In-form allrounder Glenn Maxwell says the ICC’s crackdown on suspect bowling actions has proved to be a bonus for Australia.
Skipper George Bailey’s side clinched a one-day series win over Pakistan in Dubai on Friday, beating the host team by five wickets to take a two-nil lead in the three-match series.
The final game will be played on Sunday in Abu Dhabi and a three-nil sweep could push Australia back to the top ranking, depending on the result of India’s series against West Indies.
Pace spearhead Mitchell Johnson claimed 3-40, his second consecutive three-wicket haul on a spin-friendly pitch, in Pakistan’s total of 215.
The home side had been 0-126 after 25 overs before Ahmed Shahzad (61) and Sarfraz Ahmed (65) departed in successive overs to trigger a collapse of 10-89.
In reply Australia battled to reach 3-72 before Bailey (28 off 68 balls) and Maxwell (76 off 81) added 85 to set up a five-wicket win in the 44th over when Australia reached 5-217.
Pakistan lost the opening one-dayer in Sharjah by 93 runs and are facing the threat of a clean sweep by Australia who are enjoying not having to face star offspinner Saeed Ajmal because of a chucking ban.
“What we’re seeing now is they’re having a crackdown on suspect actions which is probably playing into our hands a lot more,” Maxwell said after his man-of-the-match performance.
“We play a lot of conventional spinners in Australia. We’re able to dominate them.
“Now we’re seeing the unconventional spinners basically being eradicated from the game it’s going to play into our hands a little bit more as well.”
Maxwell’s a candidate for the allrounder’s role in the Test side in Dubai on October 22. His 3-13 in the Twenty20 clash in Dubai on October 5 plus 2-29 in Tuesday’s first one-dayer haven’t hurt his chances of selection.
“That’s one of the main things I’ve probably been criticised for; not doing the job with the ball most,” said Maxwell, 25.
“With the bat, I was always confident coming over here having made runs in the IPL and previous series.”
Maxwell said the slow turn of pitches in the UAE suited his game.
Dropped at slip on two, the Victoria strokeplayer hammered nine fours and one six.
“I hit a couple of clean reverse-sweeps to change the field to make it a bit more comfortable where I could get easier singles,” Maxwell said.
Pakistan captain Misbal-ul-Haq was critical of his side for not pushing on to a total of around 250.
“It’s really worrying signs,” he said.
“The batting has let us down and we need to put things right before the 2015 World Cup. If we don’t then it’s trouble.”