Oz 'ready' for trial by spin
Dubai - Australia are ready for a trial by spin during their tour of the United Arab Emirates, opening batsman David Warner said on Thursday.
Warner's reputation, forged initially in Twenty20 cricket, is for blitzkrieg batting at the top of the order and he has a strike-rate in excess of 140 runs per 100 balls in that form of the game.
But in the UAE, in limited-over games against Afghanistan and Pakistan and on pitches expected to help spin bowling, the left-hander expects a completely different challenge.
"Everyone says we struggle against spin and we know they (Afghanistan and Pakistan) are going to have a lot of spin bowling," Warner told reporters.
"In Darwin on pre-tour training we had a fantastic set-up with (batting coach) Justin Langer who arranged for wickets to be turning and challenging and our batters took a lot out of that.
"The boys challenged themselves and we got through it pretty well and now we're looking forward to that challenge."
Australia will play seven matches in the UAE with a one-dayer against Afghanistan in Sharjah on Saturday followed by three ODIs and three Twenty20s against Pakistan.
Pakistan's commitment to test Australia with spin is highlighted by their selection of five slow bowlers in a 15-man squad - Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal, Shoaib Malik, Mohammed Hafeez and Abdur Rehman.
"I'm coming up against these bowlers and I haven't really faced them (much) before," said Warner. "I haven't faced them in turning conditions and I'm looking forward to it.
"The challenge for me is to keep rotating the strike. I can't just go 'three dot balls and I've got to hit a boundary'.
"If I do get bogged down for three balls I can't just try to hit it out of the park and get a soft dismissal. That would put us in a tough situation and it says I'm not playing for the team," added Warner.
Afghanistan will be playing only their second ODI against one of cricket's established sides after facing Pakistan in February, a match they lost by seven wickets.
"It gives them a chance to see where they are against the rest of the world," said Warner. "We've maybe slipped down the rankings but it gives them the perfect opportunity if they can knock us over to say 'we can beat anyone in the world'.
"We are not going to take them lightly. We know what they are capable of over here."