2nd Test: Spin-hit Australia look to bounce back against Pakistan
After failing another Asian spin test, Australia will strive to bounce back in the second and final Test against Pakistan starting in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.
Abu Dhabi: After failing another Asian spin test, Australia will strive to bounce back in the second and final Test against Pakistan starting in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.
The world number two team were all at sea against an inexperienced but effective Pakistan spin attack and suffered a crushing 221-run defeat in the first Test in Dubai.
It was their fifth consecutive flop against spinners in Asia after being routed 4-0 in India last year.
Left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar, playing only his third Test, finished with seven wickets in the match as did debutant leggie Yasir Shah.
Pakistan's batsmen also had a field day. Veteran Younis Khan scored a century in each innings while Sarfraz Ahmed and Ahmed Shehzad chipped in with hundreds.
Pakistan will maintain that spin pressure as they look to win their first Test series against Australia since beating them at home in 1994.
Australian captain Michael Clarke promised a fight back.
"Any time we lose a game it breeds fire in your belly. We don't like losing, Australians in general don't like losing," he said after Sunday's defeat.
"We got outplayed and Pakistan deserve a lot of credit for the way they played over the whole five days. We know we can play a lot better and look forward to showing that in the second Test match."
Australia's top order of David Warner, who hit a hundred in the first Test, and Chris Rogers were steady. But the middle order, especially Clarke and Alex Doolan, failed in both innings.
Clarke was confident runs would come in the second Test.
"It doesn't feel any different to any other Test match to me. My expectations are always very high for myself personally to make sure I'm scoring runs and for this Australian team to have success," said the Australian skipper, who was the highest run-scorer in Tests in 2013 with 1,093.
"I don't feel any more expectation or any more pressure. It's about playing our best cricket over five days and if we do that I'm confident we can win the Test match."
Australia have the option of bringing in Glenn Maxwell,
who can also bowl off-spin, for either Mitchell Marsh or Doolan.
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul Haq warned his team not to be complacent against a tough Australian team.
"We will do (our) best efforts on our part to play good cricket because we have no small team in front of us, its Australia which is one of the best teams in the world, what good we did in the last game we'll try to repeat them and not get lazy," said Misbah.
If Pakistan win 2-0 they will jump to number three in the Test rankings, and Misbah called this a strong incentive.
"I think if we fulfil the basic roles in a better manner then (a) good result will come and it will be good if we achieve that position in (the) rankings," said Misbah, who with victory would equal Imran Khan and Javed Miandad's record of most Test wins of 14.
Pakistan: Misbah-ul Haq (capt), Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Taufeeq Umar, Shan Masood, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Talha, Rahat Ali, Imran Khan, Ehsan Adil, Sarfraz Ahmed, Zulfiqar Babar, Yasir Shah.
Australia: Michael Clarke (capt), David Warner, Chris Rogers, Alex Doolan, Steven Smith, Ben Hilfenhaus, Phillip Hughes, Brad Haddin, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, Mitchell Johnson, Steve O'Keefe, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, James Faulkner, Nathan Lyon.