Zimbabwe v Pakistan, 1st Test, Harare, 3rd day

Zimbabwe Tests ideal preparation for SA - Younis

Firdose Moonda in Harare

September 5, 2013

Comments: 17 | Text size: A | A

Shingi Masakadza is mobbed after dismissing Misbah-ul-Haq, Zimbabwe v Pakistan, 1st Test, 3rd day, Harare, September 5, 2013
Younis Khan: "The Zimbabweans bowled so well, they made it difficult for us" © Associated Press

Younis Khan rated the quality of Zimbabwe's bowlers so highly that he regards the two-Test series in Harare as ideal preparation for Pakistan's next challenge against the No.1 ranked Test team. Pakistan take on South Africa in the UAE after the Zimbabwe leg wraps up and Younis hopes the experience gained here can be put to good use on that assignment.

"The Zimbabweans bowled so well, they made it difficult for us, it's definitely good practice for us when we get back to Dubai," Younis said. "Also, the wicket is very good so we can really get some time but they are making it tough for us to score runs."

Although Zimbabwe's attack did not profit as much as they did on the first day, when there was still something in the surface, as they tied Pakistan down to a scoring rate of 2.4. Hamilton Masakadza, the Zimbabwe captain, was pleased with the effort on a pitch that was at its best for batting. "The guys bowled really well, they applied themselves, they stuck at it and that was good to see," he said.

Having had Pakistan at 23 for 3, Zimbabwe may have hoped to limit them even further but Masakadza said Younis, in particular, made that tough. "He put us under pressure because he was not just looking to be there, he was also looking for run-scoring opportunities," Masakadza said. "We had to set more defensive fields as well."

Younis and Misbah-ul-Haq shared a fourth-wicket stand of 116 to get Pakistan out of trouble but the old hands' rescue act was not simply a cause for celebration. Their ongoing efforts to steady Pakistan points to an over-reliance on seniors and raises concerns about the next generation. Younis is hopeful they will improve with time.

"Test cricket is all about patience and the young guys, sometimes they come from ODIs and Twenty20s so they need to learn," Younis said. "It's for the senior players like myself and Misbah and [Mohammad] Hafeez to help them and we are here to do that. The other thing is that we are not playing Test cricket regularly, the last time was almost six months ago. You need to play regularly to learn."

Pakistan's call for more Test cricket has been made on numerous occasions, especially by Misbah in South Africa in March. Younis has not played international cricket since then and most of the squad has been occupied with one-day competitions. That's why, according to Younis, the trip to Zimbabwe is so important for them. "This is what we need and we are enjoying playing here," he said.

As much as the experience of it is worthwhile for Pakistan, getting the expected results is also important and Younis is confident they can beat Zimbabwe in the longest format as well as they did in the shorter ones. Asked what he thought was a defendable total, he said, "Anything," before qualifying that to, "something like 200 or 300. Anything."

Younis believes the pitch will take more turn, "especially towards the end," but Masakadza remains hopeful it will not be much more. He said the cracks have only opened a touch, with "nothing too frightening at this stage," and thinks Zimbabwe could chase something "around 250."

Still, he is wary of Saeed Ajmal, after the spinner took seven wickets in the first innings. "We know he is going to be their main threat and the guys have their plans," Masakadza said. "Some will be looking to use the sweep and others to play as straight as possible. But I'm feeling pretty confident."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Solid_Snake on (September 6, 2013, 14:52 GMT)

@Prabhakar:Ohh cant wait to see the Legendary Great Indian Seamers bowling on SA pitches.Whole world praise Indian Fast bowlers & i cant wait to see those bowlers bringing down SA batsmen.The big question is.. how many seamers are currently playing in the team who played during the last SA tour?& How many are going there for the first time..Such big talk even the series has not been started yet lol..If we had bowled Kallis & Boucher out in that match etc etc..This is Cricket..It's not a game of if's & but.If one start doing this,nobody deserve to win in that case.. PS:Just force your board not to back off from this tour.Let's see how good Indian batsmen are there

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 10:49 GMT)

A lot of comments here seem to point out to the superior bowling of SA and hence the Indians being apprehensive, conveniently forgetting that the last time ( in fact last two times) the two have met in SA, the contests have been close. One reason for that is not great batting by India but the ability of Indian bowlers to make inroads into the SA line up using conventional swing. If not for a fighting innings by Jaques Kallis and solid support from Mark Boucher , whose test place was in line, last time around India would have won the series.This time too it won't be any different. If they were to prepare seaming wickets, they know it will be at their own peril.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 9:51 GMT)

Younis Khan is a good player and it will depend on Younis Khan , Adnan Akmal and Saeed Ajmal to win the game for Pakistan

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 7:40 GMT)

xtrafalgarx : Yes it's similar to India playing continuous home series against every nation and rejecting the away series because they don't support DRS.

