Pakistan’s spin attack a threat to Australia’s chances: Clarke

Sharjah: Australia’s cricket captain Michael Clarke has admitted that Pakistan’s spin attack, led by Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi and Mohammad Hafeez, is a threat to his team’s chances.

Clarke wants his pacers to channel their inner Dennis Lillee when they take the field for their one-day international (ODI) series against Pakistan starting on Tuesday in Sharjah.

So in the tradition of Wimbledon winner Pat Cash``s 1980s sweatbands and the great pace spearhead Lillee’s old headwear, Clarke said it’s time to get back to the future,

“Whoever bowls spin the best and whoever plays spin the best will win the series. Whether it is attacking or defending, the way our spinners bowl is going to be crucial to us having success. It doesn’t mean they take all the wickets, as we’ve seen,”

“The Australian way is, for a long time, fast bowlers have had success all around the world. I see this series being no different but I do believe our spinners are going to play a huge part in us taking 10 wickets in every game,”

Pakistan have won their past eight ODI matches in Sharjah, where they’ve hosted games because of security problems back home.

Mitchell Starc, who took 4-47 and gained plenty of swing with his left-armers, said he was taken aback by the muggy conditions.

He said: “I don``t think we thought too much about the humidity. We thought it was going to be a dry heat. As we``ve seen, it``s more the sweat factor that is going to play a part and the dew as well.

“Both balls towards the end were quite hard to hold onto. You wipe yourself down with a towel and you``re already sweating again. In the end, the bowlers did quite well to control that ball.”

Australia``s pacemen Starc, James Pattinson and Mitchell Johnson claimed nine wickets against Afghanistan, with Xavier Doherty taking 1-34.