Michael Clarke has said that Australia are looking forward to the ODI against Afghanistan on Saturday and he is expecting good quality of cricket, despite the gulf of experience between the two sides. "It's an opportunity for them to come out with nothing to lose and plenty to gain and I think it will be good cricket," Clarke said.
Australia, who will be playing Pakistan in a limited-overs series in the UAE starting August 28, agreed to play Afghanistan to assist with their cricketing development. However, Clarke is not taking the match lightly.
"No doubt Pakistan's on my mind but our focus as a team has been on Afghanistan," he said. "After Saturday's game we'll sit down then and look at the Pakistan side."
The matches in the UAE during current tour will start at 6:00 pm local time to avoid daytime heat and the late starts and finish are going to be a new for teams, Clarke said. "We don't really know what it's going to be like starting a match at six o'clock at night. We haven't done that before in one-day cricket. It's a lot different."
"You have to ask me after the first match but it's going to be a big challenge for both the teams, also for Pakistan."
Australia have been inconsistent in one-day cricket lately - they drew the series in the West Indies and lost 4-0 to England in July. They have dropped to No. 4 in the ODI rankings too - their lowest ever - after being the top-ranked side since September 2009.
"When we left England, we were still the number one-ranked team in the world but because of other teams playing, we've slipped back down to four," Clarke said. "But to me it's about playing really good consistent cricket all around the world and I know we'll get back to being number one."