Posted by Ibrarhunzai on (September 6, 2013, 6:07 GMT)

I got a feeling Pakistan will get a lead of atleast 250 as the wicket is still pretty good to bat on. Its not behaving that badly so far and will likely to not change much. Younus and asad partnership is key though for Pakistan. They need to survive the first hour of the day and later survive the new ball.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 5:51 GMT)

i agree with Harish Kumar....even Afghanistan is a better side than banladesh....sad thing is that both Ireland & Zimbabwe loosing their cricketrs to England

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 5:27 GMT)

Zim & Ireland are far better than Bangladesh...Both team needs more cricket

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 4:17 GMT)

1st three days of Test, I believe Zimbabwe is a better team than Pakistan. Batting, Bowling and Fielding Zimbabwe has more commitment. If Zimbabwe has to chase 200 or less, they would do it. Anything above 225, Pakistan would win. I personally doubt if Pakistan can score three hundred plus in 2nd innings. Who selected Khurram Manzoor as an Opener, should be fired as a Selector. He does not have the technique against pace and swing. Hafeez made a selfish statement that he is fit, he is definitely not.

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (September 6, 2013, 3:13 GMT)

I don't get it, how can Pakistan be facing SA again! Didn't they go there last year??? Wierd.

Posted by CrICkeeet on (September 6, 2013, 1:05 GMT)

Preparation!! Really? U playing against a second zim team (i heard they'r without their 3-4 key players) nd still struggling against zim bowling attack...... looks lyk ireland vs zimbabwe going on

Posted by mahjut on (September 5, 2013, 23:50 GMT)

I am pleased to see the customary praise of one's host is still adhered to even if (and I do remember his last visit) it's followed by disdain...."anything" :)

What are we now - 3 years into tests again, 4 into franchises? One would very much hope there is a difference between this test and our second test after 5 years in the wilderness. It is extremely pleasing to see the progress that has been made especially in seeking out, persisting with and developing seam bowlers! Even the batting is solidifying a little ... Will spend the night dreaming of a day which ends with him needing 100 with 7 wickets in hand

Posted by Chaudry_Cricket on (September 5, 2013, 22:58 GMT)

Younis is a class player and even more humble as a person. In Shaa Allah he will get a century. Younis is also going to be very vital for the upcoming RSA and Sri Lanka series. Just hope the PCB select the right players for once in their lives.

Posted by   on (September 5, 2013, 22:23 GMT)

Tomorrow's first session is very important because new ball is due and zim fast bowlers move the ball well. All depend on Younus ,Shafiq and Akmal.Initially the have to settle down and when the lead is over 200then they can takem risk. But while staying at the wicket they have take single and wait for bad ball to score boundary.

Posted by Rubic on (September 5, 2013, 21:27 GMT)

And that is another big reason as playing test matches with six months interval will hurt even likes of Clark, KP and Cook…

Posted by ZCFOutkast on (September 5, 2013, 18:10 GMT)

You will recall that Younis Khan was here last time too. Apart from singing praises of Vusi Sibanda's batting he thought little else of the rest of our players. Now there is a huge turnaround as he is giving full marks to our team. The difference is obvious for everyone to see. Overrated Jarvis is gone, and the swift-tiring Vitori was left left out. The results then compared now show that they severely weakened us when it came to bowling to quality batsmen. Apart from perhaps Chanderpaul&Ross Taylor; Tamim, B.McCullum, Guptil, Samuels, D.Bravo&Shakib etc, are nowhere near the same level as Younis, Misbah&Ali when it comes to quality Test batsmen.

I'm not sure we can chase anything over 180 runs. Our boys really need to do something tomorrow and make that 2nd new ball talk. Focus on Shafiq, Adnan and the tail. Don't waste time taking on Younis. If his mind is set on it, he's too good for any of our bowlers to be a match. Just 90 runs to play with Hami. Use it wisely&lead us to victory!

Posted by   on (September 5, 2013, 17:40 GMT)

ZIM bowled really well and disciplined effort.

Zim still on driving seat and paksitan need plenty of work from younas , asad and akmal if they want to win it.

So far all 3 days goes to zim.

Cracks will open or not. Ajmal will be dangerous or not. 1st paksitan need to drag it as much as possible,

and ajmal alone can not do much. he need support from others especially rehman.

Posted by   on (September 5, 2013, 17:25 GMT)

with jarvis, sean williams n his brother, taibu n creamer in d zim side, they will b a very good team.

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