| Javed Miandad gives Umer Gul practice on the eve of the final Test in Multan
Multan: Bangladesh coach Dav Whatmore is hoping to staunch the Test minnows’ rapidly evaporating confidence to avoid a series whitewash. The third and final Test begins on Wednesday with Pakistan 2-0 ahead.
Whatmore was left stunned in the second Test last weekend when his side surrendered a 66-run first innings lead to be bowled out for just 96 in the second innings after dominating the opening day. The collapse handed Pakistan a nine-wicket win.
“I am trying to make sure that the boys do not lose confidence after their slump in the Peshawar Test,” said Whatmore. “We need to guard the areas of improvement.”
Bangladesh captain Khaled Mahmud dismissed criticism of his team’s Test status as unwarranted. “When someone criticises our Test status we feel hurt because the improvement is definitely there,” said Mahmud, whose team has lost 17 Tests in a row since drawing against Zimbabwe two years ago. Mahmud, who took over as captain in April this year, said he will discuss his future with officials at the end of the series
The tourists are likely to replace pacers Mashrafe Murtaza and Alamgir Kabir with Tapash Baisya and Manjurul Islam.
Pakistan captain Rashid Latif urged Bangladesh to play positively. “I don’t want to interfere in their planning but if Bangladesh does not play positive cricket they will not learn and improve.” Pakistan face Bangladesh without ace pace bowler Shoaib Akhtar, who is returning to England to complete his contract with Durham. Shoaib wrecked the tourists with match figures of ten for 80 in the second Test.
Experienced off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq, summoned from Surrey, and middle-order batsman Younis Khan, who missed the first two Tests due to family commitments, are set to play.