Pakistan’s 211-run drubbing in the first Test in Johannesburg at the hands of the Proteas was a result of the team’s lack of determination and fighting spirit, according to former coach Mohsin Khan.
Pakistan were bowled out for 49 in the first-innings, their lowest total in the format, before being dismissed for 268 in the second innings to hand a 1-0 lead to South Africa in the three-match series.
Mohsin – who was Pakistan’s coach in the 3-0 whitewash over England last year – said motivation was missing from the team.
“It was a result of the lack of determination, fighting spirit and killer instinct,” the former coach told The Express Tribune while commenting on the defeat against South Africa in the first match. “It is more or less the same team that outclassed England, but motivation was the difference. Because of these factors our batsmen made countless mistakes. For example, they went for every delivery without reading and lost their wickets.”
The former Test opener who was known for his defiance on difficult conditions said the team looked under-prepared for the difficult South Africa tour during the opening Test.
“The performance was a contrast to what we heard before the team’s departure. The team management had claimed that the team was ready and highly motivated. But unfortunately that was not the case. The conditions there are not surprising and everybody knew it will be difficult, so they should have gone well prepared.”
Mohsin – a former chief selector as well – also criticised the team selection.
“The decision to include Rahat Ali was beyond me. Initially he wasn’t picked even among reserves and all of sudden he was given a Test cap. I wish the fast bowler a bright future but I believe he isn’t ready for international cricket. The selectors and team management should have gone for experienced bowlers like Tanvir Ahmed, Wahab Riaz and Aizaz Cheema.”
However, the former coach felt the team has the ability to bounce back provided it plays with determination.
He showed faith in Younus Khan – who flopped in the first match – and termed him Pakistan’s trump card in batting.
“Younus remains the backbone of Pakistan batting and hopefully he will regain rhythm in remaining series.”
Team can make a comeback: Inzamam
Meanwhile, former captain Inzamamul Haq said the team can find form again but a lot of hard work will be needed.
“We failed to take on the pressure,” said the legendary batsman. “We should learn to play under pressure otherwise we will not be able to give a good fight. It’s the job of coaches to prepare the team to play well in all circumstances.”
Former test spinner Mushtaq Ahmed called for the appointment of a batting coach as he felt that Pakistan batsmen failed completely on the unfamiliar track.
“We do well on flat pitches but we look clueless on bouncy tracks,” said the former leg-spinner. “We need a batting coach such as former great Inzamamul Haq who can be a mentor for young batsmen like Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq.”
Injured Sohail returns home
Pakistan suffered another injury blow when left-handed batsman Haris Sohail returned home from South Africa without playing.
According to a team official, Sohail has been advised a month-long rest for his ankle injury which forced him out of the tour.
The team management is yet to decide on a replacement for the youngster.
Earlier, opening batsman Taufeeq Umar was ruled out of the Test series following a leg injury.
“The performance was a contrast to what we heard before the team’s departure. The team management had claimed that the team was ready and highly motivated. But that was not the case.”
“We should learn to play under pressure otherwise we will not be able to give a good fight. It’s the job of coaches to prepare the team to play well in all circumstances.”
“We do well on flat pitches but we look clueless on bouncy tracks. We need a batting coach such as former great Inzamamul Haq who can be a mentor for young batsmen.”
Published in The Express Tribune, February 6th, 2013.