Tag Archives: Michael Clarke
Ajmal has troubled the Aussies on the spin-friendly wickets in the United Arab Emirates and could lead Pakistan to a series victory in Sharjah on Monday.
The off-spinner claimed 4-32 as Pakistan levelled the series with a seven-wicket win in Abu Dhabi.
Ajmal has been a constant threat against Michael Clarke‘s men, taking seven wickets at a stunning average of 8.85 and an economy rate of 3.10 runs per over.
Pakistan legend Wasim Akram believes the Australians have been unable to pick Ajmal’s doosra and veteran Michael Hussey said the 34-year-old had been the key in the series so far.
“The more you face him, the more you can read him,” Hussey said.
“We’ve got to try to play him better because he’s certainly the one who’s been the difference so far in the two teams.”
The Hussey brothers – Michael and David – have been dismissed by Ajmal in both matches, while Glenn Maxwell has also fallen to the spinner twice.
Clarke has continued to be Australia’s most impressive batsman, scoring 103 runs in the series with a top score of 66 in the opening game.
But the captain remains without a century in his past seven ODI innings despite passing 50 on three occasions.
David Warner averages 35.6 in ODIs this year but has scored just 29 runs in the opening two matches, while opening partner Matthew Wade has managed just 17 this series.
Wade remains without a ton in his 23 innings at ODI level and has three single digit scores in his past six, leaving plenty of room for improvement.
Pakistan have also had their issues with the bat but had Nasir Jamshed (97 in game two) stand up when they needed him to in Abu Dhabi.
Australia have enjoyed strong displays from pace duo Mitchell Starc (five wickets at 17) and James Pattinson (four at 16.25), but Starc is under an injury cloud after complaining of a side/chest injury during the second ODI.
While Clarke’s bowlers have done a solid job, the batsmen must improve and being able to deal with Ajmal would go a long way towards sealing a series win.