VETERAN Mike Hussey was man of the match in Australia’s victory in the third and deciding one-day international against Pakistan, but the series has also featured the emergence of youngsters Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Starc.
Left-arm quick Mitchell Starc, 22, won the award for player of the series after taking 5-42 in game one and 4-51 in game three.
Fourth-gamer Glenn Maxwell, 23, showed his natural flair and stroke-playing ability on a slow-paced pitch with a tremendous knock of 56 not out from 38 deliveries to guide Australia to victory with 7-250 from 47 overs chasing Pakistan’s 7-244.
The 37-year-old Mike Hussey’s 65 was also crucial, sharing a 67-run stand with Maxwell after Australia had been struggling at 5-159.
David Hussey (43) and skipper Michael Clarke (32) also made good contributions with the bat.
Swing bowler Starc boasts an ODI record of 22 wickets at less than 21.00 from 11 matches, having also picked up four wickets in the game against Afghanistan in Sharjah on August 25.
“He’s been fighting hard for a spot in this Australian one-day team for a while now and he’s grabbed it with both hands,” Clarke said.
“It’s really exciting. The last four matches will do his confidence the world of good.”
Clarke said it was a special feeling to pull off a series win in energy-sapping humidity.
“The feeling around the group is a great feeling at the moment, especially after losing four-nil against England (in June),” a jubilant Australia captain Michael Clarke said.
Clarke said the conditions in Sharjah were challenging to say the least.
“I’ve never played in heat and humidity like this,” he said.
Mike Hussey should have been out lbw to spinner Saeed Ajmal for a duck, but the appeal was turned down and Pakistan decided against calling for a umpires’ referral which is likely to have gone in their favour.
Clarke said he was grateful to still have Mike Hussey in his side.
“You’ve seen Maxwell, young, hasn’t played too much cricket, not too much fear, go out and play his natural game,” Clarke said.
“But without the experience and knowledge of both the Hussey brothers but especially Michael … It’s always a pleasure having him in the team and he continues to perform consistently.”
Clarke is heading home for about five days of rest before joining the NSW Sheffield Shield squad, while the George Bailey-led Australia’s three-match Twenty20 series against Pakistan starts on Wednesday night in Dubai. – AAP