Australia v Pakistan, World T20, Group 2, Mirpur March 22, 2014

Moin confident of spinners' impact

34

The influence of spin in Sunday's contest between Pakistan and Australia is on everyone's lips. Moin Khan, the Pakistan coach, has expressed confidence in his team's spinners while Australia captain George Bailey has conceded it's going to be a challenge for their batsmen.

Saeed Ajmal has the most wickets for a spinner against Australia. Shahid Afridi and Mohammad Hafeez have done well in the past and Zulfiqar Babar is also likely to get a look in if Pakistan think of playing three specialist spinners.

"Well, they can be [susceptible against spin], but of course they've been playing really good cricket for a very long time," Moin said. "But I still believe in my spinners. I think we're capable to get them.

"We have lots of options in the team. We didn't bowl Shoaib Malik [against India], but we've got the option there. We have good spinners with us, so we'll see. It depends on the type of pitch we get in the next match. So we'll definitely do according to the opposition."

Bailey is well aware of the threat, and wants his batsmen to stand up to the challenge of playing in conditions suitable and familiar to their opposition.

"We went through the Pakistan team in our meeting last night, and there are so many match-winners," he said. "I think historically we have struggled against their spinners. If we are to win, we have to play their spinners well.

"I think we have seen most of them now, in different times. What you do is talk about experiences from the past and try to make it better. They have three spinners among the top ten in T20s so they are a very strong spin side. The conditions can be challenging for us, but we have a strong batting line-up that can overcome that."

Brad Hodge is the only player from the current squad who has played in Bangladesh in the last year or so and the team took to television footage to arm themselves for the upcoming battle. They watched Pakistan's opening match in the World T20 and noted how India's Amit Mishra used a bit of drift and dip to restrict and dupe the batsmen, and how Ajmal maintained accuracy while bowling quicker.

"I think most of the guys watched it in the hotel last night," Bailey said. "It was a great chance to see how India and Pakistan played. There was a lot of information to be gathered. Most guys took the opportunity."

"Hodge has been great for us. He has given us a lot of information on how the wicket might play here and how it changes from day to night; also about players that we haven't seen."

Bailey would bank on the team's variety, particularly in their own bowling attack. Australia have called up, 43-year old left-arm chinaman Brad Hogg, who will be assisted by legspinner James Muirhead and part-timer Glenn Maxwell.

"I think we have a little more versatility, in terms of what we can do with the ball," Bailey said. "I think we have a little more power with the bat. These are the two differences [between this squad and the one that played in the 2012 World T20s]."

Moin would like to see Pakistan, already one-down in the tournament, to fight harder against an upbeat Australian side. "We've already lost one match but I still believe in the abilities of my team. We have to come back really hard and go do something resilient, otherwise it's definitely going to be a very difficult match because their attitude is very good. We have to fight it out."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • gsingh7 on March 23, 2014, 11:30 GMT

    at front foot lunge-- looks like no one is in aus league as pak scored 190 and aus are 8-2 in first over. pak will surely crush u before india and wi does the rest.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on March 23, 2014, 9:56 GMT

    We'll crush Pakistan, there is no one in Australia's league at the moment, we are peerless. Normal service has resumed.

  • on March 23, 2014, 8:53 GMT

    Hafeez should be playing at number 3 which is the right position for him and then it should be Sohaib Maqsood. Putting Afridi at number 5 would give him enough time and backup to take risks the Afridi way. Umer Akmal and Malik should be kept for the last pair of specialist batsman. if I was given a chance on a spin track, I wouldnt hesitate to induce Zulfiqar Babar with any two in-form pacers finishing with Ajmal. Dhoni confided in Miserable and it payed for his

  • on March 23, 2014, 8:40 GMT

    Pakistan should bat first , target of 160-170 would be good enough to defend with likes of Gul , Afridi , Hafeez , Ajmal etc.Sharjeel should be IN , Malik OUT!

