Why Australia needs a matchwinning spinner
It is another Pakistan versus Australia series in the UAE. Undoubtedly, it brings with it the promise of a marquee clash between two behemoths in world cricket.
But that will have to wait until the One Day International series and the Twenty20 matches. Until then, we will have to make do with watching a largely listless and boring series involving Pakistan, racking up runs on dead wickets and Australia falling to their usual spin conundrum.
I know what you must be thinking, Australia gave an amiable account of their skills, with Usman Khawaja proving his mettle in both innings. However, the larger story remains the same.
Australia cannot win this series barring a miracle.
It is not because they do not have enough batting or fielding strength, or that they are likely to struggle to apply themselves in Test matches.
It is the simple fact that since Shane Warne, they have not been able to find a single spinner that can match his class.
They have tried a number of bowlers, be it the inimitable Jason Krejza, who had a fantastic debut against India, or the consistent Nathon Lyon, Australia's current frontline spinner, but none of them have been able to bamboozle and outfox the opposition like Shane Warne or his contemporary Stuart MacGill.
The results are there for all to see. Australia has been hapless on Asian shores since 2008 and has yet to produce a string of consistent performances on turning tracks. They have high hopes for their current lineup but Yasir Shah and Bilal Asif will likely run through them in the next Test match. They just need to get Khawaja early and then they will be well and truly in business.
Austrailia's great escape notwithstanding, it will be a long time before the Baggy Greens will be favorites in a Test series in Asia.