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Latif questions coach Whatmore after whitewash

Former captain criticises Pakistan’s performance in South Africa Test series

Image Credit: AFP
South African players celebrate their victory over Pakistan during the third day of thethird Test on Sunday. South Africa won the series 3-0.
Gulf News

Islamabad: Former captain Rashid Latif has questioned Dav Whatmore’s coaching after South Africa humiliated Pakistan 3-0 in their Test series.

“Chairman, captain, vice-captain and coach all should be held accountable and it should start from the coach,” Latif told reporters on Monday.

Pakistan lost the third Test by an innings and 18 runs at Centurion on Sunday inside three days against the world’s No 1-ranked Test team. Pakistan’s humiliation began in the first Test at Johannesburg, when they were bowled out for their lowest ever total of 49 in the first innings to lose by 211 runs.

Younis Khan and Asad Shafiq scored centuries in the second Test and off-spinner Saeed Ajmal took 10 wickets in the same match, but even those performances could not save Pakistan from a four-wicket loss at Newlands.

“Seriously I was not expecting a whitewash,” Latif said. “But the way our batsmen flopped on bouncy wickets showed there was no homework done.”

Pakistan’s opening pair of Mohammad Hafeez and Nasir Jamshed looked hapless in facing the new ball pair of Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander, with the South African seamers taking 35 wickets in three Test matches.

“For how long are we going to complain that we can’t bat on fast seaming tracks?” Latif said. “It’s all lame excuses. Cricket is a game of professionals and, if you are picked for the national team, it means you are the best to face the best in the world.”

Latif said he got fed up after seeing batsmen repeating the same mistakes again and again while playing seamers away from their bodies and “gifting” their wickets to South Africa.

“We crossed the 300-run mark only once in six matches, what was the coach doing?” he said.

Pakistan’s former wicketkeeper said it was high time for the selectors to look for different players for the three formats — Tests, One Day Internationals and Twenty20s — if Pakistan wanted to compete against the top teams like South Africa. Hafeez, Jamshed, Ajmal and fast bowler Umar Gul are some of those players who play in all the three formats for Pakistan.

“Our problem is that we pick too many players for all the three formats and this will not solve the problem,” Latif said. “We have to stop this practice and look for specialists in all the three formats.”

Another former Test player, left arm spinner Nadeem Khan, said Pakistan’s batsmen failed in launching counter-attacks against South Africa’s pacers.

“On bouncy wickets if you don’t play your strokes and try to disturb the line and length of fast bowlers, I’m afraid you will give chances to the opposition — and that’s what exactly our batsmen did,” he said.

The two-match Twenty20 series begins at Durban on March 1 before the five-match ODI series starts from March 10.