Pakistan batsmen should have trained on matting pitches, says Hanif Mohammad

Pakistan were whitewashed 0-3 in the recently concluded three-Test series © Getty Images

Lahore: Feb 28, 2013

Former captain Hanif Mohammad says had Pakistani batsmen practiced on matting pitches before going to South Africa, as suggested by him, they would not have struggled on fast pitches there.
Pakistan were whitewashed 0-3 in the recently concluded three-Test series in South Africa.
“I had advised they practice on matting pitches but I don’t know what happened but this didn’t happen. Maybe because of the tight schedule of the players and shortage of time but it would have helped them definitely,” Hanif said.
The legendary opener said playing on matting pitches would have helped batsmen to cope with unusual bounce and lateral movement.
“Playing 10 to 15 days on matting would have helped them a lot,” said Hanif who spent his formative years playing on matting pitches.
He pointed out that Pakistani batsmen had failed in South Africa because they played against a very strong opposition with a very strong bowling attack after a long time and on pitches that had pace, bounce and sideways movement.
“It was not an easy series at all for our players and what is done is done. They must now start only think and focus on the coming T20 and ODI series. I believe we have a better team for these formats,” Hanif said.
He was confident that Pakistan would do better in the coming one-day series and could even win the T20 and ODI series.
Hanif also refused to lay entire blame on the test series debacle on the foreign coach, Dav Whatmore.
“Look a coach can only guide and tell the players what to do and communicate easily with them. And I strongly believe that Whatmore or for that matter any other foreign coach will have to learn the Urdu language if he wants to be successful in Pakistan.
“My view is that I don’t think Whatmore might be able to convey everything he wants to convey to the players properly because he doesn’t speak Urdu. It is important for a coach to be able to communicate with players in their language. I don’t think many of our players are well versed in English. And this is a big problem,” he said.
Hanif said many people didn’t realise how important it was for a coach to be able to convey his feelings, wishes, commands and sentiments to players properly.
“And this can only happen if the communication line is a common language for players and in our case it is Urdu,” he said.