Former head coach Waqar Younis was an eye witness to Pakistan’s 3-0 whitewash in a Test series in Australia. Like many experts, analysts and wise fans, Waqar, too, was disappointed with the capitulation. Here is how he responded to ARY News questions on Pakistan’s consecutive fourth whitewash in Tests in Australia.
Q: A lot of people had expected a better show from Pakistan as the Australian team they confronted this time weren’t as strong as before. Are you overtly disappointed with the 3-0 bashing?
Yes, not many people had expected this 3-0 result. We all were thinking that this Pakistan team is experienced, their batting is better and bowling was in good form. But unfortunately results are in not their favour. They committed a lot of mistakes and it seemed that the team did not play with unity. We had played well in England for a 2-2 series draw and then were okay against the West Indies but our players did not live up to expectations reposed in them. The most disappointing aspect was fielding, we dropped too many catches and when catches are dropped, fielders misfield then bowlers get disheartened. Yasir Shah was the focus of attention but he couldn’t take wickets which were expected of him nor he could stop the flow of runs from the Australian batsmen and that let the team down badly. In my opinion our batting also did not show unity. We committed important mistakes. Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq did well in batting but the expectations from Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan were not met, they looked out of touch, Younis in the first two Tests and Misbah in the whole series.
Q: When you were coach you always stressed that Misbah needs to be aggressive in his planning and strategy as captain. In this series Misbah was evidently out of sorts and his defensive tactics, viz a viz, a six three leg side field for Yasir brought severe criticism for him. Do you think Misbah should share the blame?
Some part of the blame must also go to Misbah. The style of cricket you play in UAE is not suited to Australian conditions. Wickets in Australia are fast and bouncy so you have to change the style, so despite keeping defensive fields Misbah couldn’t stop the flow of runs. Misbah committed mistake by setting defensive fields and on top of that he was not performing and that added pressure. The fourth day of the Sydney Test gave a picture that its school cricket as Australians thrashed Pakistan bowlers. We committed many mistakes and it didn’t look like we were world number one Test teams a few months back. I never thought of such a performance.
Q: Former Australian captain Ian Chappell bashed Pakistan by saying that from now on Australian Board should consider before inviting Pakistan. Was that too harsh or too true?
Ian Chappell is an experienced commentator and a very senior analyst so he has his own opinion. It’s not necessary that one should agree with his comments. A few months ago we were world number one in Tests . I accept that we failed to give good performance in Australia so Ian has his own opinion and I don’t want to comment on that.
Q: So this was fourth whitewash in succession and fifth overall if you take the 1972 whitewash as well. So how should we plan for an Australian tour?
Leave aside the future, we need to change our style of cricket and it should happen now, today. To win in away series, even Australia and South Africa play differently. We won in England because of our bowlers so I am saying that for some time now to change the style of cricket, take more risk and only then we can get better results. If we play the style of 1970s or 80s then we cannot effect better results.
Q: Now Tests are gone, the format where we were expected to give better results. Now we have five one-day internationals where we are already feared to lose 5-0. Do you see any better result?
I hope we don’t lose 5-0 in ODIs. We played defensive cricket in the ODIs in England but after losing the first four one-days we played aggressive style in the last match where Shoaib Malik, Azhar Ali and Sarfraz batted very well. We won because we had no pressure and played with aggression so we need to play that real brand of cricket and reply Australia with aggression. That is the only way to beat Australia.