Australia brace for spin challenge as they make adjustments to their plans following India vs Pakistan fixture
“We obviously had the opportunity to play over here last year in a similar time, and we had three one-dayers at the Bay Oval here [against New Zealand] and played on the same wicket all three times,” Mooney said on match eve in Mount Maunganui. “And when we got to the third game, it had slowed up quite a lot. So using that intel that we had from last year when we played will become really handy for us as a batting unit and a bowling unit.
“So we expect that Pakistan’s bowlers… their spinners especially bowl quite differently to ours in terms of pace through the air. So we had a session today, specifically on that as a top six, and hopefully we can use that to our advantage tomorrow.”
“We watched a little bit of the game yesterday just to see what they were doing in terms of the bowlers. Our bowling unit watched a little bit of their batting as well,” said Mooney. “So I think it’s almost a blessing in disguise at times when we come up against an unknown opponent of sorts and obviously we played them a few years ago now. So that’s very different about that group.
“I thought they were outstanding with the ball yesterday and outstanding with the bat against India. So, yeah, it’s a different kind of challenge. But I think what we probably have focused on a little bit more in the last few months is worrying about what we can control and how we want to go about our game. So hopefully we can do that again tomorrow and adjust where we have to and adapt where we can.”
“Something that we pride ourselves on as a batting group is making sure we’re always moving the game forward and accessing different areas of the ground obviously to get the fields that we want. So just seeing a little bit of that in the game yesterday will be really important for us heading into tomorrow.”
Mooney felt that despite the Pakistani spinners’ impressive performance against India, Australia would be able to replicate their batting dominance at Bay Oval, where the match will be played on the same strip that was used for the West Indies vs New Zealand and the India vs Pakistan games.
“Something that we pride ourselves on as a batting group is making sure we’re always moving the game forward and accessing different areas of the ground obviously to get the fields that we want,” Mooney said. “So just seeing a little bit of that in the game yesterday will be really important for us heading into tomorrow.”
Annesha Ghosh is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @ghosh_annesha