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‘Pakistan were overawed by South Africa’


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"Pakistan must be more aggressive," former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq said. -Photo by AFP

KARACHI: Pakistan's cricketers came under fire Monday after their series defeat in South Africa, with former players blaming the team's timid approach for their loss in the second Test.

South Africa, the number one ranked team in Test cricket, beat the visitors by four wickets in the Cape Town Test on Sunday to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

Former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq said Pakistan had looked overawed by the world's top team.

“This Pakistan team had the ability to beat South Africa but they seemed to be thinking a lot about their rival's world number one status and that their bowling is very dangerous,” Inzamam told AFP.

Pakistan lost the first Test in Johannesburg by 211 runs after crumbling to 49 all out in the first innings in the face of the hosts' hostile pace bowling attack.

Inzamam worked with the team as a “batting consultant” before their one-day tour of India in December and there were calls for him to be kept on permanently, though nothing came of them.

“Pakistan must show more aggression in its approach,” said Inzamam, who hit an unbeaten 92 in Pakistan's last Test win in South Africa in 2007.

“What I saw was that a batsman scores 50 in 150 balls, that gives bowlers more domination. Once a batsman is set he should attack and score freely.”

Inzamam said Pakistan should have gone for the kill when they had South Africa wobbling at 164-6 in their first innings.

Instead, spinner Robin Peterson hit a gutsy 84 to guide the hosts to 326, just 12 short of Pakistan's first innings total of 338. Pakistan then collapsed from 147-4 to 169 all out in their second innings, setting a modest 182-run target.

Pakistan were missing rising paceman Junaid Khan and another former captain, Rashid Latif, who said the batsmen needed to set a bigger total for the bowlers to defend.

“It was a small target and our pace attack had one debutant (Mohammad Irfan), one bowler staging a comeback after 18 months (Tanveer Ahmed) and one on the downslide of his career (Umar Gul),” said Latif.

Latif backed captain Misbah-ul Haq to carry on but urged the Pakistan board to bring in Inzamam and fast bowling legends Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis as coaches.

Former opener and ex-coach Mohsin Khan blamed the coaching staff, saying there was a lack of planning to target South Africa's weaknesses.

