‘Pakistan will not win a Test on this tour’
Can Pakistan bounce back from their 211-run hammering at the hands of the mighty South Africans in the first Test?
South African commentator Mike Haysman certainly does not believe so and says Misbah-ul-Haq’s men are already accounted for.
Pakistan will obviously be looking to prove otherwise, but it seems former players and experts are unanimous in expressing reservations about their chances. To add to their misery, Haysman believes the pitch at Newlands, Cape Town, will be of a similar nature to the one in Johannesburg.
Haysman has cited Pakistan’s lack of preparation to play in South African conditions as the biggest and most obvious reason for their capitulation.
“Nothing surprised me and yet again Pakistan’s application and planning was questionable. Their preparation to bat against that [South Africa's] attack and technique was not good enough,” Haysman said in an interview with SuperSport.
Pakistan have a long lay-off before the second Test starts and will play a two-day practice game against a Western Province Invitational XI in Cape Town on February 10 and 11.
“We will try and get more practice in around the new ball. If you can get through the new ball then I think we can score runs in South African conditions. It is about applying yourself and getting good starts,” Misbah told reporters.
Pakistan’s second innings total of 268 on Monday gave the tourists some reason to be cheerful off the back of their record Test low of 49 in their first effort with the bat.
Haysman, too, believes Pakistan can do better in the second Test but has warned the South Africans will be even more lethal on the Newlands surface.
“South Africa will want to continue pressure Pakistan…they will ensure the track is lively in Cape Town. Not so much bounce, but certainly swing and seam.”
But the South African added that realistically ‘Pakistan had no chance of winning a Test’ on this tour.
Pakistan coach Dav Whatmore, however, urged his players to be positive in the face of the South African attack.
Asked whether the team would carry forward any psychological scars from the first innings capitulation on day two, Whatmore said the players have accepted the circumstances and have moved on.
“I would like to think it does not do too much psychological damage,” he said.
“You try to look at the facts and not get too emotional about it.”