Former cricket greats reacted with disappointment Monday to Pakistan’s tour losses in South Africa, urging the game’s authorities to tackle underlying problems by setting higher standards.
Pakistan lost the five-match, one-day series 3-2 in Benoni on Sunday, following their 3-0 rout in the Tests. They managed to win the Twenty20 series 1-0 only after the first match was washed out.
Pakistan’s perennial batting problems haunted them once again and none of their batsmen managed to post a century in the one-day series. Skipper Misbah-ul Haq was the leading one-day series scorer with a total 227.
“The overall tour was disappointing,” batting legend Zaheer Abbas told AFP. “It’s now up to the PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) to set higher standards for the batsmen.”
Pakistan suffered a 211-run defeat in the first Test in Johannesburg before fighting hard to go down by four wickets in the second in Cape Town. They lost the third in Centurion by an innings and 18 runs.
Abbas said the poor Test performance was reflected in the one-day matches.
“Until our batsmen learn to score in Tests, they will not be up to standard in one-days,” he said.
“Batsmen should know that scoring 30 or 40 will not keep them in the team, so they must learn that scoring the first 30 is the most difficult. If you do that then you must go on and play a big innings, which on this tour they failed to do.”
But Abbas defended under-fire coach Dav Whatmore.
“Whatmore guided Pakistan to the Asia Cup win and then the series against India, in India, so we have to keep patient with him,” said Abbas, a member of the committee that picked Whatmore as coach in March last year.
Former captain Rashid Latif called on the team management to analyse the tour impartially to resolve underlying problems.
“Players should know how to play in various formats,” said Latif, adding that Misbah and senior batsman Younis Khan were at key junctures in their careers.
“I think the situation is alarming for both Misbah and Younis,” said Latif. “Misbah has scored runs but time is running out for both and they must analyse their careers before the 2015 World Cup.”