Australia headed over to the UAE full of confidence and – in my view – expecting to just turn up and beat Pakistan. They were also odds on favourites with the bookies.
I’ve seen this sort of thing before. The same thing happened to England a few years ago and they got hammered 3-0 in UAE, but in fairness to England, they were bamboozled by Saeed Ajmal. With Ajmal banned for the Australia series, surely the one obstacle blocking an Australia victory was gone?
How wrong could they have been as Pakistan dominated from Day 1 of the 1st Test, and would have won 4 tests had they played them. Such was Pakistan’s dominance, they didn’t just beat the Aussies, they battered them and they ended up with their biggest ever Test match victory.
It’s the pitches that trouble the likes of Australia, England and South Africa. Our batsmen seem utterly clueless how to bat on them. When Pakistan batted like watching paint dry on Day 1 of the 1st Test, it was obvious what they were doing, and I wrote on here that it will be interesting to see how Warner and company do when it’s Australia’s turn to bat on them.
In fairness to Warner, he was brilliant. I though he wouldn’t have the patience or temperament to bat in the UAE, but he proved me wrong (yet again). I think it is now fair to say that Warner is one of the best Test batsman in the world, he can no longer just be considered a one day slogger.
The same can’t be said of the rest of Australia’s batmen though, as they looked as clueless as they previously did in India a couple of years ago.
No doubt Australia will hammer India in the up coming series on pacey, bouncy pitches, and paper over the cracks of their weakness (like England always do with seaming English wickets).
The truth is that Australia aren’t that great a side. Like England, they are good in conditions that suit them, and when Mitchell Johnson performs like he has been, it can make them look better than they are – just like Graeme Swann did for England for years.
Australia’s players have headed home now for the India Test series, and the big bash will also soon be upon them. First up is a T20 series and ODI series against South Africa (who are looking a very strong limited overs side at the moment), before the 4 Tests against India.
Looking at how India performed against England, and another Australia whitewash wouldn’t surprise me. 4-0 Australia is currently a best price of 5/1 with Paddy Power.