Pakistan v Australia, 3rd ODI, Sharjah September 4, 2012

Clarke proud of all-round Australia

33

Australia's captain Michael Clarke said there was a great feeling around the squad after their 2-1 series win against Pakistan, a victory all the more special because of the conditions in which the matches were played. In sapping heat and humidity, the Australians avoided their first series loss to Pakistan in a decade and Clarke was especially pleased with the way the workload was spread throughout his side.

In conditions suited to spin, the fast bowler Mitchell Starc was named Player of the Series for his nine wickets at 15.11; the allrounder Glenn Maxwell impressed on his first international tour, securing the final win in Sharjah with a brisk unbeaten half-century; and Clarke and George Bailey both made valuable contributions with the bat during the series.

David Hussey, opening the batting for the first time in his 64 ODIs, helped give Australia a solid start to their chase of 245 with his 43 at nearly a run a ball, but especially impressive was the form of his brother. At 37, Michael Hussey was the oldest man in the squad but showed no signs of slowing down in the heat, and his 65 in the third match - his second half-century of the series - set up Australia's three-wicket victory.

"As captain of this team and the Test team it's important for me to have a mix of youth and experience," Clarke told reporters in Sharjah after the win. "I think that showed today. You saw Maxwell, who is young and hasn't played too much cricket, not much fear and go out and play his natural game. But without the experience and knowledge of both the Hussey brothers but especially Michael, we don't win tonight and we don't win the series.

"I changed the batting order after we fielded. Matthew Wade was a little but tired from fielding but I always had it in my mind that it was going to be an opportunity for a right-left-handed opening combination. I've always had confidence in the way David Hussey plays spin bowling, he's a very good player of spin bowling, but he hadn't scored too many runs on this tour.

"I thought if he opened the batting it will leave him a couple of overs to see the new ball before spin plays a part. I guess that's why I took that risk opening with him. As he showed, he's a class player and got a good start. We knew the first ten overs were going to be crictical to set the game up. The ball was hard, only two fielders out. We knew the first ten overs we had to be positive. Then it was left to the individual to play their natural game."

The Australians managed to handle Saeed Ajmal's spin well enough to win the match, although he again proved Pakistan's most dangerous bowler with 3 for 37. Throughout the series, Pakistan did not have a fast man who had the impact of Starc, who had played only eight ODIs before the series began, and fought off a minor chest injury suffered during the second match to 4 for 51 in the third game.

"He's had a great series and deserves Man of the Series," Clarke said. "In these conditions there hasn't been much for the fast bowlers at all. As a batter you look forward to facing fast bowlers at any opportunity. He deserves a lot of credit. He's made the most of his opportunity. He's been fighting hard for a spot in this Australian one-day team for a while now and I think he's grabbed it with both hands."

Starc will be part of Australia's T20 squad for the three matches coming up over the next week, and there will be a slight changeover in personnel, with Shane Watson, Cameron White, Ben Hilfenhaus, Pat Cummins and the 41-year-old Brad Hogg joining the squad. Clarke, who does not play T20 internationals, will head home along with several other players, but he believes the group will be parting on a high.

"The feeling around the group is a great feeling at the moment, especially after losing 4-0 to England," he said. "The guys should be really proud of this series. It was a tough victory against a very good one-day team in Pakistan.

"We worked really hard before coming on this series. We were up in Darwin as a team and worked hard against spin bowling. We found conditions so different to what we tried to prepare for up in Darwin, especially in the heat. I've never played in heat like this, in humidity like this. The most pleasing thing is the whole series was won by the whole team, it wasn't one individual player."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on September 5, 2012, 8:01 GMT

    Michael Clarke's comments: It is always good to receive a compliment from the winners for the losers. It is simply being generous. Do Pakistanis also give compliments to the winner or only excuses? Afridi is now gone past sell by date. Umer Akmal has a temperamental problem, might have a talent but no good not showing the talent figuratively. Kamran Akmal misses too many as a wicketkeeper and the bat. Afridi could become celebrity promoting Cricket rather than actually taking part in it. He could play an over during lunch and tea breaks, hit few sixes and please the crowd.

