Former coach hits out at Bob Woolmer December 14, 2004

Miandad predicts a struggle for Pakistan

Cricinfo staff

Javed Miandad: 'Our players need to be told and coached things in a simplified manner' © AFP

Javed Miandad has come out strongly against Bob Woolmer's coaching methods and is extremely sceptical about Pakistan's chances in the Test series against Australia. Miandad's comments came just two days before the start of the first Test at Perth, with the Pakistan team suffering crushing defeats in the last warm-up game.

Miandad, who was sacked from the coaching position before Woolmer took over, pinpointed what he says are some basic flaws in the set-up. "When you are constantly experimenting with the team, when you are not sure about your playing XI and batting positions, when the coach is unaware of the particular cricket culture and psychology of Pakistan cricket, what do you expect?" Miandad told The News.

These comments came in the wake of Pakistan's humiliating ten-wicket defeat at the hands of Western Australia in their latest tour game. "It hurts to see a talented bunch of players struggle like this," Miandad said. "The problem lies in the fact that Woolmer doesn't have any idea of our cricket culture and background. Read his statements and you know this is a man not confident and sure about what he is doing."

Results, according to Miandad, were the bottom line in gauging a team, and he felt nothing much had changed ever since he was forced to step down. "He [Woolmer] has been in the saddle for six months now and we are still as inconsistent and erratic. When I left, the team was among the top three in Tests and one-day internationals, although when I took over after the 2003 World Cup we blooded several new players. Since I left has there been any improvement in the rankings or our performances?"

Elaborating on the coaching methods that he felt were ideal for Pakistan's players, Miandad said, "Our players need to be told and coached things in a simplified manner. If you drop a batsman to even give him a bit of rest to recover from a bad patch he loses his confidence and forgets everything he has learnt while in the team. That is why Yasir Hameed is now struggling to score runs."

And Miandad had no hesitation in pointing out that Pakistan will be the team playing catch-up throughout the series. "Given the present state of conditions in the team I am not really hopeful of any major surprise being sprung by our players in the Test series. A series in Australia is not the time or place for experiments or building for the future."