Miandad warns Pakistan against SA backlash

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By The Telegraph Online in Lahore
  • Published 23.10.03

Lahore: Pakistan coach Javed Miandad has warned his players to prepare for a strong fightback from South Africa in the second Test starting on Friday.

Pakistan won the first Test in Lahore by eight wickets, only their second Test win over South Africa in 10 matches and their first at home.

“Our players can’t afford to put up their feet and relax,” Miandad said. “Test cricket these days is all about consistency, discipline and increased workload. We have to work much harder for the second Test because they will come stronger at us.”

Miandad said he was satisfied with the way the younger players had performed in the first Test.

“If anyone thinks he has learnt everything about cricket and has nothing more to learn he will be finished as an international cricketer within no time because nowadays cricket is all about consistent hard work and improvement,” he said.

Miandad, Pakistan’s leading Test run-scorer in 124 matches, said he was determined for his side to complete a 2-0 series win in Faisalabad.

“We are up against a quality side but they are under pressure and they are facing problems against our spinners,” he said. “We must not only be prepared for a comeback from them but also to overcome it.”

Miandad said Pakistan would try to exploit South Africa’s inconsistency against spinners. Pakistan have included four slow bowlers in their squad for the second Test, including leg spinners Mushtaq Ahmed, Danish Kaneria and rookie Mansoor Amjad, who has yet to play a first-class match.

Pakistan spinners took 12 of 19 South African wickets in Lahore.

South Africa sealed a dramatic win the last time the sides met in Faisalabad in 1997 thanks to their pace attack. But indications are they might go into the game with both spinners, Paul Adams and Robin Peterson.

South African captain Graeme Smith agreed that they had not played to their potential in the first Test but was certain that they would bounce back in the second. “We need to be more patient with the bat,” he said during an interview with South Africa’s SAFM radio station and added “we are determined to square the two Test series and I’m confident that we will come out top.”

Sami doubtful

Meanwhile, Pakistan fast bowler Mohammed Sami is struggling to be fit for the second Test. Pakistan manager Haroon Rasheed said on Wednesday that the 22-year-old fast bowler was suffering from a viral infection of the stomach.

“He is feeling very weak and has had problems with intake of food. He also has fever. At present we are not sure if he will be able to play in the second Test,” Rasheed said. (Reuters)