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April 24, 2009
Michael Clarke called Australia's performance "brilliant" in the win over Pakistan in the second ODI but the stand-in captain wants more from his team when the series switches to Abu Dhabi on Monday. The five-match contest is level at 1-1 following the encounters in Dubai, where Australia hit back after their disappointing opening loss.
"It was a very important game," Clarke told AAP following the six-wicket success. "We had a really good chat after the [first] game and then the batters got together yesterday after our training just to talk about a few things and come up with a few ideas."
The meetings worked and Andrew Symonds showed he could still perform in the international arena following his suspension from the side. He picked up 2 for 12 in a couple of overs as Pakistan were restricted to 207 and then top scored with 58 in the run-chase. Clarke also chipped in with an unbeaten 39 to finish the game.
Australia are touring with a new-look team, with Doug Bollinger and Ben Laughlin playing in Dubai, and are missing senior players in Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey. Despite the changes in personnel, Clarke has high expectations for the outfit.
"We expect a lot as the Australian cricket team because we expect to win every single time we play," Clarke said. "Guys have been out of the team for a long time or haven't played much international cricket, it's hard against very good opposition to come in and expect to do well straight away.
"But that's the standard we set, that's why we want to be the best we can be, that's probably why we are as good as we are. I don't think we can look too deep into it, we played brilliantly here, it's 1-1 in the series and we've still got a lot of work to do to win this series."
Younis Khan was impressed with Australia's performance and said they remained the best team in the world, even though their current ranking is No. 3. "They have a couple of good allrounders and they still have a batsman like Symonds, now he's in form," he said. "So I think they're still the best team in the world."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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