Mike Hussey has hit back at the Pakistan camp’s suggestion that the Australians aren’t as ready for the heat and humidity of a one-day international game in Sharjah as they might think.
Pakistan coach Dav Whatmore says while Michael Clarke’s side may feel their Indian Premier League experience will help them in the three-match ODI series starting on Tuesday, they will soon realise that the challenge is a much greater one in 50-over cricket.
“It’s okay to say that they have had some experience in these conditions,” Whatmore said.
“A lot of the (Australian) boys have played in India, in the IPL. They’ve experienced the heat.
“(But) 50-over matches is a little bit different to 20-over games. It’ll be a test, there’s no question about the heat.”
But Hussey, who scored a fine 49 from 37 balls in Sunday’s ODI win over Afghanistan in Sharjah, says the Australians are fit and focused after their pre-series training camp in Darwin.
“I’ve played in Chennai, even in just Twenty20 games, and that’s a lot hotter than playing out here,” Hussey said on Monday.
“In Chennai the temperature might be only mid-30s but the humidity is unbelievable. That’s probably the most oppressive conditions I’ve ever had to play in.
“Having said that, it’s still extremely tough (in Sharjah). I only batted for 15 overs the other day and I was pretty knackered by the end of it.”
Asked if Australia were as prepared as they could be for the Pakistan series, Hussey added: “It remains to be seen, I guess.
“We’ve won in places like India before,” he said.
“The last time we came here we beat Pakistan in a one-day series as well.
“These conditions are very oppressive. But … the guys are in pretty good shape.
“We’re very determined. The guys have got a real sting in the tail after losing in England and we want to put in a very good performance.
“I don’t think we’ll be letting the heat be an excuse for any poor performance.”
Australia go into the series with some confidence after last weekend’s 66-run win over Afghanistan.
Clarke says his side, who’ve dropped dramatically from first to fourth following last month’s 4-0 series loss to England, can quickly improve their ranking with a good result against Pakistan.
“Probably the most important thing for us is when bowling second, realise how much you’re sweating,” Clarke said.
“So we’ll combat that with guys wearing sweatbands, make sure there’s towels.”
Mitchell Starc, who took 4-47 against Afghanistan, says the humidity meant the quicks found the ball hard to control.
Pakistan will rely on spinners Mohammad Hafeez, Saeed Ajmal and Shahid Afridi.
“The Pakistan attack, I wouldn’t say it revolves around spin but it’s a fairly decent component of our attack,” Whatmore said.