Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Australia ODI captain George Bailey has announced that teams constantly prepare spin-friendly pitches when playing against his side since they constantly think that the Baggy Greens are “vulnerable against spin”.
Bailey’s comments come after there was a tremendous amount of assistance for spinners during the one-off Twenty20 International against Pakistan in Dubai, which Australia won by six wickets.
“I still think teams are doctoring their wickets when we come and play them to produce very large spinning wickets, which says to me that teams still think that we’re vulnerable against spin,” Bailey said. “Teams can certainly be prone to put more spin into their wickets when they know we are coming given the way we have played it over the years so that is something we are continually trying to get better at.
“I think that is an ongoing challenge for us. I guess (we need) exposure to spinning wickets and a lot of spinners. I still think we have got a long way to go. The challenge for us is to become so good at spin that that is no longer required. Teams are then producing the best cricket wickets they can.”
Bailey also noted that the national team will be looking to keep Pakistan on the back foot during the ODI series.
“I thought what the T20 side did really well was they started well,” he said. “They grabbed the momentum early and put Pakistan on the back foot and we will certainly be looking to replicate that.”
Bailey also stated that Pakistan will sorely miss spinner Saeed Ajmal, who was banned from bowling by the International Cricket Council (ICC) after he was found to have an illegal bowling action.
However, Bailey added that this wasn’t a problem for Australian spinners since “Cricket Australia took a strong stance a number of years ago to not coach players into having actions that could be deemed illegal”.
“It will provide opportunities for some other spinners in the Pakistani line-up,” he said. “Pakistan will definitely be trying to prove that they do not rely too much on Ajmal. From an opposition perspective, it will pose different challenges but if you look at his record over a number of years there is no doubt he has been very, very important for Pakistan.
“It hasn’t had any effect on ours because Cricket Australia took a strong stance a number of years ago to not coach players into having actions that could be deemed illegal which I think retrospectively has worked out quite well. It was a hard decision to make because there were some bowlers who were having a big influence around the world but it has worked out quite well.”
Since many Australian players have not faced Pakistan left-arm pace bowler Mohammad Irfan in the past, Bailey revealed that he has been talking to his team-mates who did face him in the one-off Twenty20 International.
“Just chatting to the guys this morning who faced him last night, it is different,” Bailey said. “And anytime you come up against something that is different – and obviously he is quality, he is playing international cricket – it takes a little bit of time to adjust and get used to. We have to find a way to deal with the bounce and the different things that he poses when he bowls but hopefully we’ll get used to that pretty quickly.”