  • Biggus on September 5, 2012, 3:33 GMT

    @Kingtal-Have to agree about bowling machines mate. Whilst they're good for drilling in muscle memory for shots a player wants to work on they give little practice in 'decision making', and that's what I always wanted to practice in the nets.

  • Meety on September 5, 2012, 2:58 GMT

    @Andrew Fouria - mate, I think you're a bit harsh on Maxwell's bowling. Whilst I don't think he is anywhere near good enuff as a frontline spin-bowler, an ave of 36 in Shield/FC cricket is in recent times VERY good. Also his E/R in List A games is quite good - only marginally worse than Doherty, but better than DHussey & S Smith. In T20's an E/R of sub 8 rpo (he is 7.47) is quite good, although I agree that it would appear he is NOT a wicket taker in the short forms. I think his role will develop into almost a Symonds-like role, provide middle to low order punch in the batting, a good (great?) fielding presence & 4 or 5 overs of economical spin bowling (Symonds was probably good for 7 to 10 overs).

  • Ragav999 on September 5, 2012, 1:34 GMT

    @leggetinoz: Good to see support for David Hussey in tests, strange to see him ignored by selectors after admitting that they have no depth. Do you want to replace Warner or Cowan with D Hussey?

  • Kingtal on September 5, 2012, 0:06 GMT

    @ Biggus and Jason Bray - totally agree. Its in the best interests of cricket to see a very strong Pakistan side - if for no other reason but to offset Indian financial and political domination of the sport. And Pakistan will get there - they have millions of cricket obsessed kids played cricket 24/7 (I know - I've been there and seem them!) in very challenging conditions - unlike Australia where it is no longer played formally in primary school, the talented kids go to the football codes, and state and district teams get a little weaker every year. Other problem with cricket here in Australia is that the youngsters just get put onto bowling machines from the get go - so they play predictive cricket and struggle at higher levels in swinging and turning conditions. Pakistan will be top 3 in 10 years - sooner if they sort out their political instability at home. Good luck to them.

  • on September 4, 2012, 19:52 GMT

    Good to see Maxwell deliver on his obvious talent, but one thing I don't get is why they thought he could bowl. Look at his domestic bowling figures. They are pretty rubbish, he went without for good reason.

  • MunafAhmed811 on September 4, 2012, 16:09 GMT

    Excellent never say die atitude , confident but not overconfidence in own abilities unlike self overhyped opposition , application and proper planning and execution of gameplan agaist odds won them the series. Never underestimate Aussies even if conditions favor you. Besides opposition consisted of players like Afridi, UA, Misbah, Tanvir who are tried and tested failures

  • Biggus on September 4, 2012, 14:04 GMT

    @Jason Bray-I think that's particularly well said mate. I think sometimes Pakistan supporters feel that the rest of the cricket community is somehow 'against them' but for you, and myself, and a great many Aussie cricket lovers, that couldn't be further from the truth. International cricket without Pakistan is unthinkable, and it's an enormous pity that we can't play there at the moment. Despite the dew issue, which ended up having far too much influence on the outcomes, the venues produced good pitches for ODIs, there was a bit there for everybody, and the crowds added to the good atmosphere. The games were played in a really good spirit too, Jamshed's 'walking' last night being indicative of that. Yes indeed, an odd series but for several reasons I found it compelling. Watching Ajmal bowl is an absolute treat! I'm converted, where do I sign? Ajmal ftw. The Afghanistan game was good too. What say about Aus Vs Pak Vs Afg tri-series down under? That I'd like to see!

  • on September 4, 2012, 12:00 GMT

    These strange little one day series out of season are still a bit strange. Why not chuck a test or two in there to give it some substance? Nonetheless unlike the recent English series which was crammed into an already busy summer, it is important for the international community to get behind Pakistan and give them regular international cricket while they are in an exile of sorts. Like many cricket lovers i am hoping for the very best for Pakistani cricket and glad we had a competitive series with them.

