Pakistan in Zimbabwe 2013 August 16, 2013

Whatmore wants Pakistan to guard against complacency


Dav Whatmore, the Pakistan coach, has asked his team to guard against complacency when they take on Zimbabwe, who are unranked in Tests, and placed 10th in the ODI rankings. Pakistan have strong records in both Tests and ODIs in Zimbabwe.

"The danger that I see anyway is complacency," Whatmore said at the NCA in Lahore. "We don't want to be complacent in any of our makeup, including our preparation. We may be playing Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe, but these are still three-four very important matches for Pakistan.

"There is a bit of difference in rankings, but as you know cricket has some uncertain glories in the game. We can't take anything for granted; we take one game at a time. We rather think about taking one game at a time rather than (thinking about clean sweep). We always like to be in competition and we have an opportunity to play some Test matches and ODIs as well as T20 games. We finish with Test matches and we bounce into the South Africans (in the UAE)."

Pakistan have played eight Tests in Zimbabwe, and after losing the first one by an innings, they won six out of the seven following ones. In the 15 ODIs that have been played between the two teams in Zimbabwe, only once has the home side managed to sneak a win. In their last tour of Zimbabwe in 2011, Pakistan won every game they played.

While Zimbabwe players boycotted their training ahead of the series, Pakistan players, except the ones playing in the Caribbean Premier League, have been training indoors at the Bob Woolmer centre due to rains. The team had an injury scare when Sohaib Maqsood, who is part of the T20 squad, injured his back. Whatmore, however, remained optimistic about Maqsood's fitness.

"Sohaib Maqsood is a new player who has been selected in T20 format. At the moment he is battling a little bit of fitness but we expect him to be okay by tomorrow evening," Whatmore said. "I am happy for him that he is selected, but he has to prove his fitness within the next day and a half."

Pakistan have experimented with their team combination since Whatmore's appointment as head coach, and he said that the inconsistent results are not a direct reflection of the policy. He said the frequent changes come with their pros and cons, but everyone has been working hard. "Sometimes new players are exciting to work with," he said. "When new players are picked, it does change a little bit the balance and the approach, getting used to them, getting them use to me. There's a bit of give and take; some advantages and disadvantages, but on the whole I need to do a job and I do it to the best of my ability."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on August 18, 2013, 8:55 GMT

    I dis agree with whatmore. On every tour of small teams like Zim, Bang and even Ireland and Holland we say that we can't take them lightly. What is this? You mean you don't have faith in your players that they can beat weak teams. Even if we would have lost series 2-1 with four or five new faces give all three matches, it won't have been a matter of concern because we came to know the abilities of our youngsters. But don't understand what selectors and team management is doing. On one hand they say they want to build team for 2015 and on other hand they keep on playing same players without trying the mew ones..

  • dummy4fb on August 17, 2013, 18:44 GMT

    If u cant play new guys against Zim then who are you going to play them against. Pointless for Misbah and co to play in this series. Both New Zealand and Pakistan seem to be complaining about not enough cricket. Perhaps these two countries should sort something out.

  • Alexk400 on August 17, 2013, 8:33 GMT

    What pakistan lacks leaders in the team.

  • Chaudry_Cricket on August 16, 2013, 19:31 GMT

    Whatmore why dont you man up and drop Hafeez and prove that you have authority because from the looks of it Hafeez has more power than Misbah and Whatmore.

    And dont worry Whatmore you have a lot of minnow bashers in the team namely "blessed in all facets" Hafeez.

    Besides if you have both Hafeez and Afridi in the team it disrupts the balance because they both offer the same thing. (i would prefer Afridi simply because he is aggresive and brings energy to the team).

  • asiacricket1234 on August 16, 2013, 18:06 GMT

    Considering Pakistan;s recent test performance they shouldnt be.

  • asraruwant on August 16, 2013, 18:04 GMT

    This tour was the ideal time to test the future of Pakistan cricketers especially the test team. I would have picked the following as my test team to play Zimbabwe. 1) Nasir Jamshed 2) Sharjeel Khan 3) Azhar Ali 4) Harris Sohail 5) Asad Shafiq(Capt) 6) Umar Akmal 7) Mohammed Rizwan (WK) 8) Ehsan Adil 9) Asad Ali 10) Junaid Khan 11) Saeed Ajmal. And in the ODI's I would have played 1) Nasir Jamshed 2) Ahmed Shehzad 3)Harris sohail 4) Mohammed Hafeez (Capt) 5) Babar Azam 6) Umar Akmal (WK) 7) Shahid Afridi 8) Raza Hasan 9) Asad Ali 10) Saeed Ajmal 11) Junaid Khan.

  • wrenx on August 16, 2013, 16:44 GMT

    To be honest, Whatmore gives the strong impression of doing absolutely nothing at all. He seems to keep quiet and just observe from the background. Selection policy remains ridiculous. Batting order is wild, inconsistent and counter-productive. None of the players can describe his influence on the side. He's almost a complete nonentity. A real shame that Mohsin Khan was asked to step aside. Whatmore is too meek and unimaginative to do this job.

  • dummy4fb on August 16, 2013, 16:43 GMT

    i think they will not experiment with test team as these 2 matches are the only longer format practice they will get before SA series. last time they played tests were in SA and most of batsmen were terrible, toufeeq umar should have been in as he was good recently in tests in UAE.

    in odis and t20, they can get in some players but hardly such options as they havent selected many of youngsters.

  • fahad_pakistani on August 16, 2013, 16:03 GMT

    Listen up people criticising pakistan team!!!! pakistan is sending its full strength side to zimbabwe for the simple reason that pakistan gets to play very little cricket. this will be a good practice tour for south africa and sri lanka in uae. otherwise, players wud be playing the saffaz after 3 months rest!!!

  • cisco420 on August 16, 2013, 15:42 GMT

    One captain and ten young players should have been playing this Zimbabwe series. We have to build for the future and not keep playing people with 350 matches under their belt.

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