Sharjah: Lanky Australian paceman Mitchell Starc said on Sunday he believes fast bowlers will play a big role on the dry pitches in the limited-overs series against Pakistan starting this week.
The fast-rising left-armer grabbed 4 for 47 and was ably assisted by new-ball partner James Pattinson (3 for 46) and Mitchell Johnson (2 for 34) to help Australia beat a brave Afghanistan by 66 runs on Saturday.
With hype over the spin-friendly pitches in the limited-overs series against Pakistan starting on Tuesday, Starc believed fast bowlers will not be ineffective. "We prepared for wickets that were going to spin a lot," Starc said of the Afghanistan match, the first ever between the two sides. "The quicks took nine of our wickets, so the fast bowlers are going to play a massive part as well as the spinners in these conditions."
Pakistan will rely more on their spin trio of Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad Hafeez and Shahid Afridi, a fact Starc believed makes them a dangerous side.
"Pakistan are a dangerous side, so I think we are going to have to sit down and work out a plan. We have to be at our best to beat them," said Starc, who was declared Man-of-the-Match against Afghanistan.
Starc, 22, praised Australian batting led admirably by skipper Clarke (75) and Matthew Wade who also made a resolute 75 in a total of 272 for 8. "We spoke about our batting. There was a lot of talk from that England series and in the last couple of weeks," said Starc of Australia's unimpressive batting in team's 4-0 loss last month. "So we wanted to come out and stop talking and put actions on the board. We did that and our batters batted quite well in the heat," said Starc, who hoped Australian players will adjust to the humidity quickly.
"We thought it would be a drier heat but both balls towards the end [of the Afghanistan innings] were hard to hold onto. It's something we'll have to look at in training before we start the Pakistan series," said Starc.
To avoid the oppressive heat in the day, all one-day matches here will start at 6 p.m. in the evening and finish at 1:45 a.m. the other day - an unusual timing for the two teams.
"Finishing a game at around 1:30 a.m. is something we've now experienced [after the Afghanistan match] and there are quite a few tired bodies in the dressing room now," said Starc.
The second match will be played in Abu Dhabi (August 31) and the third in Sharjah (September 3). All three Twenty20 internationals will be played in Dubai on September 5, 7 and 10.