03 September, 2014 / Ziqa'ad 7, 1435

Facing Ajmal, Afridi will be big challenge: Warner

Published Aug 23, 2012 03:02pm

“It is disappointing we cannot play in Pakistan but we are two teams who like facing each other. I am looking forward for the challenge which can be great.” -File photo

DUBAI: Dashing Australian opener David Warner on Thursday said he and fellow batsmen were ready for Pakistan's spin challenge in their limited over series starting next week.

The 25-year-old left-hander, who has made an impact with his aggressive strokeplay at international level, is bracing for Pakistan's successful spin trio led by Saeed Ajmal and backed up by Shahid Afridi and Mohammad Hafeez.

Australia first face Afghanistan in a tune-up one-day in Sharjah on Saturday before taking on Pakistan in three one-day and as many Twenty20 internationals on dry and spin-friendly pitches in the United Arab Emirates.

But Warner said Australians have prepared well.

“We had a great camp in Darwin,” Warner told reporters.

“Some wickets there were turning. I think the boys definitely challenged themselves in that area and they got through pretty well.”

In January this year Pakistan routed the then world's best Test team England 3-0 here, with Ajmal and left-arm spinner Abdul Rehman sharing 43 wickets between them but England hit back by taking the one-day series 4-1 and T20s 2-1.

Warner said facing Ajmal and Afridi will be a big challenge.

“I haven't faced them before in turning conditions. I have faced both in a Twenty20 game in England where the ball wasn't turning much. I have faced Afridi in Australia but not in turning conditions as yet so I am really looking forward to it.

“We knew that in this series we are going to face a lot of spin bowling. We are looking forward for the challenge and now we see that as a bonus,” said Warner of the series in which the first one-day will be in Sharjah on August 28.

The second match is scheduled for Abu Dhabi (August 31) and the third in Sharjah (September 3).

That will be followed by three Twenty20 matches in Dubai on September 5, 7 and 10.

Warner hoped the series will provide good preparation for the World Twenty20 to be held in Sri Lanka in September-October.

“It is disappointing we cannot play in Pakistan but we are two teams who like facing each other. I am looking forward for the challenge which can be great,” said Warner, who promised no let-ups against minnows Afghanistan.

“We are playing for Australia which always takes teams seriously. Anytime we walk out there with the Australian cap on it is a thrill. We will treat it as another game for Australia.”

Warner warned Afghanistan can be a surprise package.

“We know what Afghanistan is capable of over here. Everyone says that some of us struggle against spin bowling and we know that they might have some good spin bowlers as well.

“We haven't got to see much of their footage. We are expecting a team that is jumping out of the skin to play against Australia. They are a type of a team that can bring anything into the table and we are looking forward to that challenge.”


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