Australia loss a boost for Pakistan

Nov 30, -0001

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

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

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

But 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, have played here but we have our plans for the day after tomorrow 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 definitely is 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 he hasn't 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.

Clarke managed just ten and five in the side game after recovering from a hamstring injury sustained in August.

Waqar 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.

The second and final Test will be played in Abu Dhabi from October 30. -AFP






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