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 Inzamamul 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 Inzaman 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.
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@Caliban. Completly agree with you.Wahab & Aizaz should have been sent as a reinforcement.
Not criticizing the effort but the selectors did an awful job of picking Rahat Ali and Tanvir Ahmad. They should've picked Cheema, who always bends his back, and Billawal Bhatti (for a new face) who bowls well into the 140+. Even Wahab Riaz would have been ahead of the two "enforcements" that we're sent.
Instead of criticizing, I think that we need to commend the way Pakistan competed against the number 1 side in the world. Yes they were well on top at one point in time and let their position of authority go, but this is what Test cricket really is. This lovely game never ceases to amaze us. We had two centurions in the test who constituted the highest partnership by overseas batsmen in the last 6,7 years and Ajmal was phenomenal with his 10-for in the match. Azhar Ali went on to score runs and so did Misbah. Irfan bowled super quick despite being erratic. We looked down and out in the first test but came back strongly in the second. Come on guys we gave the Proteas a run for their money and yet we are despondent. This performance was a stepping stone for bigger things to follow. Hats off to TEAM PAKISTAN!
Seriously!!!??? Inzamam has the audacity to criticize slow, non-aggressive batting? Has he forgotten the World Cup where he scored 18 runs in the entire tournament.
@Vishnu Dutta: I can't agree with that. I think the Pakistani batting did rather better than anything India's ever managed in South Africa.
@Vishnu Dutta: and your top order bats like your tail order, as the recent series vs Pak just showed
@HollyCow: By bowling alone you cannot win matches. Your top order bats like Indian tail order.
A golden opportunity squandered by Pakistan. Pakistan let them off the hook by dropping A.B. twice - a cardinal sin ! STEYN-Remover & co. ferocious boomranging balls have already dented the morals of Pakistani batsmen. Looks like its gonna be one helluva task for Pakistan to win ANYTHING on this tour ! Talk about the professional ability of (Pakistani) think tanks, coaches, selectors and all the support staff - PATHETIC all round performance.
The dilemma with Pakistan cricket is the utter short sightedness of the selectors. Other cricketing Nations of the world assess the conditions before embarking on overseas tours, it seems the Pakistani Board is totally ignorant of the playing conditons the team is going to face with on these tours. It is obvious from the players performance that that there is lack of preparation and committment on part of the players and management. As a non player, my understanding of Test cricket is firstly the role of the openers is to see off atlest the first 20 overs of the new ball and secondly singles form the foundation of a reasonable score in any test inning. My conclusion is that unless the players, apart from skill, do not understand the basics of playing "Test Cricket" then Pakistan is not going to produce high calibre and reliable players. A sad overview of future of Pakistani cricket.
@Holy Cow. Neither Tanvir nor Cheema. Abdul Rehman would have been a phenomenal choice on this turning pitch.
Tanvir should never have been picked. A spent bowler who looked like an Indian pace bowler. Cheema should've been picked ahead of him.