| GEO Sports|
| Younis says won't underestimate weakened Australia|
| Updated at: 0212 PST, Tuesday, April 21, 2009|
DUBAI: Pakistan captain Younis Khan has urged his team not to be complacent because Australia is missing three of its better players for a one-day international series.
Australia captain Ricky Ponting, batsman Mike Hussey and allrounder Mitchell Johnson are all being rested from the five ODI matches and single Twenty20 game from Wednesday in the United Arab Emirates due to security concerns in Pakistan.
The three players are being rested ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup and Ashes series in England later this year.
"Their absence is not going to change the attitude of other (Australian) players, who will be eager to make their mark," Younis said Monday after a practice session in Dubai's new cricket stadium. "They are the only team in the world where players come in and go out and it makes very little difference. Despite losing a few matches recently, they are still a top side."
"This is a very big series for us for several reasons," said Younis, who recently took over as captain from Shoaib Malik. "If we win, then people will have to take notice because it is Australia. If we play to our potential and win a few matches, then I really think we can start getting out of this phase and move on."
Pakistan has a better record in the UAE than at home. Of 116 ODIs the team has played in Sharjah or Abu Dhabi, it's won 80, lost 30 with one tie for a 69 per cent winning rate. Comparatively, it's won 108 out of 176 home games, a winning record of 63 per cent.
Pakistan, which has flown in its own curator to prepare the pitches, was boosted by fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar passing a fitness test after recovering from a knee injury.
"My knee has reacted well and I am feeling strong," Akhtar said.