Australia v Pakistan, World T20, Group 2, Mirpur

Moin confident of spinners' impact

Mohammad Isam

March 22, 2014

Comments: 34 | Text size: A | A

Saeed Ajmal is congratulated after dismissing Kumar Sangakkara, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, Asia Cup final, Mirpur, March 8, 2014
Saeed Ajmal has the most wickets for a spinner against Australia © AFP
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Players/Officials: Moin Khan | George Bailey
Series/Tournaments: World T20

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

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by   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

Posted by   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!

Posted by   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!!

Posted by 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.

Posted by   on (March 23, 2014, 6:54 GMT)

give chance to sharjeel and shooib malik take rest.

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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...

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