Australia’s captain, Michael Clarke said that adapting to the slow and dry pitch in Dubai is going to be the greatest challenge that his team is going to face ahead of the first Test against Pakistan.

Dubai is going to use the same pitch which hosted the the limited overs matches and with Peter Siddle injured, left arm spinner Steve O’Keefe and Mitchell Marsh are set to get Test caps.

Clarke has spoken very oftenly about winning Tests outside Australia and he is backing his side to adapt to the condtions in Dubai.

“It’s the slow wickets, I think that’s our greatest challenge, the fact that the wickets are so much slower than what we’re used to in Australia,” said Clarke. It’s being able to adapt to that, whether we’re bowling or we’re batting. I think spin and reverse swing are going to play a really important part throughout this series and we have to combat both of those to have success.”

Lyon and O’Keefe will be the pillar of bowling, however Clarke also backed up the part time spin of Steven Smith and David Warner and has alo declared himself to be able to bowl.

“Our part-timers can play a big role, especially as the game goes on, the wicket deteriorates,” said Clarke.

“I’ve always liked spin bowling. I want to take 20 wickets and if it means Steve Smith gets 20 of them then I don’t mind that.”

Clarke did not spent a lot of time on the crease in the practice game which Australia lost by 153 runs, he spent 2 days on the field and washed out any doubts of him not being fit for the series.

“I would have liked a few more runs in the practice game to test that (hamstring) out but I guess the positive was the fact that I was able to field for two full days, have no pain so both Alex (Kountouris, the team physiotherapist) and I were really impressed with that,” said Clarke.

“I haven’t done too much batting in a game. My last hit apart from the practice game was in Zimbabwe (in August). So there’s been a bit of a gap between playing too much cricket. So I’ve been trying to get my work as much as I can in the nets. I’ve been working really hard since coming here on my preparation and I feel like I’m gradually getting there every day. Now I feel like I’m probably at a stage where it’s time to get into a game and spend some time in the middle.”

If Australia does beat Pakistan 2-0 in the Test series, it will push them to no.1 spot in the Test rankings but only a fraction ahead of South Africa. 

This is what Clarke had to say on this.

“I learnt my lesson from South Africa about that,” said Clarke. “And then we win and then we don’t play for six months and then South Africa plays again. I’m not going to go through that again. For us it’s about winning. It’s about being consistent with our performance at home and away from home. I want us to be the number one team in the world but to do that you need success no matter who you play against, it doesn’t matter what the conditions.”

    Archit Athani Writer

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