  • on September 4, 2012, 11:34 GMT

    Meh. Australia's boring as hell to watch play now. Their aggression's gone, their class is gone. This series was boring, more like a competition of which of the two sides played their worst ever cricket. Utterly boring. Pakistan need to get their act together too, for the sake of entertaining cricket.

  • on September 5, 2012, 8:01 GMT

    Michael Clarke's comments: It is always good to receive a compliment from the winners for the losers. It is simply being generous. Do Pakistanis also give compliments to the winner or only excuses? Afridi is now gone past sell by date. Umer Akmal has a temperamental problem, might have a talent but no good not showing the talent figuratively. Kamran Akmal misses too many as a wicketkeeper and the bat. Afridi could become celebrity promoting Cricket rather than actually taking part in it. He could play an over during lunch and tea breaks, hit few sixes and please the crowd.

  • Biggus on September 5, 2012, 3:33 GMT

    @Kingtal-Have to agree about bowling machines mate. Whilst they're good for drilling in muscle memory for shots a player wants to work on they give little practice in 'decision making', and that's what I always wanted to practice in the nets.

  • Meety on September 5, 2012, 2:58 GMT

    @Andrew Fouria - mate, I think you're a bit harsh on Maxwell's bowling. Whilst I don't think he is anywhere near good enuff as a frontline spin-bowler, an ave of 36 in Shield/FC cricket is in recent times VERY good. Also his E/R in List A games is quite good - only marginally worse than Doherty, but better than DHussey & S Smith. In T20's an E/R of sub 8 rpo (he is 7.47) is quite good, although I agree that it would appear he is NOT a wicket taker in the short forms. I think his role will develop into almost a Symonds-like role, provide middle to low order punch in the batting, a good (great?) fielding presence & 4 or 5 overs of economical spin bowling (Symonds was probably good for 7 to 10 overs).

  • Ragav999 on September 5, 2012, 1:34 GMT

    @leggetinoz: Good to see support for David Hussey in tests, strange to see him ignored by selectors after admitting that they have no depth. Do you want to replace Warner or Cowan with D Hussey?

  • Kingtal on September 5, 2012, 0:06 GMT

    @ Biggus and Jason Bray - totally agree. Its in the best interests of cricket to see a very strong Pakistan side - if for no other reason but to offset Indian financial and political domination of the sport. And Pakistan will get there - they have millions of cricket obsessed kids played cricket 24/7 (I know - I've been there and seem them!) in very challenging conditions - unlike Australia where it is no longer played formally in primary school, the talented kids go to the football codes, and state and district teams get a little weaker every year. Other problem with cricket here in Australia is that the youngsters just get put onto bowling machines from the get go - so they play predictive cricket and struggle at higher levels in swinging and turning conditions. Pakistan will be top 3 in 10 years - sooner if they sort out their political instability at home. Good luck to them.

  • on September 4, 2012, 19:52 GMT

    Good to see Maxwell deliver on his obvious talent, but one thing I don't get is why they thought he could bowl. Look at his domestic bowling figures. They are pretty rubbish, he went without for good reason.

  • MunafAhmed811 on September 4, 2012, 16:09 GMT

    Excellent never say die atitude , confident but not overconfidence in own abilities unlike self overhyped opposition , application and proper planning and execution of gameplan agaist odds won them the series. Never underestimate Aussies even if conditions favor you. Besides opposition consisted of players like Afridi, UA, Misbah, Tanvir who are tried and tested failures

  • Biggus on September 4, 2012, 14:04 GMT

    @Jason Bray-I think that's particularly well said mate. I think sometimes Pakistan supporters feel that the rest of the cricket community is somehow 'against them' but for you, and myself, and a great many Aussie cricket lovers, that couldn't be further from the truth. International cricket without Pakistan is unthinkable, and it's an enormous pity that we can't play there at the moment. Despite the dew issue, which ended up having far too much influence on the outcomes, the venues produced good pitches for ODIs, there was a bit there for everybody, and the crowds added to the good atmosphere. The games were played in a really good spirit too, Jamshed's 'walking' last night being indicative of that. Yes indeed, an odd series but for several reasons I found it compelling. Watching Ajmal bowl is an absolute treat! I'm converted, where do I sign? Ajmal ftw. The Afghanistan game was good too. What say about Aus Vs Pak Vs Afg tri-series down under? That I'd like to see!

