ADELAIDE - Pakistan and Australia go into Friday's World Cup quarter-final burdened by a history of tension, setting the stage for an explosive contest at the Adelaide Oval. Pakistan's head coach Waqar Younis admits previous matches between the two teams have been hard-fought and he expected another tough contest for a place in the semi-finals.

"I won't call Australia bitter rivals but there is a fierce rivalry that should provide for a high-intensity game," Waqar, one of the game's great fast bowling exponents, told AFP. "We respect each other but do not give an inch on the field of play." The hostilities began in 1981 when Pakistani great Javed Miandad almost came to blows with Australian fast bowler Dennis Lillee during a Test match in Perth.

Australians are also still licking their wounds inflicting upon them most recently in UAE and the feeling of hostilities is there, as ahead of their World Cup quarter-final against Pakistan on Friday, Australia coach Darren Lehmann said it will be a "different story" for the Asians as they will face steep bounce at the Adelaide Oval wicket unlike those in the UAE where they had beaten the four-time champions last year.

"The wicket did not bounce at all in Dubai so you can say we will have three times as much bounce in Adelaide as Dubai where it didn't bounce above knee height. It is a totally different story which we are looking forward to," Lehmann said. Comments came after Pakistan cited the 2-0 Test series win, saying they know how to beat Australia.

Pakistan opener Sarfraz Ahmed had said they are stocked with left-arm pacers and would not fear the opposition who have been conquered before. Lehmann countered by saying that spearhead Mitchell Starc has been outstanding and Mitchell Johnson is slowly inching towards his best.

"Mitchell Starc has been outstanding and the bowler of the tournament and I have been really happy with Mitchell Johnson, the way he has come back. He is starting to hit his straps at the right time and looking good. Our attack is looking as good as theirs," said Lehmann.

The 45-year-old, who had hit the winning runs in the 1999 World Cup final, said it will be a tough game on Friday and urged the fans to fill the stadium. "It will be a tough game. We are looking forward to some support, we want a packed house obviously and we need to bring our A-game as you do. The batting performances from both sides will be the key."

Pakistan coach Waqar described Mohammad Irfan as the team's X-factor but insisted they can still defeat Australia despite the giant seamer being ruled of the tournament with a stress fracture of his pelvis. "It's unfortunate that we lost Irfan just at the wrong time," said Waqar. "It's a huge loss. He was an X factor for us but we have got to live with it."

Waqar refused to accept that Irfan had not been rested adequately. "This injury could have happened a long time before, so we can't say that it happened two days ago, it's not easy for us but we have to cope with it," said Waqar. "I am pleased with the performance of the fast bowlers -- Wahab Riaz has taken responsibility and has been delivering and so has Rahat Ali. We have ben approaching the games very well in the entire tournament. We had a poor start at the beginning but we came back well. The bowlers know what to do and they are doing well. Look at the bigger picture, look at what happened in the recent past, losing so many bowlers and some good spinners for other reasons so it's tough but we are handling that well."

Waqar did not rule out playing leg-spinner Yasir Shah in place of Irfan on Friday. Shah took 12 wickets in Pakistan's 2-0 Test series win over Australia in the United Arab Emirates last year -- their first win over the opponents for 20 years. "We have discussed Shah but we will look at the pitch and if it's conducive then we will see how it goes," said Waqar, who added he was not worried about facing a tough opponent like Australia. "Look, we are in a situation where we cannot worry too much. We need to go out and do the best we can. It's a big game, a quarter-final of the World Cup and we all are very pleased to be here. We know Australia play very aggressive cricket and we have to match that."

Waqar said Pakistan needed to be positive. "We can beat Australia but for that we have to be very positive. We have beaten them in the past, even in the last World Cup (2011) so we can do that again if we play to our strengths."


Sohaib Maqsood, Nasir Jamshed, Younis Khan, Wahab Riaz, Haris Sohail, Yasir Shah, Misbah-ul-Haq (Cap), Sohail Khan, Rahat Ali, M Irfan, Umar Akmal†, Sarfraz Ahmed†, Shahid Afridi, Ahmed Shehzad, Ehsan Adil

AJ Finch, SPD Smith, DA Warner, MA Starc, JR Hazlewood, BJ Haddin†, SR Watson, PJ Cummins, MJ Clarke (cap), MG Johnson, MR Marsh, JP Faulkner, XJ Doherty, GJ Bailey, GJ Maxwell

head to head record

Matches played    97    57    31

In World Cup    8    4    4

Last match

Oct 12, 2014 - Australia beat Pakistan by 1 run at Abu Dhabi.