Coach reflects on series win October 29, 2003

Miandad - Pakistan can beat anyone

Nathan Ross

Javed Miandad, the Pakistan coach, is confident that his side could take on the best in the world after their 1-0 series victory over South Africa. Pakistan won the first Test at Lahore by eight wickets and held on for a draw in the second.

"It is a big win for us against a quality side which has a lot of allround strength and experience," Miandad explained. "I feel if we play with the same spirit and discipline we can win against any team and that includes Australia."

After a disappointing showing in this year's World Cup, Pakistan have made steady progress since then. A number of new faces have emerged into a side that was once full of regular household names such as Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis. On beating South Africa, the second best side in the world, Miandad said, "I think in the last two series against Bangladesh and South Africa we have also unearthed four or five young players for the future who are willing to work hard".

One of these new faces is 22-year-old Danesh Kaneria, whose legspin proved to be a real handful for the South Africans, especially at Lahore, where he took 5 for 46 in the second innings.

On Kaneria, Inzamam added, "If he continues to improve this way he is our biggest find for a long time. He carried the burden of the bowling and I thought the South African batsmen were never able to relax against him."

Inzamam also commended opening duo Imran Farhat and Umar Taufeeq for their excellent performances with the bat. The pair put on three 100-run stands throughout the series, enabling Pakistan to build large totals: "They gave us three solid starts and laid a solid foundation which helped us to dictate terms."

Pakistan's next challenge is New Zealand where they will play five one-day internationals at home in November and then fly to New Zealand in December for a two-Test series.