Fearful approach hurting Pakistan: Mohsin Khan

Former head coach disappointed with team’s defensive outlook against Australia

Fawad Hussain December 16, 2016
Pakistan's batsman Sami Aslam plays a shot during the second day of the day-night cricket Test match between Australia and Pakistan at the Gabba in Brisbane on December 16, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: Pakistan are in dire straits in Brisbane following their dismal showing on the second day of the first Test against Australia and former head coach Mohsin Khan feels the team’s timid approach against the hosts is to blame for their capitulation.

Pakistan were 97-8 at stumps, following yet another batting-order collapse, in reply to Australia’s first innings total of 429 all out with a follow-on on the cards.

Day two: Pakistan 97-8 in reply to Australia 429 at stumps

Apart from a gutsy run-a-ball 31 from wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfraz Ahmed, the rest of the batsmen gave away their wickets cheaply against a relatively inexperienced Australian bowling attack.

And Mohsin is lost for words on Pakistan’s defensive approach. “The team’s performance on the first two days has been very poor,” Mohsin told The Express Tribune. “Pakistan entered the match fearing the opposition. You just cannot adopt a defensive strategy against Australia who love to play aggressive cricket. If you do that they will eat you up and this is what we have witnessed in Brisbane.”

The former Pakistan head coach further said the bowlers shouldn’t have let Australia score such an imposing first-innings total.

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“Conceding too many runs is what brought our batting under pressure. Pakistan should have bowled Australia out within 300,” he said. “On the first day, I saw the bowlers were trying to contain runs rather than going for wickets. Even Yasir Shah’s line and length suggested that he wanted to stop the flow of runs. The bowlers got good results on the second day because they changed their approach and attacked the batsmen.”

Mohsin, a former Test opener, added all the batsmen lacked confidence irrespective of their experience.“I haven’t seen anything special from the Australian fast-bowlers till now. It was just the lack of confidence and fear of losing the wicket that caused our batsmen to collapse in the first innings. If you take a look at Sarfraz’s innings, he made the bowlers look very easy to play because he played without fear. This is the kind of approach we need and this stands for both junior and senior batsmen. It is the coach and team management’s job to tell the players tgus,” he added.

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The 61-year-old reiterated his earlier stance that the experienced Younus Khan should bat ahead of Babar Azam at one-down.

“Senior batsmen should take the pressure off new players rather than put it on them,” he said before backing Pakistan to bounce back in the match. “I hope Sarfraz will play an outstanding knock [from here] and Pakistan will get back in the game and go on to get a positive result from the opening Test.”


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