Younis notices Australian weaknesses

Coach Waqar Younis has commended Pakistan for exposing shortfalls within the Australian squad, ahead of the first Test at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, which will get underway on Wednesday.

The Australians were largely outdone by Pakistan A in last week’s tour match at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, slumping to a 153-run defeat in the wake of batsman Haris Sohail, Babar Azam and Asad Shafiq’s fine centuries.

“I would say that because we have seen some weaknesses in Australia and I am pretty happy with it. At the same time I wouldn’t say it, the practice game, will be a big deal, but before the Test you want to win,” said Younis.

“They are a fine team, very professional side and do their things well but yeah, we have definitely seen some weaknesses and we are working on it and hopefully we will deliver the goods.”

Pakistan will be without the services of fast bowler Junaid Khan and spinner Saeed Ajmal. Khan has been sidelined by injury, while Ajmal has been banned from bowling in international cricket due to an illegitimate arm action.

“Bowlers like Junaid had done well in UAE, Ajmal has been a match-winner and their exit is a setback but that doesn’t mean that we sit and give up. Zulfiqar Babar is bowling well and Yasir Shah has improved. The bowling attack is good, it may be inexperienced but it’s good,” added Younis.

Waqar remained wary of fast bowler Mitchell Johnson, who has been the spearhead of the pace attack for a substantial period – and was arguably the most formidable of the visiting bowlers in Sharjah.

“There is no doubt that he is the X-factor, he is the most improved bowler in the last few years. Initially in his career he had not been that big a threat but in the last two or three years he has definitely changed his mode, become lot better, he is more attacking and we know that they are going to use him in short spells and look for wickets from him. We are going to tackle him smartly,” concluded Younis.