Misbah-ul-Haq has said that Pakistani batsmen struggle at times against quality spin because they are not used to facing it on turning pitches in domestic cricket. Pakistan lost their first four wickets to Australia's spinners and scraped to 96 for 9 on a Dubai turner to lose the only T20 international.
"Sometimes it happens," Misbah said ahead of the first ODI in Sharjah. "When you are not having more spinners at the domestic level, batsmen are not facing more good spinners in domestic competitions … you are not used to facing them.
"You need good spinners at domestic level and you need to have some turners there so the batsmen can get used to them. It is a big factor and if you see, some of the batsmen who have played more of their cricket in Karachi on pitches where it turns a little bit, and they have faced more spinners, they play spin well."
Spin accounted for eight of the 13 wickets that fell in Dubai and Misbah said that the surface would have troubled any batsman. "Obviously on a pitch like the one we played on, both teams were struggling against spin because it was gripping and turning. On a pitch like that any batsman can struggle."
George Bailey said that teams were "doctoring" their pitches to take advantage of the Australians' frailties against spin, but Misbah felt that the visitors had become better players of slow bowling. "Playing in the IPL and getting exposure they have improved against spin. It is not about the Australians. It is about every batsman. If it is turning and the bowler is pitching it in the right areas, you have some trouble but you need to focus on your technique, your basics. Just like fast bowling, for spin you need to have good basics to face it. They are playing spin well at the moment but still even in the last game you see they were having trouble against Shahid Afridi and Raza Hasan, so we can exploit that but at the same time we also have to play spin well."
Misbah said that given the conditions, Pakistan could not depend only on spin going into the series. "You need to have a balance between pace and spin. You normally need five bowlers in a one-day or T20 game. Everybody has to really play his role. You cannot just rely that two spinners will do the damage. The way the Australians bowled on that pitch. Their fast bowlers bowled well, their spinners bowled well. On these pitches, everybody can play his role."
Pakistan are without their lead spinner Saeed Ajmal, who has been banned for an illegal action. Misbah said that Pakistan had no option but to move on in his absence, and felt that left-arm spinner Hasan, who claimed 2 for 17 in the T20, had the potential to step in.
"It is really difficult for anybody to fill in for Saeed Ajmal because he has been the number one or two bowler since last three-four years. Raza Hasan is also a very good bowler. If Saeed is not there somebody has to just raise his hand and try to fill in. I think he (Hasan) showed that in the games before and even yesterday. He can be a bowler who can give something to Pakistan.
"It is really pleasing the way he (Hasan) bowled. He was doing really well in the T20s before he got injured. Got operated. Good sign for Pakistan that he is back. In the one-day series we'll be hoping that he continues to bowl like that."