mohammad hafeez, pakistan training

KARACHI: Twenty20 captain Mohammed Hafeez was confident on Monday that Pakistan's lack of Test cricket will not be a problem when the team meet world number one South Africa next month.

Pakistan play three Tests in South Africa with the first match starting in Johannesburg from February 1 - their first Test series in seven months.

Pakistan routed England, then the world's number one Test team, 3-0 last January before losing 1-0 against Sri Lanka in June.

“Again after a big gap we will play in South Africa but we have adjusted well in the past,” Hafeez told reporters on the sidelines of a five-day domestic tournament final.

“It's tough but all the players have played four-day game and are well prepared.”

Pakistan will also play two Twenty20 internationals and five one-day matches on the tour -- their first to the Republic since 2007.

Hafeez admitted South Africa pose a big challenge, but said the team was bouyed by its recent one-day win over arch rivals India.

“South Africa will be challenging because the conditions are different. We played there in 2007 and most of the players of that team are not there and South Africa are now the world's best team,” said Hafeez.

Pakistan fly out to South Africa 10 days in advance and have a tour opener in East London, starting January 25.

“South Africa have a good combination of batting and bowling but we too are going there after winning our series in India which has lifted our morale,”said Hafeez, of Pakistan's 2-1 one-day win over India.

Hafeez said Pakistan have a balanced bowling attack in both pace and spin.

“We have an emerging bowler in Juniad Khan and then Umar Gul is very experienced,” said Hafeez of the pace spearheads.

“Mohammad Irfan is also progressing well,” said Hafeez of the lanky paceman.

Hafeez said Pakistan's spin attack is well reputed, with wily off-spinner Saeed Ajmal and left-armer Abdur Rehman -- who took 24 and 19 wickets respectively in the United Arab Emirates in the win over England.

Ajmal had born the burden of the bowling attack for the last few years “and Rehman has also supplemented him well, so they will also play an important role”, he said.

But he stressed Pakistan needed to play more Tests. The team did not play a single Test in 2008.

“I think Test cricket produces good-quality cricketers, like we have found Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq from Test cricket. We need to promote Test cricket - if we play only six Tests in a year then it will be tough.

“I think the PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) needs to fight for more Tests in the next fixture because you get quality cricketers from Test cricket,” Hafeez said.

Updated Jan 14, 2013 12:40pm

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Comments (9) (Closed)


Riaz
Jan 14, 2013 02:24pm
Very challenging tour. Nothing to loose but gain is the view they need to take. The key to me is how the batters adopt to the conditions and short pitch bowling.... Leave as much as possible early on and not get dragged into hooking will be the issue. Also the toss will be important, SA the conditions vary and assist bowling upfront. Bowlers should do okay against a very good batting unit. Good luck....expectation must be set low....
roshaan sazna
Jan 14, 2013 06:29pm
great thinking,that's why hafeez called as professor.insha allah almighty will help you.all the best
nazish
Jan 15, 2013 05:20am
well said hafeez
CricIsFake
Jan 15, 2013 05:39am
Can't agree more with the Professor. We need more test matches. 4th in the tests ranking now so why on earth we should be content on playing test matches even less than the 8th and 9th ranked west indies and newzealand. ICC will never admit but 100% an anti Pakistan lobby is working hard to deprive of the cricket as much as possible and India, SA and Australia are my possible bets. We had cordial relationship with England but Ijaz Butt destroyed all the courtesy and cordiality and now we are left with very little support at ICC level.
umesh bhagwat
Jan 14, 2013 11:59pm
good luck to Pakistan!
Karim
Jan 14, 2013 09:37pm
Pakistan have won against #1 test team (England) in the past (3-0) so they can do it again. It won't be easy but can be done. We got good combination of batting & bowling. South African pitches demand challenging batting so our top order batsmen need to fire. I am sure bowlers will do a descent job. Good Luck!
Janjuah
Jan 14, 2013 01:23pm
excellent suggestion and wish from Hafeez... T20 is destroying cricket..
Zainab.
Jan 14, 2013 01:24pm
Wise man.
Abdul Waheed Qureshi
Jan 14, 2013 03:29pm
Professor well side.