KARACHI: Former head coach Mohsin Khan has said that Pakistan can curb the overwhelming South Africa side in the upcoming Test series but not without a ‘positive approach, killer instinct and team selection based on merit.’
The charismatic Test opener, who coached Pakistan to a famous 3-0 Test series whitewash over the then number one England side last year, spoke to The Express Tribune as the team’s departure for the anticipated home series in the UAE drew closer.
Pakistan will start the contest with the two-match Test series starting on October 14 and Mohsin has advised the team management and players to bring a positive attitude ahead of the tough assignment.
“In spite of the setbacks in Zimbabwe, I feel Pakistan can still bounce back and beat South Africa,” said the former coach.
“But a positive approach and killer instinct will be needed while selection based on merit is a must.
“It was more or less the same situation before we faced England last year but we achieved success as we possessed the right attitude and the mindset required to win a tough series.
“I hope the same for Pakistan against South Africa and my best wishes are with the team.”
Former coach not content with preparations
However, Mohsin expressed dissatisfaction over the lead-up to the tough series.
The team management has revealed its plan of designing a ‘spin trap’ for South Africa in the UAE as head coach Dav Whatmore said: “Spin tracks are an option for us and we will go by our strength and we have a couple of quality spinners in our side.”
But Mohsin felt it was a negative attitude on the management’s part.
“First of all, teams do not reveal their strategies,” he said.
“The announcement of having spin tracks prepared for the series gave the impression that we are under pressure. Such an attitude brings the opposition on the front foot even before the start of series.
“Secondly If I was the coach, I would have favoured bouncy tracks like I did against England.
“Bouncy tracks suit us best as we also possess a good pace attack plus it helps spinners like Saeed Ajmal. Not only our spinners, but our fast-bowlers also played an important role in that series.”
He added that the side missed a good opportunity to prepare during their tours of the West Indies and Zimbabwe.
“We could have experimented junior players especially during the Zimbabwe tour. If we had done that by resting senior players, we would have had more options today.
“The people at the helm of selection are now perturbed. They have announced 28 probables and are waiting for the eleventh hour to decide on the final squad which is evidence of their confused state.
“I will not blame the selection committee for this because they are without a chief. A brave chief selector is badly needed.”
Manzoor stars on final day
Opening batsman Khurram Manzoor shined with an unbeaten half-century as the three-day practice match between the Chief Ministers XI and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman’s XI ended in a draw in Lahore yesterday.
Rain continued to affect the game as only 27 overs could be bowled on the final day.
PCB Chairman’s XI declared their first innings on an overnight score of 197, giving Khurram a chance to display his form.
The opener struck 80 off 96 deliveries while Shaan Masood also remained unbeaten on 25 as Chief Ministers XI scored 111 without loss till stumps of the final day. The side was bowled out for just 90 in the first innings.