  • on March 23, 2014, 8:31 GMT

    This is our 'expert' coach Moin, going on about spin!! what a joker!! Talk about improving your batting for a change, stop relying on spinners, think out of the box. What if the spinners get whacked, then your all gonna have panic written over your faces. t20 is batting game so drill it into the batsmen to get out of their shell and go for it. Reshuffle the batting order but knowing captain rigid hafeez who loves to bat at no 3 at team's expense and oblivious to the slow scoring we the viewers will see nothing dynamic from Pak! Need a miracle to win today!!

    Hoping and praying for pak victory!!

  • dunger.bob on March 23, 2014, 7:06 GMT

    @ Cricket_Man: I'd like to see them play Muirhead as well. I've only seen him bowl a few times but he seems to have a very wise old head on him. Hopefully we'll see him at some point during the tourny. Maybe against the qualifier if they're worried about him being so young and all.

  • on March 23, 2014, 6:54 GMT

    give chance to sharjeel and shooib malik take rest.

  • Cricket_Man on March 23, 2014, 6:33 GMT

    Australians I can assure you for a fact that the Pakistani side hasn't done its homework against James Muirhead. Probably they don't even know him or that he is in the Australian squad. So play him as Pakistan's batting has struggled against even part-time spinners like Jevaan Mendis of Sri lanka. Bowl 3 googlies per over and you'll see Pakistani wickets falling one after another in no time. I say this because I know that my team Pakistan is the worst at planning and doing its homework. Only a miraculous performance from any single Pakistani player can help Pakistan win.

  • dunger.bob on March 23, 2014, 4:57 GMT

    @ prady5688: I think our players certainly will challenge him. They'll do that by either milking him for 6 an over or blasting him for plenty. It will depend on the match situation but which ever way it goes they'll try to do something about him. .. I know he's a fine bowler, one of the best in fact, but he's not unplayable.

  • adnan X1 on March 23, 2014, 4:10 GMT

    Only chance of Pakistan winning is to win toss, bat first, get a decent total around 140 and hope for the pitch to get slowed down (which it will hopefully) and then leave the rest to our spinners... INSHALLAH we'll win...

  • gsingh7 on March 23, 2014, 11:30 GMT

    at front foot lunge-- looks like no one is in aus league as pak scored 190 and aus are 8-2 in first over. pak will surely crush u before india and wi does the rest.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on March 23, 2014, 9:56 GMT

    We'll crush Pakistan, there is no one in Australia's league at the moment, we are peerless. Normal service has resumed.

  • on March 23, 2014, 8:53 GMT

    Hafeez should be playing at number 3 which is the right position for him and then it should be Sohaib Maqsood. Putting Afridi at number 5 would give him enough time and backup to take risks the Afridi way. Umer Akmal and Malik should be kept for the last pair of specialist batsman. if I was given a chance on a spin track, I wouldnt hesitate to induce Zulfiqar Babar with any two in-form pacers finishing with Ajmal. Dhoni confided in Miserable and it payed for his

  • on March 23, 2014, 8:40 GMT

    Pakistan should bat first , target of 160-170 would be good enough to defend with likes of Gul , Afridi , Hafeez , Ajmal etc.Sharjeel should be IN , Malik OUT!

  • on March 23, 2014, 8:31 GMT

    This is our 'expert' coach Moin, going on about spin!! what a joker!! Talk about improving your batting for a change, stop relying on spinners, think out of the box. What if the spinners get whacked, then your all gonna have panic written over your faces. t20 is batting game so drill it into the batsmen to get out of their shell and go for it. Reshuffle the batting order but knowing captain rigid hafeez who loves to bat at no 3 at team's expense and oblivious to the slow scoring we the viewers will see nothing dynamic from Pak! Need a miracle to win today!!

    Hoping and praying for pak victory!!

  • dunger.bob on March 23, 2014, 7:06 GMT

    @ Cricket_Man: I'd like to see them play Muirhead as well. I've only seen him bowl a few times but he seems to have a very wise old head on him. Hopefully we'll see him at some point during the tourny. Maybe against the qualifier if they're worried about him being so young and all.

  • on March 23, 2014, 6:54 GMT

    give chance to sharjeel and shooib malik take rest.

