Timely motivation: Pakistan boosted by Australia loss, says Waqar

Head coach assesses opponents’ weaknesses ahead of Test series


Afp October 20, 2014

DUBAI: Pakistan head coach Waqar Younis believes Australia's 153-run defeat in the warm-up game has helped him find flaws in the opposition for the first Test starting tomorrow in Dubai.

"It's quite nice to see them [Australia] lose," said Waqar of the Pakistan 'A' team's win in Sharjah in a four-day match on Sunday.

"It was good to see the youngsters doing well there and, yes, it has definitely given us an edge or a boost, because we have seen some weaknesses which can be good for us in the Tests."

However, Waqar warned his team should not take Australia for granted.

"They have just won a series here," said Waqar of Australia's 3-0 win in the preceding one-day series.

"They know how to bat here, but we also have our plans for the day after tomorrow [Wednesday] and we will try to execute them."

Waqar, appointed head coach in May this year, said Australian paceman Mitchell Johnson will be a key factor in the two-match Test series.

"There is no doubt that Johnson will be an X-factor," said Waqar of the fiery left-arm paceman who took six wickets in the two one-day matches he played in the UAE.

"He [Johnson] is the most improved bowler in the last two-three years so he is definitely a threat but we will try our best to tackle him."

Waqar admitted Australian skipper Michael Clarke was short on practice but still had the ability to come good in the Tests.

"I hope the Australians got what they wanted from that practice match but Clarke getting out and not having played for a while, I would say that's an edge but we all know he is a classy player and he can come out and deliver for Australia," said Waqar.

Meanwhile, the coach said Dubai pitches usually helped spinners. "We normally play two spinners here," he said.

Pakistan, without their ace spinner Saeed Ajmal – suspended over an illegal bowling action last month – is likely to play uncapped leg-spinner Yasir Shah and left-armer Zulfiqar Babar.

Siddle wants to put pressure on Misbah, Younus

Australia's frontline paceman Peter Siddle is targeting the experienced duo of Misbahul Haq and Younus Khan in the first Test.

The 29-year-old paceman is likely to share the new ball with the livelier Mitchell Johnson on a dry Dubai stadium pitch which will have little to offer for the fast bowlers.

But Siddle said yesterday that getting 10 wickets would be key.

"I think we need to get 10 wickets, it does not matter which ones we get but there are a few older blokes in the middle – Younis and captain Misbah – they are going to be tough ones out there," said Siddle.

"I think we always want to put pressure on the captain and they are the players we are looking obviously to get on top of and that will give confidence to everyone else as well."

Pakistan have not beaten Australia in a Test series since their 1-0 home win in 1994 and the Kangaroos have won 13 of the 14 Tests played between the two sides.


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