas.

Posted by premnauth on (August 30, 2012, 12:46 GMT)

maybe Aus should prepare some turning tracks like they do in ind them maybe they will become good against spin

Posted by   on (August 30, 2012, 12:45 GMT)

if the pace attack is going to be as innocuous as it was in the 1st odi,misbah has to be aggressive and bring in rehman to replace either tanvir or cheema.or be a bit more agressive and play anwar ali and junaid.some element of surprise should help.the batsmen have to use every bit of the brains they have and more for Pakistan to score atleast 60 more than what they managed in sharjah.hussey wont always fail and the spinners,despite their guile and deceptive bowling wont always come to Pakistan's rescue with meagre scores to defend.if anything the track in abu dhabi should offer a little more pace and should be a little hotter if the forecast is to be believed but the track,despite being quicker than the one in sharjah almost invariably offers turn to the the task for Pakistan is difficult,yet,uncomplicated

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