  • Cricket_Man on March 23, 2014, 6:33 GMT

    Australians I can assure you for a fact that the Pakistani side hasn't done its homework against James Muirhead. Probably they don't even know him or that he is in the Australian squad. So play him as Pakistan's batting has struggled against even part-time spinners like Jevaan Mendis of Sri lanka. Bowl 3 googlies per over and you'll see Pakistani wickets falling one after another in no time. I say this because I know that my team Pakistan is the worst at planning and doing its homework. Only a miraculous performance from any single Pakistani player can help Pakistan win.

  • dunger.bob on March 23, 2014, 4:57 GMT

    @ prady5688: I think our players certainly will challenge him. They'll do that by either milking him for 6 an over or blasting him for plenty. It will depend on the match situation but which ever way it goes they'll try to do something about him. .. I know he's a fine bowler, one of the best in fact, but he's not unplayable.

  • adnan X1 on March 23, 2014, 4:10 GMT

    Only chance of Pakistan winning is to win toss, bat first, get a decent total around 140 and hope for the pitch to get slowed down (which it will hopefully) and then leave the rest to our spinners... INSHALLAH we'll win...

  • prady5688 on March 23, 2014, 4:02 GMT

    @dunger bob if there will be 10 ajmal in a team then Aussies will not able to score even 50 in 20 overs..... don't underestimate him...u cant challenge him in his home.Best of luck pak from India.....

  • on March 23, 2014, 3:58 GMT

    Pakistan need a good captain.only six or seven batsmen are batting.then why are they keeping afridi as a tailander? best thing is Pakistan should play kabadi instead of cricket.

  • on March 23, 2014, 3:29 GMT

    Afridi should open stop talking rubbish. Afridi should open hahaha

  • Rayyan_RA16 on March 23, 2014, 1:06 GMT

    Pakistan will bowl well insha Allah ; When they bat they should bat freely and not think too much about anything else

  • on March 23, 2014, 0:50 GMT

    defo agree afridi should open

  • on March 22, 2014, 22:46 GMT

    hopeless sitiuation for pakistan.u can win occasional match with indivisual briliance but not tournaments...this was the lesson to be learnt from just concluded Asia cup.Pakistani bowling is much below power and batting is pathetic as usual.Australians are too good to work out some sort of plan against pakistani spinners.I cant see pakistan winning here unless an indivisual player wins it single handedly for Pakistan......

  • dunger.bob on March 22, 2014, 22:21 GMT

    Against India Pak. were at least 40 runs short of a competitive total. The Indians more or less blocked out Ajmal's overs because they could afford to. While we're no India, 130 or so won't be enough to beat us either. Not even with 10 Ajmal's could you defend 130 against our batting.

  • on March 22, 2014, 18:31 GMT

    i hope pakistan batsmen do some aggresive batting and do full spin attack on australian batsmen bcoz as i think that is the way for pakistan to win inshallah we win tommorow.australia must not forget that we are semi finalists of every t20 worldcup tournament so i think both teams are strong and we are expected to see a full BATTLE game tomorow.

  • Shawshank786 on March 22, 2014, 17:13 GMT

    Afridi should open....when will we ever learn. Had he been born in Sri Lanka (the best T20 team out there), they would have sent him opening every game without a doubt.

  • on March 22, 2014, 16:57 GMT

    the last match showd a total lack of planing, stategy, game plan or plan B

    Why play Shoaib Malik if you donyt use him as a bowler. He is not a good enough player to play as just a batsmen

    RAshid LAif is thinking of the older generation Indian batsmen when he says pace is key. As seen spin ruled. Why not play Babar?

    It is important for the batsmen to ROTATE strike, take singles, use soft hands, nudges, placings. HAfeez was criminal in his slow strike rate

    Kamran Akmals run out was unforgivable. Fistly thersewas no run, secondly no clear communication between the two batsmen.

    Use Afridi as the shock weapon he is. no point in leaving him to come in so late

  • TheProfPak on March 22, 2014, 16:55 GMT

    @bouncer709: Spot on mate with comments on Mr. Professor. He is just an average player and he is going no where with his nervous captaincy. Did anybody look at his body language and eyes. They were full of fear and low on confidence. I'm not even an expert or a player who played at some level. But even I was able to see what his eyes were saying. I'll agree with people saying that Pakistan will win hardly win a game or too. When will PCB start making sensible decisions?

