Sharjah: Pakistan captain Misbah-ul Haq believes his players will be extra motivated to win against Australia who they have not beaten for the last 10 years.
The two teams meet in a three-match one-day series starting here on Tuesday, followed by as many Twenty20 internationals. Misbah said his players will make an extra effort to register a series win which has eluded them since Pakistan's 2-1 win in Australia in 2002. "Of course, whenever there is such a thing it charges the team in an extra way, its needs an extra effort to combine and beat an opponent who we have not beaten for some time," Misbah said on Monday.
Pakistan have only two survivours in Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik from the team which beat Australia 10 years ago, but Misbah said all his players are focused against an opponent who are dangerous anywhere in the world. "Australia are one of the top teams, it's difficult to beat them because they are a fighting team in any conditions of the world," said Misbah of the Australian team led by Michael Clarke.
"They have good players who put up the best fight and they are a difficult opponent," said Misbah, playing down the hype that it will be a series between Pakistani spin bowlers against Australian batsmen. "I don't think we will only rely on spinners, we have to bat well and fast bowlers are very important for us because the ball reverse swings in Sharjah," said Misbah.
Australian pacemen grabbed nine of the 10 wickets during their 66-run win against Afghanistan in the first-ever match between the two countries here on Saturday. Misbah admitted it will be important for Pakistan to win after losing their last two one-day series, 3-1 in Sri Lanka and 4-1 here against England.
"I think it’s important for both the teams also for Australia," said Misbah of his opponents who lost 4-0 to England last month. "For us it is very important because after this is the World T20, we couldn't give the kind of performance that we wanted in the last two series, so it’s a good chance for us to stage a comeback," said Misbah.
The Pakistan captain said oppressive conditions in United Arab Emirates, with the temperature scaling to 40-plus in the day and 35-plus in the evening, gives Pakistan some edge. "Definitely, conditions suit us but our players are focused because they know teams can adapt quickly and we have to be at our best to beat Australia," said Misbah. "We are going to play against a top team and if we win then we have advantage and it will help us in future. It also helps you improve when you play a top team and you remove your flaws," he added.
The second match will be played in Abu Dhabi on August 31 followed by the third here on September 3. All three Twenty20 internationals will be played in Dubai on September 5, 7 and 10.