  • on September 4, 2012, 12:00 GMT

    These strange little one day series out of season are still a bit strange. Why not chuck a test or two in there to give it some substance? Nonetheless unlike the recent English series which was crammed into an already busy summer, it is important for the international community to get behind Pakistan and give them regular international cricket while they are in an exile of sorts. Like many cricket lovers i am hoping for the very best for Pakistani cricket and glad we had a competitive series with them.

  • on September 4, 2012, 11:34 GMT

    Meh. Australia's boring as hell to watch play now. Their aggression's gone, their class is gone. This series was boring, more like a competition of which of the two sides played their worst ever cricket. Utterly boring. Pakistan need to get their act together too, for the sake of entertaining cricket.

  • on September 4, 2012, 11:10 GMT

    As far as i see the match, pakistan are the winners. Hussey was out plumb for 0. Maxwell was stumped on 18, which was pretty much obvious. Thanks to Mr.Billy Bowden, for playing the perfect spoilsport.

  • RVC-38 on September 4, 2012, 10:35 GMT

    Starc... he swings it to the left..snick, he swings it to the right ..snick.

  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on September 4, 2012, 10:22 GMT

    Starc is a wonderful talent. Alongwith Harris and Cummins, he will complete an ideal trio of fast bowlers backed by nathan lyon

  • tanstell87 on September 4, 2012, 9:38 GMT

    Australia were belted to all parts in England recently and shown up to be the #5 or 6th ranked team they really are...so this win against a weak opposition doesn't matter.

  • RandyOZ on September 4, 2012, 9:27 GMT

    Maxwell has seriously impressed me. A very odd selection at first, it has proved a good move. He absolutely carted Ajmal.

  • vj_gooner on September 4, 2012, 9:11 GMT

    @sidzy - Clarke's game simply doesn't suit T20. Same is the case with Bailey too, Cameron White (based on his form) should be appointed captain again. White showed during the IPL that he can excel in sub-continent conditions

  • RednWhiteArmy on September 4, 2012, 8:50 GMT

    Its really boring watching australia play, cos you feel there must be better quality cricket being played elsewhere...

  • on September 4, 2012, 7:47 GMT

    No one comments to Pakistan coaching - this is a 2nd series defeat since Dav whatmore has taken over. 2 out of 2. Julian fountain as a fielding coach is not impressive at all. I don't see a single improvement - not sure how they are working with the players?

  • Biggus on September 4, 2012, 7:31 GMT

    Yep, just quietly, very proud of the boys. Well done to beat a strong team in challenging conditions. No unbiased Aussie could deny we still have much to do for us to stand at the top of the game again but with an attitude like they showed last night it seems not unreasonable to imagine that we are at least heading in the right direction. I think quite a few of those in the team at the moment will in retrospect be seen as transitional players, but you can only work with what you've got.

  • Hammond on September 4, 2012, 7:26 GMT

    Starc actually looks the goods, and as a bonus he is from the same part of Sydney that I grew up in. Go Baulko!

  • Chris_P on September 4, 2012, 7:08 GMT

    The bowlers & batsmen stood up, but the fielding was exceptional & clearly the biggest difference between the sides. There is still a long way to go to get to the complete team, but these little pluses are all helping. Pakistan is & will always remain a formidable opponent.

  • Rally_Windies on September 4, 2012, 5:40 GMT

    great job from team Australia ... I rarely have praises for them ...

    I disagree with the man of the match award. no player on the Australian team stood out. They all contributed and each individual was a vital spoke in the wheel.

    I would have given the man of the match award to Clark for leadership ... player win that award for excellent performances with the bat, ball, in the field or any combination of the above ....

    Clarke led from the front with both the bat and ball and as captain inspired the team. Not enough credit is given to captains when they have such inspiring performances ... the award usually goes to someone they inspired .. but if the captain manages to inspire the entire team and you cannot pick just one player to be the man of the match ... I believe the captain should be given the award.