  • mzm149 on March 22, 2014, 16:29 GMT

    Throw Afridi out if he is not fully fit. He cost us last game and Asia Cup final. I am fearing Starc will turn out to be another Steyn for Hafeez.

  • Desihungama on March 22, 2014, 15:21 GMT

    You need someone to set the tone upfront. Either play Sharjeel or send Afridi on top. Do not put Hafeez face in front of Aussies at No. 3. If they smell blood they'll come hunt for you in packs. Hefeez looks nervous and is not sure of his own capabilities it seems. I pick SL/Australia or SL/India to play final. Pakistan on the other hand should be happy with just one win and that maybe over Bangladesh. I still fail to understand why Misbah could not make this squad? And running yourself out is nothing but nervousness and will eventually be team's Achilles heel.

  • on March 22, 2014, 14:52 GMT

    I've got a feeling that if Pak bat first, they will be bowled out for under a hundred and if they bowl first, they may go for 200 which they can't chase in even 50 overs!! Pak will make the young ausi leg spinner as shane warne just as they have done with Imran Tahir and Mishra, just shows the quality of batsman they have.

  • on March 22, 2014, 14:47 GMT

    Guess where is shoaib malik in my Playing 11 ????

  • on March 22, 2014, 14:45 GMT

    Good positive attitude from Moin. Wished Pakistan could win against India but hope that Pakistan can overtake Australia and make their place in the semis. If spinners execute the plans, it should be an easy one for Pakistan.

  • gsingh7 on March 22, 2014, 14:39 GMT

    wat about batting of pak side? with paper thin batting depth and lack of talented youngsters how will spinners make up for them? my guess is pak will be lucky to win more than 1 game from this group. india ,wi are favorites to go through to next round

  • Saadcricketlover on March 22, 2014, 14:38 GMT

    I wish we will win insallah. Com'on Pakistan stay positive and play like it's a do or die game.

  • on March 22, 2014, 14:34 GMT

    If i have choice for players position and their role (Batting), it would be like this. 1. Ahmed Shehzad (Should Play Most Aggresively) 2. Sharjeel Khan (Should Play Most Aggresively) 3. Kamran Akmal (Should Play Most Aggresively) 4. Umar Akmal (Should Play Most Aggresively) 5. Sohaib Maqsood (Anchor Role) 6/7. M Hafeez / Afridi (As per Situation demands. For Hafeez: make sure Pak bat all 20 ovrs. For Afridi: Be Natural) 8. Bilawal Bhatti (Should Play Most Aggresively) 9. Anwar Ali (Should Play Most Aggresively) 10. Zulfiqar Babar (Make sure you bat 20 ovrs) 11. Saeed Ajmal (Make sure you bat 20 ovrs) Cricinfo wheter you publish this or not here, but kindly send it to Moin Khan

  • bouncer709 on March 22, 2014, 13:23 GMT

    The Moin khan and Javed Miandad's old formula to save wickets, score 90 in 15 overs and target bowlers in last 5 overs, is not not working in modern cricket (specially T20). Hafeez! for God sake send Afridi opener on one down..... The most coward captain I have ever seen in my life.

  • on March 22, 2014, 12:17 GMT

    Dear Moin, For God's sake don't see not utilizing Shoaib Malik's spin in the match. Throw him out of your final XI, he doesn't deserve a place and bring in a specialist batsman. Zulfiqar Babar shud be tried for Umar Gul. Let Junaid & Bhatti b there as Fast Bowlers.

  • majboor on March 22, 2014, 12:00 GMT

    The match against india is always a familiar situation. If a match is won by pakistan is that on the given day pakistan plays well.All left for pakistan in this series is pack their bags & board a flight Home.Australia is a strong contender for T20.But for pakistan it is another match for the Day.The cricket board of pakistan is a corrupt one,since the time of Imran khan with Rameez raja as an opener.All they have is the Hype surrounding them.Players apart Afridi are totally unfit.

