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Ian Chappell: 'Yousuf has to take lot of blame'
Ian Chappell looks back at Australia's memorable win, and Pakistan's dramatic collapse in the Sydney Test (09:08)
January 6, 2010
Related Links » Players/Officials: Michael Hussey | Kamran Akmal | Mohammad Yousuf | Ricky Ponting | Umar Akmal Matches: Australia v Pakistan at Sydney Series/Tournaments: Pakistan tour of Australia Teams: Australia | Pakistan
Australia v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Sydney, 4th day
Ian Chappell: 'Yousuf has to take lot of blame'January 6, 2010
Alex Brown: Ian, another Sydney Test and another dramatic finish?
Ian Chappell: Amazing how we have had the last three now - India, South Africa and now Pakistan. I think you get what you deserve in life, and from the moment Pakistan came out on the last morning and put their field back, they were in trouble. I thought to myself, when you tell the opposition that you are worried, you are nervous, you are frightened, and particularly when that opposition is a good cricket team, then you are in trouble. Even though Australia have had some changes in personnel, they still know how to win when they get into a position. And I thought Pakistan was in trouble from, basically, the first ball in the morning.
AB: There were lots of individual performances in the match, but it was the collaborative effort of Michael Hussey and Peter Siddle on the fourth morning that set this one up?
IC: It doesn't matter how much you believe as a team, in the end you do need some runs. Even if it is a moderate total, then you start to believe. It was Hussey and Siddle, who gave Australia those runs to start believing. It was an awkward, in-between sort of total, 175, and sometimes you can make a bit of mess of it. You are not quite sure how to go about it. But I think the fact that Pakistan haven't played a lot of Test cricket, and the fact that they have had just two wins in three years, made them little uncertain. You can see the way they played on the third and fourth day, they really did not have a clue how to go about finishing off Australia once they had them on the mat.
AB: I guess it repeats the theme of Melbourne - dropped catches. Hussey was given three reprieves on the third day, and Shane Watson was also dropped early on the innings and he went on to knock on the door of a century. Is that something that Pakistan need to address before they become a legitimate Test force?
IC: Yes, but I don't see how they are going to address it with the team members that they have got. Because you are not suddenly going to become good fielders in the middle of your twenties, you are a good fielder growing up. You grow up to become a good fielder.
It's been a constant problem for much of Pakistan's history, so it's something they need to address. They need to address it in the younger cricketers to make sure that in the future it isn't a problem the way it is at the moment.
Sure the missed catches played a crucial part in Pakistan losing this Test match. But Mohammad Yousuf has to take lot of the blame for the way he came out and approached the game this morning. It just did not make any sense at all. As a captain, you've got to think that it doesn't matter how many runs the batsman is on. Whether Hussey is batting on 60 or 70, he is starting on nought as far as you are concerned as the fielding captain, first thing in the morning. Any captain who does what Mohammad Yousuf did, the first thing I would say to him that if you don't attack first thing in the game then when you are going to attack. And that was the problem, Pakistan did not attack probably for the first hour. Then they saw the game going away from them, and then you got some energy in the bowling.
I think Umar Gul was the guy who turned it around for Pakistan, because, in the end, he basically said to his captain that I am not bowling to this field anymore, for god's sake give me some guys around where we can take catches. And you suddenly saw energy in the effort. Mohammad Sami came on and he looked dangerous all the way through. Sami too had a catch dropped off his bowling by Kamran Akmal. There was just panic for him, Kamran Akmal, at every turn when he had the gloves in his hand, and then unfortunately, I think, he panicked again while batting. So it was a match to forget for him.
AB: These timid tactics of Yousuf early in the day, does that to you heighten the need for Younis Khan to be on the next flight to Hobart. Not only to take the spot at number three, but also for the leadership?
IC: Well, it's fine to say that; but why did Younis Khan leave the team in the first place. It seemed to me, the way I read it, is that the players did not want him as the captain, or that's what he felt. So what the hell is the point in saying that we don't want Younis Khan as a captain, and then three weeks later they say that they do want him. It's not going to work.
Unfortunately, that's the mode of Pakistan cricket. I can remember a period when they had five CEOs and six captains in a period of 12 months. That's the major problem, you can't play good cricket when you've got that sort of turmoil in the system. That's the overriding problem with Pakistan. It's sad. In some ways they deserved to win the Test match. But if you are so faint hearted as Pakistan were on that last day, then in that case you've got to say that they didn't deserve to win.
AB: Back to Australia's bowling performance, we've seen Nathan Hauritz take two five-fors in back to back Tests, what does that say to you about his evolution as an international spinner?
IC: I thought he started to signify that he had more confidence and more belief in his ability in the Twenty20 tournament for New South Wales. There were couple of times when he was under the hammer, but he took the brave route rather than the conservative route. And I thought to myself that he is showing that there is belief in his own ability, and I think that has just continued on in this summer. Okay, perhaps it has taken a lot longer than he would have liked, but it's a constant process. You are not always going forward in that process either, you go forward a couple of steps and suddenly some things happen and you fall back. But I think Nathan Hauritz has been showing more belief all through this summer, and I mean the summer starting say about mid September. Two five-fors in a row, I think one probably convinced him and two would make him certain that he is heading in the right direction.
AB: It was really compelling viewing from the moment Hauritz had picked the ball, wasn't it? Pakistan have made no bones about it this summer that they are going to attack him, and they are going to erase big chunks of deficit while he was bowling. And he looked quite prepared to throw it up, and it was almost from the moment he took that ball, you knew that it was potentially going to be the spell that is going to decide the match either way.
IC: If Pakistan are saying that they are going to target Nathan Hauritz then they better do it bit more sensibly than what they are doing. I mean, even the captain. Mohammad Yousuf is a damn good player of spin bowling, but to me, in those circumstances in particular, he did not need to hit the ball in the air. Why offer one more chance to the opposition when you don't need to give them. Hit the ball along the ground, then at least you know that you eradicated the caught as a way of getting out, especially in a situation like that, desperate states. You've led the match three quarters of the way, then you've got to do everything to make sure that you win it.
Again, I guess that brings us to knowing how to win. Australia are not the team that they used to be, but they still know how to win when the winning line is there in sight. They know how to get across the line.
AB: Finally, this was the sixth time in the history of Test cricket that a team trailed by 200 plus on the first innings but turned around to win. Is this one of the better comebacks that you have witnessed?
IC: It's amazing. To be 200 behind, in general, you are out of the game. You should be put out of the game by your opponent when you are 200 behind. But I think Pakistan, because they have a number of failings - fielding and temperament wise - as an opponent you are always going to feel that you are never out of the game. And I think that's what kept the Australians going, kept them fighting.
It's a remarkable turnaround when you think that it all happened in the space of 24 hours. The game was won at around 5:15 pm on the fourth day in Sydney, but at 5:15 pm on the third day we were thinking that Pakistan might finish the game that night. Here we are 24 hours later, Pakistan have lost the game by 36 runs, and that is a pretty amazing turnaround.
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