Doesn’t look like we have learnt our spin lesson: Michael Clarke

Misbah rates the 2-0 series win as his country's "best ever" considering they were without 3 key bowlers.

By: Agence France Presse | Published: November 3, 2014 8:32 pm
chris-rogers-dismissal-ap-L Pakistan inflicted a 356-run defeat over Australia in the second Test in Abu Dhabi — their third heaviest loss in all matches — to take the two-match series 2-0. (Source: AP)

Disappointed Australian captain Michael Clarke admitted his team had not learned their lesson against spin after crashing to their sixth straight loss on the subcontinent against Pakistan on Monday.

Pakistan inflicted a 356-run defeat over Australia in the second Test in Abu Dhabi — their third heaviest loss in all matches — to take the two-match series 2-0.

It was Pakistan’s first series win over Australia since beating them 1-0 at home in 1994.

Australia have now lost 10 Tests out of their last 15 in Asia since 2008, winning just one against Sri Lanka and drawing the remaining four.

Clarke said he had hoped lessons would have been learnt after their 4-0 rout in India early last year.

“We have got to talk about what’s just happened,” said Clarke after the defeat in Abu Dhabi.

“We were hopeful that we learnt some lessons from our trip to India but it doesn’t look that way. Your goal has to be to try and become better.”

Australia, chasing a tall 603-run target, were bowled out for 246 soon after lunch on the fifth and final day.

Left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar took 5-120 while leg-spinner finished with 3-44.

Babar finished with 14, Shah took 12 while Mohammad Hafeez got four which meant spinners accumulated 30 of the 40 wickets to fall.

Clarke admitted his players need a big improvement against spinners.

“We need to try and look to improve the next time we play in the subcontinent. There’s no doubt the players will be happy to go home and play in conditions we are accustomed to,” said Clarke, whose team now plays South Africa and India next at home.

Clarke said he was angry with himself for not scoring runs.

“I am probably most angry with myself,” said Clarke who managed just 57 in four innings with a best of 47.

“I am most disappointed with my personal performance to be honest. I have always prided myself on leading by example and in the series that we have lost since I have been captain I have been able at least to stand up and lead from the front where in this series I haven’t done that.

“I don’t have any excuse or reason for it. I feel like I have been working as hard as I can be on my game.

“That’s what burns me at the most at this time. There’s no doubt I am disappointed we lost the series 2-0 but when you are captain you take things personally and when you don’t perform that makes it even harder.”

MISBAH HAILS VICTORY AS ‘BEST EVER’ 

Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul Haq rates the 2-0 series win over Australia as his country’s “best ever” considering his team were without three key bowlers.

Ace spinner Saeed Ajmal and frontline pacemen Junaid Khan and Wahab Riaz were all missing as Pakistan inflicted a 356-run defeat on Australia — their biggest win in Test cricket — in Abu Dhabi.

That gave Pakistan their first series win over Australia in 20 years, prompting Misbah to rate the win the “best ever”, slightly ahead of Pakistan’s 3-0 rout of then world number one England, also in United Arab Emirates in 2012.

“It’s really tough to rank both series, but considering the fact that we had far better bowling combination for England and this time despite having an inexperienced bowling line up nobody could have thought we can turned around and beat Australia so this you can understand is a big
achievement,” said Misbah.

Ajmal was suspnded due to an illegal bowling action while Riaz and Junaid were injured.

Spinners Zulfiqar Babar, who had played two Tests before the series, and leg-spinner Yasir Shah, who made debut in the first Test, shared 26 wickets between them.

The win also put Misbah equal with Pakistan’s most successful Test captains — Imran Khan and Javed Miandad — with 14 wins.

Misbah credited the turnaround, after losing the preceding one-day series against Australia 3-0, to team effort.

“I think we got the belief (to win) that’s why we delivered and everyone performed. The way we played as a batting unit you could say there was belief and this could be the reason we performed the way we did,” said Misbah, declared man-of-the-match for his fiery 56-ball hundred which followed his 101 in the first innings.

Misbah equalled the record for the fastest Test century held by West Indian Vivian Richards and set a new record for the fastest half-century off just 21 balls.

Younis Khan was declared man-of-the-series for his 468 runs, which included a century in each innings in the first Test, which Pakistan won by 221 runs in Dubai, and 213 in the second match.

Misbah said it had looked a difficult proposition without their frontline bowlers.

“Obviously it looked difficult without Ajmal, (Abdur) Rehman, Riaz and Junaid but everybody performed well and it was remarkable.”

The win over Australia also lifted Pakistan to third in Test rankings from sixth before the series, an improvement Misbah cherished

“It’s really good to be up there in ranking and that could really give you great confidence and I think good thing about that we are going to play another series against New Zealand .. if we can really continue playing like this will further help us in our campaign in the World Cup,” said Misbah.

Pakistan next play New Zealand in a three-match series, with the first Test starting in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

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