ABU DHABI // Australia fast bowler Mitchell Johnson wants to complete a clean sweep over Pakistan on Sunday at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium to recapture the world's top ranking and provide a lift ahead of the 2015 World Cup.
Australia won the first one-day international in Sharjah by 93 runs on Tuesday and then clinched the series 2-0 by winning the second match in Dubai on Friday by five wickets.
Steve Smith hit his first ODI hundred in Sharjah and Glenn Maxwell made a fighting 76 in Dubai to anchor Australia’s batting.
Johnson took three wickets in each game for a combined total of 64 runs to catch Pakistan napping in spin-friendly conditions.
Australia can regain the world No 1 ranking if they win the final game, overtaking South Africa, who had briefly displaced India.
“We want to win 3-0 and that is our goal now,” Johnson said. “We have won the series and we want to keep going, keep playing good cricket, because we’ve got the World Cup coming next year and so we have to stay at our best.”
The 32-year-old left-armer has shown he has recovered from a rib injury sustained on the tour of Zimbabwe in August.
He said he is injury free and gaining confidence.
“I am there to be the aggressor and still try to bowl and hit the wicket hard, and bowl those bouncers as well,” he said.
Australia have claimed four consecutive one-day series wins over Pakistan, winning 3-2 in the UAE in 2009, 5-0 in Australia a year later and 2-1 in the UAE in 2012.
Pakistan’s last series win over Australia was in 2002 and they have plenty of incentive to try to hit back in this dead rubber.
“It will be very important to win the last game and it will give us confidence before the Test matches,” said under-fire Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq of the two Test matches that follow the one-dayers.
“But our batsmen need to show more responsibility. We have to improve our batting before next year’s World Cup, otherwise it will mean trouble.”
Pakistan will be without paceman Wahab Riaz who injured a knee in the second game. His place will go to another left-arm paceman, Sohail Tanvir, a replacement for injured fast bowler Junaid Khan.
“Riaz is out of the third match because of a knee injury,” team manager Moin Khan said. “He had an MRI. The report will be available on Sunday, after which we will decide about his selection in the Test squad.”
Pakistan also lost all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez for the Twenty20 and ODIs while they are without key off-spinner Saeed Ajmal, who is suspended because of an illegal bowling action.
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