  • paps123 on September 4, 2012, 5:24 GMT

    What a player Michael Hussey is. in conditions alien to him, he seems to be always there when Australia need him the most.While Clarke and David Hussey threw it away, Mike Hussey was the wicket Pakistan wanted. Also, Maxwell seems to be a talent Australia has been looking for a long while now. If they can win the T20 series too, it would put them in the ascendency come T20 World Cup.

  • on September 4, 2012, 5:05 GMT

    excellent win for the aussies.....performing in this sapping heat at UAE against pakistan is a very good acheivement. credit goes to the whole squad. everyone contributed . mentally and physically australia came out trumphs. pakistan not good enough. i think toss also played its part, in this sapping heat and humidity , dew must have been a factor, nothing to take away from aussies. you could see that pakistan were 30 runs short of where they would have ideally wanted to be. 275 would have been a challenging score. at one point pakistan were 140/1 after 28 overs at 5 runs per over. so keeping wickets intact they could have got 275-280 runs that would have won them the game. but australia did a fantastic job in restricting them and getting past the line in the chase. a thorough professional chase. now lets wait for t20I action to begin....

  • venkatesh018 on September 4, 2012, 4:45 GMT

    Mitchell Starc is a real plus for the Aussies from this trip. Peter Siddle, Hilfenhaus, James Pattinson, Starc, Cummins ---Aussies haven't had such a young and high quality pace attack in a long time. Can't wait for their Indian tour early next year. A young Indian batting line-up will have its hands full.

  • PrasPunter on September 4, 2012, 4:36 GMT

    Good one Boys !! We are really proud of your performance !! Can't wait for the marquee series against SA in Nov.

  • sidzy on September 4, 2012, 3:55 GMT

    I think M Clarke needs to step up & take the responsibility of t20 captioncy as well. if bailey is the caption they might as well have clarke also he is the best player of spin in australia.....& he is the also the spin bowler in ausssie team at the moment...

  • on September 4, 2012, 2:54 GMT

    Actually this must rate as one of Australia"s most creditable wins . Pakistan may have self destructed as they are known to do after the wonderful start of the openers and might not have taken the right reviews but lots of credit to the Aussies for playing cricket in diabolical conditions. And spare a thought for the "oldest member" Mike Hussey who in killing humidity has played so consistently. Australia are no where near their old strength, but seem a good competitor. I still dont think people like Christian should be in the team but Bailey has developed and Clarke has led from the front. Well done Australia. Ramanujam sridhar

  • Marcio on September 4, 2012, 2:13 GMT

    Well done Clarkey and the boys! This was a really professional performance, and more like what we've come to expect from AUS under him. The performance in the ODIs in Eng was extremely uncharacteristic of the team under him, and the only really major blip on the radar in his 20 odd months as leader. I think the team was just not psychologically prepared for a whilwind tour of two weeks in English rain in the middle of the off-season. Just a bad idea all up, in retrospect.

  • maddinson on September 4, 2012, 2:07 GMT

    Both Starc and Pattinson out classes Johnson through out this series. Starc made a huge improvement, seems like few months with Gillespi helped him a lot. This good performance of Maxi will surely end Australia experimenting with Steve Smith at least for 2-3 years. CA should realise that Christian is over rated cricketer, whose domestic performance are not the greatest indicator of his ability in international cricket. Sooner the likes of Mitch Marsh and Faulkner replace him is the better for Australian cricket. Any way Australia have a very good chance to win a test series in India, but they surely have to improve in their batting particularly against spin bowling.

  • QingdaoXI on September 4, 2012, 2:07 GMT

    Well played Australia, i saw the match and i dont like the conditions, this conditions were challenging the players mentally as well as physically too much. Bowlers were looking like club bowlers while bowling becuase of humidity they cut down the space i know that still Asutralian fst bowlers ball pretty well. I think all team would have soaked themselves in the tub of beer in Air-conditon after the match.

  • Scgboy on September 4, 2012, 1:57 GMT

    fair words,spin for any one outside the sub continent , isn't easy , so there is reason to be happy.

