Pakistan's Sarfraz Ahmed says Australia appeared mentally weak in UAE

Australia's Test and T20 performances characterised by batting collapses, cheap dismissals and woeful running between the wickets

Pakistan's cricketers celebrate at the end of the third T20 cricket match between Pakistan and Australia at The International Cricket Stadium in Dubai on October 28, 2018.  / AFP / GIUSEPPE CACACE
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Sarfraz Ahmed, the Pakistan captain, said Australia appeared “mentally weak” during their series defeat in the UAE.

Pakistan completed a 3-0 clean-sweep over the Australians in the Twenty20 series when they won by 33 runs at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday night. That followed on from a Test series that Pakistan dominated.

Both series were characterised by batting collapses, cheap dismissals, and even woeful running between the wickets by the defeated tourists.

“It looks like they are mentally weak at the moment,” Sarfraz said of Australia. “The way we put them under pressure, they collapsed.”

Both teams had arrived here ahead of the Test series in September with points to prove.

Pakistan had been abject in the Asia Cup which preceded the series, while Australia are still dealing with the effects of the ball-tampering controversy in March, for which former captain Steve Smith and David Warner are serving year-long suspensions.


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While Pakistan thrived in adversity, the Australians faltered, in what their T20 captain Aaron Finch termed a “horrible” series.

“Sometimes it happens, and every team has gone through times like this,” Sarfraz said.

“Australia are without their captain [Smith], David Warner is not there, and the team are under pressure.

“In the Asia Cup, our performance was not good, we were not doing well at fielding, bowling, everything.

“After that we said to the players, Asia Cup is gone. This is a new series, don’t worry about that, just do your best for the team. The boys have really responded well.”

Finch had been handed the boost of being told he will be Australia’s one-day international captain for the coming series against South Africa last week.

However, he was in little mood to celebrate, as his personal form with the bat mirrored that of the under-performing T20 side.

Finch managed just five runs in four T20 matches against Pakistan and UAE,  and acknowledged his side had started to think negatively when under pressure.

“In all three games we had opportunities,” Finch said. “Chasing around 150, on decent wickets that played pretty well, there is no reason we shouldn’t have got the runs.

“A lack of partnerships throughout the series really cost us. We lost 28 wickets in three games. In T20 cricket that is not going to win you many games at all.

“It is tough to win games if you don’t have those partnerships. It was a lack of basics, especially with a few new guys, playing subcontinent conditions for the first time, against a Pakistan side that comes at you with a lot of spin, it starts to play with your mind a little bit.

“Once you start to think negatively in T20, and doubt yourself and your tactics, and question your ability, that is when you can become undone.”


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