Comments (21) Closed

Iqbal Feb 19, 2013 06:28am
When you know that SA has the best fast bowlers and they are practicing with them there is no sense in playing 3 fast bowlers. I would play another batsman and a left arm leg spinner.Let Irfan and hafeez be the opening bowlers.There is no need for the coach the players have natural talent at this stage. Their motivation should be money they earn and if they don't do good they will be out of work. Coaching is double minding the players. They need to play their own game.Let the coaches coach during home matches.
mohammed siddiqui Feb 18, 2013 09:42pm
pakistan lost this series because of politics played by Mizbah ul haq, Pakistan lost world cup semi final because of mizbah. the reason is this person doesnt support the team but plays politics in the team to the extent he plays for opponents not for the country and country men. Mohammed hafeez was not allowed to bowl in the almost like as if he was not there. in world cup he could not digest Afridi being the captain pakistan should win the world cup. mizbah doesnt deserve a place in the side. Team will be fine if they play under hafeez.
kos Feb 18, 2013 09:02pm
You can not win a match with only two bowlers i.e Ajmal and Irfan, rest of the bowlers were rubbish and should not be selected for the final test, Rahman must play in lace of a seamer. As far as Misbah is concerned, he is the best captain and batsman pak has who takes on the other side on his own like Imran used to do. The only test Pak won in SA was not due to the batting of previous stars ( they all failed) it was Wasim and Waqar who made the runs in the second innings. Support Misbah and co for your country,s sake.
Karachi Wala Feb 18, 2013 01:07pm
Tell me something that I do not know. The same lame excuses for the last 10- 20 - 30 years.
bilal Feb 18, 2013 07:53pm
just watching pakistan bat in the 2nd innings, was fustrating enough...when azhar ali and misbah were well settled on the 3rd day, that was the time when they should've been aggressive...but they were way too defensive, playing out way too many dot balls and pakistan were literally not going anywhere...thats the problem of being defensive, first is that you hardly get anywhere and if u loose a couple of wickets in the process, all that hard work goes to waste with not many runs being scored and the next thing u know, you'll be 120 for 5 after being 100 for 3...inzi is right, they need to be aggressive, get some quick runs because being defensive won't get you anywhere especially against south africa's bowling attack which threatens to pick up a wicket with every single ball they bowl...
Muhammad Asif Feb 18, 2013 11:46am
Mohsin's comments are anything to go by. After all, under him, Pakistan defeated the then No. 1 team in the world cricket, England.
Fuzail Z. Ahmad Feb 18, 2013 11:41am
Come on retired cricketers, everybody knows how glorious your own days were. You are talking as if in your times Pakistan had kept winning matches. Let us all be proud of what our players did in SA in this test match. Another 50 odd runs would have meant a great deal, but let us not lose heart.
Ali Feb 18, 2013 11:37am
I thought this team has the full capability to win the series. But as always our batting let us down though this is the best "Test" batting talent available in the country. If you look at the domestic structure they are producing the worst batsman, even the average score of teams on flat tracks are 200/250. Moreover this team does not have any world class cricketer apart from Saeed Ajmal compared to the other past Pakistani teams which comprises of greats in both batting and bowling and still lost to SA (even at home). One bad decision from team management by not playing the Abdul Rehman.
Sali Feb 18, 2013 07:51pm
Selection of Tanvir ahead of Rehman and missing Junaid could be called selection errors or bad luck. Hafeez is not a test class openner in these conditions but with Taufeeq out, there was not much choice left. You can blame Misbah for not bowling Hafeez more when Peterson was playing but at the end it was Peterson that denied Pakistan 100 runs lead and a sure win. Ajamal was too tired and Gul underperfromed.
Afif Naeem Feb 18, 2013 03:14pm
Yes, Inzamam is talking as if he was very aggressive in his approach in cricket.
Karachi Wala Feb 18, 2013 05:11pm
I agree with you. On paper, retired criketers were much better bunch but, when it comes to the results, particularly on foreign soils, it was not much different. Without any doubt, the Pak team in last few years is much weaker in all departments when compared with our teams of yester years, but results are not much different. Therefore, beside all the bragging about how talented this bunch is, a weaker team has been producing better results.
Merchant Iqbal Feb 18, 2013 02:12pm
There are so many factors in loosing this test.First poor batting and fielding.Second not creating enough pressure when SA were 164 for 6.Third empires decisions to change ball in Pakistan second inning and third empire decesion in favour of AB deviller.Last but not list our coaches planning in preparing team for facing rising deliveries and swinging balls.Even they did not prepare bowlers to attack opposing batsmen weakness. PCB has to concentrate on appointing a bating coach,Good pshycatrist, Selection committee should look for good batsman wicket keeper and fast bowling alrounders.
Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Feb 18, 2013 02:31pm
What Inzamam-ul-Haq and Rashid Latif have said is 100 percent right. However, who is listening and who cares?
kirther Feb 19, 2013 05:37pm
Incompetent management and bad selection policy are the main reason for sub standard performance by Pakistan cricket team. Selection board is not selecting the team on merit, why they keep on selecting third grade cricketers when there is so much talent available. Except for four or five players the entire team team consists of mediocre players, surely Pakistan cannot beat South Africa when you have captain like Misbah.
Adil Feb 18, 2013 10:31am
I dont know y Tanvir Ahmed selected in first place instead Ehsan Adil should have given a chance. Also Misbha defencive approach not taking pak anywhere they will not become the world beaters until they approach aggresive towards the game. To me Hafeez should not open in any of the format in what basis he is opening dont know that is whre misbah has to be more aggressive . I still feel Jamshed should be given a chance he is a youngster he will learn. Gul should be stick to 1 day and T20 only. Time has come pak to look into the 2015 WC and they need to have a fresh team and a fresh captain. put some youngsters.
nayyar51 Feb 18, 2013 11:05am
S Ravindran Feb 18, 2013 10:05am
As an Indian I have watched the entire match ... Why pakistan have not captalised the wickets from 164 for 6 to 326 which is a heavy burden for ajmal to set a victory in the second innings.. I don't know why the batsman throw their wickets very cheaply from 147 for 4 to 169 all out.. Even at this juncture ajmal proved himself as a unbeatable lad.... If you score either 50 runs in the second innings or contain the southafricans 50 runs in the first innings... Then it is Ajmals day and a sweet victory might have got to our brothers... Any way better luck next time to the players of pakistan... /S Ravindran
nayyar51 Feb 19, 2013 06:56am
Now PCB will boast that our team's performance is ever improving in South Africa. In the first Test they lost in three days and in the second Test our team lost in four days. This reminds me of an old joke wherein, a school inspector asked a student answer for 3+3 and the reply was 5, upon which the headmaster (read here the chairman PCB) intervened and said Sir, this student has improved since last year, when he answered your same question and replied 3+3 was = 4.
Iqbal Feb 19, 2013 11:46am
Mate... you have all the time in the world !
salman Feb 19, 2013 12:43pm
if you have likes of hafeez n misbah n gul n tanveer n sarfraz n list goes on except AJMAL THE KING OF SPIN, than i am afraid you are going to win against Zimbabwe. Scenario test match against zimbabwe without Ajmal and my money would be on Zimbabwe. Pakistan team won't learn and that hurts more than their losses. I am really really hurt , don't know if il'll make any sense but with misbah and gul this team would hurt us more in future. MARK MY WORDS , you are not going to win one day series either. Regard, Salman
Saqib AHmed Feb 20, 2013 07:43am
I believe not only batting Pakistani bowlers have also failed. Exception is Ajmal. Entire line up failed to deliver. Umar Gul and Irfan were shame. Junaid is much more promising than any other champ in squad.