  • on March 22, 2014, 11:01 GMT

    batting needs inprovements as well. below par scores can not be defended even though you have good spinners. and fast bolwers, which will play need to support spinners as well. aus has good batting line up so it wont be that simple.

    zulfiqar will be good option if they think going im with 4 spinners is good policy? need improved battimg effort and line up.

  • on March 22, 2014, 10:18 GMT

    Spinners alone wont do the job for pakistan. Batsmen should also perform well to post a challenging total as it was evident in the match against India. Although India won the match quiet easily, but one can say that Pak were 30 runs short. Had the score been 160 odd, pressure would have been a little more to chase for their arch rival.

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  • on March 22, 2014, 10:18 GMT

    Spinners alone wont do the job for pakistan. Batsmen should also perform well to post a challenging total as it was evident in the match against India. Although India won the match quiet easily, but one can say that Pak were 30 runs short. Had the score been 160 odd, pressure would have been a little more to chase for their arch rival.

  • on March 22, 2014, 11:01 GMT

    batting needs inprovements as well. below par scores can not be defended even though you have good spinners. and fast bolwers, which will play need to support spinners as well. aus has good batting line up so it wont be that simple.

    zulfiqar will be good option if they think going im with 4 spinners is good policy? need improved battimg effort and line up.

  • majboor on March 22, 2014, 12:00 GMT

    The match against india is always a familiar situation. If a match is won by pakistan is that on the given day pakistan plays well.All left for pakistan in this series is pack their bags & board a flight Home.Australia is a strong contender for T20.But for pakistan it is another match for the Day.The cricket board of pakistan is a corrupt one,since the time of Imran khan with Rameez raja as an opener.All they have is the Hype surrounding them.Players apart Afridi are totally unfit.

  • on March 22, 2014, 12:17 GMT

    Dear Moin, For God's sake don't see not utilizing Shoaib Malik's spin in the match. Throw him out of your final XI, he doesn't deserve a place and bring in a specialist batsman. Zulfiqar Babar shud be tried for Umar Gul. Let Junaid & Bhatti b there as Fast Bowlers.

  • bouncer709 on March 22, 2014, 13:23 GMT

    The Moin khan and Javed Miandad's old formula to save wickets, score 90 in 15 overs and target bowlers in last 5 overs, is not not working in modern cricket (specially T20). Hafeez! for God sake send Afridi opener on one down..... The most coward captain I have ever seen in my life.

  • on March 22, 2014, 14:34 GMT

    If i have choice for players position and their role (Batting), it would be like this. 1. Ahmed Shehzad (Should Play Most Aggresively) 2. Sharjeel Khan (Should Play Most Aggresively) 3. Kamran Akmal (Should Play Most Aggresively) 4. Umar Akmal (Should Play Most Aggresively) 5. Sohaib Maqsood (Anchor Role) 6/7. M Hafeez / Afridi (As per Situation demands. For Hafeez: make sure Pak bat all 20 ovrs. For Afridi: Be Natural) 8. Bilawal Bhatti (Should Play Most Aggresively) 9. Anwar Ali (Should Play Most Aggresively) 10. Zulfiqar Babar (Make sure you bat 20 ovrs) 11. Saeed Ajmal (Make sure you bat 20 ovrs) Cricinfo wheter you publish this or not here, but kindly send it to Moin Khan

  • Saadcricketlover on March 22, 2014, 14:38 GMT

    I wish we will win insallah. Com'on Pakistan stay positive and play like it's a do or die game.

  • gsingh7 on March 22, 2014, 14:39 GMT

    wat about batting of pak side? with paper thin batting depth and lack of talented youngsters how will spinners make up for them? my guess is pak will be lucky to win more than 1 game from this group. india ,wi are favorites to go through to next round

  • on March 22, 2014, 14:45 GMT

    Good positive attitude from Moin. Wished Pakistan could win against India but hope that Pakistan can overtake Australia and make their place in the semis. If spinners execute the plans, it should be an easy one for Pakistan.

  • on March 22, 2014, 14:47 GMT

    Guess where is shoaib malik in my Playing 11 ????