Pakistan aim to break ODI drought v Aust

Ten long years have passed since Pakistan beat Australia in a one-day series and it’s a fact that hasn’t escaped the attention of captain Misbah-ul Haq.

As Pakistan prepare to host Michael Clarke’s side for a three-match series starting in Sharjah on Tuesday (2400 AEST), Misbah is determined to lift the sixth-ranked Pakistan to a rare victory over the team that once dominated ODI cricket, winning the 1999, 2003 and 2007 World Cups.

Australia have dropped from first to fourth in the one-day rankings after last month’s embarrassing 4-0 series loss in England, but Clarke is confident his men can quickly climb back up the rankings.

Misbah, for his part, is banking on some reverse swing in the humid conditions of the United Arab Emirates, as well as his team’s strong spin attack, to blast through Australia’s batting line-up.

“Of course, whenever there is such a thing, it charges the team in an extra way. It needs an extra effort to combine and beat an opponent who we have not beaten for some time,” Misbah told reporters on Monday.

“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.”

Pakistan boast a strong spin attack led by Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal and Mohammad Hafeez.

“I don’t think we will only rely on spinners,” Misbah said.

“We have to bat well and fast bowlers are very important for us because the ball reverse swings in Sharjah.”

Australia’s quicks claimed nine wickets in their 66-run win over Afghanistan in Sharjah last weekend, proving Misbah’s point about the importance of the pace bowlers.

Pakistan have lost their past two ODI series to Sri Lanka and England.

“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,” Misbah said, adding his side would not be daunted by the heatwave conditions.

“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.”

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