DUBAI - For the cricketing nomads that this Pakistan team has been forced to become, this gulf emirate is supposed to be home away from home. Not a bad place to be, even if you are forced across the gulf from the place of your domicile, for venues at the gulf have generally been propitious for Pakistan. And for the much-pilloried Pakistanis, much like Sharjah and Abu Dhabi before it, this spanking new world class facility, turned out to be just that. Younis Khan and his charges immediately proved a point by winning the first of its five one-day internationals scheduled here and at Abu Dhabi. Though the difference was not as convincing as Younis Khan may have wanted it to be after the Aussies were shot out for 168, but it still showcased the kind of pluck that promises much for the immediate future. Coming as it did after a spate of on and off-field controversies - last two being the twin traumas of the terrorist attack putting the Sri Lankan team under a hail of fire and the ICC taking away its share of matches from the World Cup 2011 - this is even more admirable. What is more, after only being painted in shades of black and grey, for once the greenshirts succeeded in sending some positive vibes and hogging decent headlines. Pulverising the Aussies is never easy, even if they are as depleted as this squad under stand-in captain Michael Clarke. Yet the yawning gap left by the absence of Ricky Ponting, Michael Hussey, Mitchell Johnson and Brett Lee was always difficult to bridge even for the most proven and talented of replacements. This though should not take away from Pakistan displaying adequate amount of hunger, not to mention skill. The undue caution in the chase could also be attributed to the resolve to win. Given the recent history, the pressure was undoubtedly on Pakistan, but thanks to Shahid Afridi delivering with his spin, and to lesser but quite important measure with his willow too, the greenshirts were able to prevail. Clarke's decision to bat on an untested wicket was really befuddling, and once Afridi started plucking wickets with off-spinner Saeed Ajmal turning out to be an ideal foil, the fate of the game had been sealed well before it was halfway through. For the moment, with the Aussies licking their wounds, Younis was contemplating a backlash. Quite likely scenario, for once they have been hit in the gut, these men from the bush Down Under have a propensity to comeback and deal their own set of punches. The thing to note from now on - and this could pretty much which way the rubber goes - thus would be how Pakistan responds to this counterattack. Yawar Saeed, the team manager, believe that the greenshirts have the wherewithal to withstand the Aussie onslaught. "Morale in a winning team is always high. Despite being away from home, we are in super shape. And now that we have begun so well, what we would like most is to not rest up and press our advantage home by winning the rubber", said Yawar talking to this scribe. Thursday, the boys and the management mostly put their legs up and took a breather - but only to gather their thoughts and refine strategies for the morrow. Training was optional, yet some boys did venture to the venue to limber up. Both sides were expected to make at least one change apiece, Pakistan to cater for opener Nasir Jamshed's twisted ankle and Australia for Shaun Marsh's hamstring tear. Since spin - Australia's bugbear in the recent past, probably because Shane Warne no longer displays his wares at the nets - delivered the sucker punch, Pakistan would continue to rely on Afridi and Ajmal to exploit the Aussie vulnerability here. But then only a fool would tinker with a winning strategy. Though the turf was not of much help so far, Pakistan's pace attack led by the mercurial Shoaib Akhtar would be anticipating that the dread of the spinners coming on well before the middle overs commence, would force the Aussie top order to have a go at them, and make mistakes to their peril. Anyways, the spinners and the crowd - again most of the same kind that used to provide the Pakistanis such spur to win against odds in the good old Sharjah Cricket Stadium during the 1980s and 1990s - may turn out to be Pakistan's trumps in this second outing. But the batting - especially Younis', for he looked under intense pressure before he threw his wicket away through an unseemly slog - would also need to chip in big time if Pakistan looks to build on this excellent start.