The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This Page
SA spell out goal for fightback
- Pakistan abandon idea of triple-spin attack; Smith feels Shoaib’s absence significant

Faisalabad: South African players need a tough mental outlook to fight back against Pakistan and level the series, tourists captain Graeme Smith said ahead of the second and final Test starting here on Friday.

“It needs big mental effort and we got to make sure we come through on top in the five day,” he said.

Pakistan took a 1-0 lead after an eight-wicket victory in the first Test at Lahore.

“I think in many ways the defeat in Lahore, though disappointing, has given us a goal of fight back,” said Smith, whose side faces a Pakistan side that will be missing Shoaib Akhtar.

Shoaib, who scuttled the South African top order in the second innings of the first Test with four for 36, will not feature in the second Test due to a ban slapped on him by the International Cricket Council (ICC) Match Referee Clive Lloyd.

Pakistan will also be missing Shoaib’s new ball partner Mohammed Sami, who is ruled out due to flu and an ankle injury. Captain Inzamam-ul Haq, who missed the first Test because of a hamstring injury, is back but vice-captain Yousuf Youhana is now ruled out due to injury.

Smith believes Shoaib’s absence will be significant. “A lot of the pressure came from Shoaib, he bowled really well and ran and knocked down the top order both times in Lahore and that allowed the spinners to bowl and take wickets,” Smith said.

Leg-spinner Danish Kenria exploited Shoaib’s early spoils with five-wicket haul to dismiss South Africa for 241.

This was South Africa’s second consecutive defeat following their series levelling defeat at The Oval in England last month. The tourists are likely to replace pacer Andre Nel with left arm spinner Robin Peterson.

South Africa won the one-day series against Pakistan 3-2. “The one-day win would definitely be motivating but it’s gone, the first Test is gone and it’s another five days of fight,” said Smith.

Pakistan's captain said a series win is very important for his side. If Pakistan win they will jump to fifth position above India in the ICC Test ranking.

“We have not won a home series against a big team for quite some time now, so it is very important for us to maintain the winning run,” said Inzamam, who ruled out the possibility of adding another spinner.

“We played three spinners in Lahore and if we add another one here it would be negative cricket,” he said.

Pakistan brought allrounder Abdul Razzaq and 17-year-old uncapped leg-spinner Mansoor Amjad onto the 16-man squad.

The home team has bitter memories of the Iqbal Stadium where they lost a Test against South Africa here by 53 runs after failing to chase 146 in the 1997-98 season. “The past is past and we will play for a win here and not even (think) of a draw,” Inzamam said.

Teams (from)

Pakistan: Taufiq Umar, Imran Farhat, Yasir Hameed, Inzamam-ul Haq (captain), Misbah-ul Haq, Faisal Iqbal, Shoaib Malik, Moin Khan, Asim Kamal, Abdul Razzaq, Mushtaq Ahmed, Shabbir Ahmed, Kamran Akmal, Salman Butt, Danish Kaneria, Mansoor Amjad.

South Africa: Graeme Smith (captain), Gary Kirstan, Herschelle Gibbs, Boeta Dippenaar, Neil McKenzie, Jacques Kallis, Jacques Rudolph, Mark Boucher, Shaun Pollock, Robin Peterson, Makhaya Ntini, Paul Adams.

Email This Page