Clarke wary of Pakistan threat
Australia captain Michael Clarke is not underestimating Pakistan ahead of their World Twenty20 clash on Sunday.
Last Updated: 01/05/10 6:57pm
Australia captain Michael Clarke is not under-estimating Pakistan as the sides prepare to do battle in the ICC World Twenty20 on Sunday.
Defending champions Pakistan go into the tournament on the back of a disastrous recent tour of Australia which saw them fail to win in three Tests, five one-day internationals and one Twenty20 international.
In the wake of the tour, former captains Mohammad Yousuf and Younus Khan received indefinite bans for infighting.
And in another blow, the Pakistan squad will also be missing Umar Gul, the most successful bowler in Twenty20 internationals with 43 wickets in 26 matches, after the paceman suffered a shoulder injury at a training camp in Lahore earlier this month.
But despite these problems, Clarke believes Pakistan will prove formidable opponents when the sides meet on Sunday.
The Australia skipper said: "I think Pakistan are very strong in this form of our game. We will have to be at our best.
"They are the world champs, so they'll be flying high on confidence.
"They like the slower pitches that spin a bit. I would imagine they always like beating Australia like every country seems to do.
"For us, it's about making sure we get a lot of information on how their bowlers bowl, their batters bat."
Clarke's men have also not had the ideal preparation for the tournament, losing a warm-up match by one run to outsiders Zimbabwe this week.
But Clarke insists the defeat could yet work in his side's favour, saying: "We got a lot out of that game. And like I say, we played the game so everyone could get an opportunity so we could get a better idea of what our first XI is going to be.
"I'm confident we've got the talent and potential. We just have to execute our skills to the best of our ability. In this form of the game, you can't afford one bad over with either the bat or the ball.
"The result against Zimbabwe is another kick up the backside to show that in this form of the game we're all the same. We're all equal."
Australia fell at the first hurdle in last year's World Twenty20 in England, which Pakistan won, after defeats to the West Indies and Sri Lanka.
Now Clarke is desperate to avoid a 'decider' for second round qualification against Bangladesh.
"I don't think we want to leave it to the second game. We want to win every game in this tournament. The last thing we can afford is to lose games and hope for results from other teams.
"All I've asked from the boys since we've arrived is to get our preparation as right as possible. Bring on Sunday."