Bailey braced for spin test
Captain George Bailey expects a trial by spin in Australia's first game of the World Twenty20 against Pakistan in Dhaka on Sunday.
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Pakistan have three spinners inside the world's top-10 ranked Twenty20 bowlers - Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi and Mohammad Hafeez. By contrast Australia's top-ranked slow bowler is 43-year-old Brad Hogg way down at 65.
With such an apparent advantage, Bailey admits combating Pakistan's spinners is set to be the key to the contest on a Sher-e-Bangla pitch that has already shown it will favour turn.
"Spin plays a huge role in T20 cricket, wherever it's played in the world," Bailey said at a press conference.
"It tends to go one of two ways but certainly in these conditions, it tends to be match-winning.
"They are a very, very strong spinning side and the conditions can be challenging for us over here but we have certainly got a strong batting line-up at the moment that hopefully can overcome them.
"If we are going to win the game, we have to play really well against the spinners."
Australia's top-three is the envy of any side in the world.
Aaron Finch is the ICC's top-ranked batsman while the in-form David Warner (eight) and Shane Watson (nine) loom as match winners.
With spin options of their own - Hogg is supplemented by all-rounder Glenn Maxwell and young leg-spinner James Muirhead - Bailey believes this Australia team is better than the side that reached the semi-finals two years ago.
"We have got more versatility just in terms of what we can do with the ball probably," he said.
"And we are a little bit more powerful with the bat, we bat a little deeper."
Pakistan lost their opener against arch-rival India by seven wickets on Friday and can hardly afford another defeat if they are to reach the semi-finals.
"We will make every effort to win," coach Moin Khan said.
"Whenever a team loses its first match, its chances come down. We'll have to work hard to come back. This match is very important to us if we have to stay in the tournament."
Moin hinted that his side would try and target any Australia weakness against spin, although he is wary of a side that has been in white-hot form in all formats over the past six months.
"They can be susceptible to spin, but they've been playing very good cricket for a very long time," he said.
"I still believe in my players. We're capable of getting them."
Australia will be without all-rounder James Faulkner, although it is hoped he will return from a knee injury suffered in January later in the tournament.