Watching Pakistani batsmen fall like nine pins during the best part of the recently-concluded three-match Test series against South Africa must have been a painful sight for millions of fans back home. The pathetic showing from the team made the 3-0 clean sweep achieved in the series by the Proteas hardly a surprising result. The writing had been on the wall for Pakistan since their very first outing in the series when they were bowled out for a paltry 49 in Johannesburg – their lowest ever Test score. It was evident that the team lacked the skills and motivation needed on the bouncy South African tracks and against a pace attack that is currently regarded as the best in the world. Barring one good partnership during the second Test in Cape Town, there was little for Pakistan to celebrate during the entire series. Captain Misbah-ul-Haq and his deputy Mohammad Hafeez were among the team’s biggest flops.
The Pakistani team’s batting failure wasn’t entirely unexpected but it was their below-par bowling performance that really allowed the home team to walk away with a 3-0 rout without much fuss. Umar Gul, the senior lynchpin of the pace arsenal, remained off colour in the first two Tests and had to be dropped for the final outing. Junaid Khan was supposed to be Pakistan’s main weapon but was sidelined after the series opener because of fitness problems. In a nutshell, Pakistan was found lacking in all departments of the game. And this happened right when our cricket chiefs were claiming that the national team is back on track. They must be made accountable for the embarrassing results in South Africa because of their poor judgement. Dav Whatmore, Pakistan’s highly-paid foreign coach, was their choice. He was roped in just days after Pakistan whitewashed England, the world’s best Test team last year. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) claimed that under Whatmore our team would transform itself into a winning unit. Unfortunately, the opposite seems to have happened.