  • leggetinoz on September 4, 2012, 1:46 GMT

    Still think David Hussey should be at least in the squad if not play a part in the tests against India later. He can bowl some handy spin and is a great batsman,

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • leggetinoz on September 4, 2012, 1:46 GMT

    Still think David Hussey should be at least in the squad if not play a part in the tests against India later. He can bowl some handy spin and is a great batsman,

  • Scgboy on September 4, 2012, 1:57 GMT

    fair words,spin for any one outside the sub continent , isn't easy , so there is reason to be happy.

  • QingdaoXI on September 4, 2012, 2:07 GMT

    Well played Australia, i saw the match and i dont like the conditions, this conditions were challenging the players mentally as well as physically too much. Bowlers were looking like club bowlers while bowling becuase of humidity they cut down the space i know that still Asutralian fst bowlers ball pretty well. I think all team would have soaked themselves in the tub of beer in Air-conditon after the match.

  • maddinson on September 4, 2012, 2:07 GMT

    Both Starc and Pattinson out classes Johnson through out this series. Starc made a huge improvement, seems like few months with Gillespi helped him a lot. This good performance of Maxi will surely end Australia experimenting with Steve Smith at least for 2-3 years. CA should realise that Christian is over rated cricketer, whose domestic performance are not the greatest indicator of his ability in international cricket. Sooner the likes of Mitch Marsh and Faulkner replace him is the better for Australian cricket. Any way Australia have a very good chance to win a test series in India, but they surely have to improve in their batting particularly against spin bowling.

  • Marcio on September 4, 2012, 2:13 GMT

    Well done Clarkey and the boys! This was a really professional performance, and more like what we've come to expect from AUS under him. The performance in the ODIs in Eng was extremely uncharacteristic of the team under him, and the only really major blip on the radar in his 20 odd months as leader. I think the team was just not psychologically prepared for a whilwind tour of two weeks in English rain in the middle of the off-season. Just a bad idea all up, in retrospect.

  • on September 4, 2012, 2:54 GMT

    Actually this must rate as one of Australia"s most creditable wins . Pakistan may have self destructed as they are known to do after the wonderful start of the openers and might not have taken the right reviews but lots of credit to the Aussies for playing cricket in diabolical conditions. And spare a thought for the "oldest member" Mike Hussey who in killing humidity has played so consistently. Australia are no where near their old strength, but seem a good competitor. I still dont think people like Christian should be in the team but Bailey has developed and Clarke has led from the front. Well done Australia. Ramanujam sridhar

  • sidzy on September 4, 2012, 3:55 GMT

    I think M Clarke needs to step up & take the responsibility of t20 captioncy as well. if bailey is the caption they might as well have clarke also he is the best player of spin in australia.....& he is the also the spin bowler in ausssie team at the moment...

  • PrasPunter on September 4, 2012, 4:36 GMT

    Good one Boys !! We are really proud of your performance !! Can't wait for the marquee series against SA in Nov.

  • venkatesh018 on September 4, 2012, 4:45 GMT

    Mitchell Starc is a real plus for the Aussies from this trip. Peter Siddle, Hilfenhaus, James Pattinson, Starc, Cummins ---Aussies haven't had such a young and high quality pace attack in a long time. Can't wait for their Indian tour early next year. A young Indian batting line-up will have its hands full.

  • on September 4, 2012, 5:05 GMT

    excellent win for the aussies.....performing in this sapping heat at UAE against pakistan is a very good acheivement. credit goes to the whole squad. everyone contributed . mentally and physically australia came out trumphs. pakistan not good enough. i think toss also played its part, in this sapping heat and humidity , dew must have been a factor, nothing to take away from aussies. you could see that pakistan were 30 runs short of where they would have ideally wanted to be. 275 would have been a challenging score. at one point pakistan were 140/1 after 28 overs at 5 runs per over. so keeping wickets intact they could have got 275-280 runs that would have won them the game. but australia did a fantastic job in restricting them and getting past the line in the chase. a thorough professional chase. now lets wait for t20I action to begin....