Bringing in more intensity and aggression, and helping everyone showcasing how good they can be - that's Pakistan bowling coach Shaun Tait
's mantra for a job that, he says, is "as good as it gets" for someone in his position.
"Pakistan is known for some very good things and one of them is producing fast bowlers," Tait said in a press interaction ahead of the Lahore Test against Australia. "As far as being a fast-bowling coach for a team, this is as good as it gets, working with some great talent. Obviously, they have had quite a bit of experience, but they're also very young. So just getting to know them the last week or so and finding out how they tick going forward now is going to be exciting and, hopefully, I can help them out there.
"I haven't got a specific task but right now it is to keep the ball rolling from the start. I mean, that's what you talk about with [batting coach] Matthew Hayden
, aggression; that's part of the way I play cricket, and certainly some stuff I can bring to them as well as their intensity and their aggression, is going to be a big part of fast bowling. It has to be. That's something I can pass on to the boys as well."
"If you watch closely, there wasn't a cluster of wickets from reverse swing, there was a couple of wickets from reverse swing. But I don't think anyone sits back after the Test match and goes, well, reverse swing played a huge role, because it just didn't"
Shaun Tait looks back at the Karachi Test
Tait retired as a player in 2017, and after a short stint with Afghanistan
, joined the Pakistan team on a year's contract. He was expected to link up with the team before the start of the three-Test series, but his arrival was delayed because of a death in the family, and he only joined the squad last week in Karachi.
Looking at the pool of fast bowlers at his disposal, Tait said, "There's nothing [shortcomings] and there's no issue that stands out. It is a very good bowling group and bumping into people since I got the job, chatting to people, whether it's back in Australia or here in Pakistan, that just talks about how good this bowling is.
"I suppose part of my job is going to be to show everybody how good they can actually be. All the talent is there and a lot of these guys have played enough now and are doing well in international cricket, and some guys that sort of just started out their journey. In 12 months' time, if you guys sit back and see some results and, hopefully, I can be a part of showing you, that how good they can actually become."
After the Australia series, Pakistan have an away assignment in Sri Lanka, followed by the Asia Cup
, then the T20 World Cup in Australia, and are later in the year scheduled to host England and New Zealand.
"This 12-month calendar, possibly as busy as it's ever been," Tait said. "I think with all three formats being played quite heavily over the next 12 months, it's a great time to come in. I've had a bit of experience, obviously, with all three forms, and then been around enough to know that there are pressures that come with playing international cricket. So, if I can help take the pressure off the fast bowlers by being there for them and helping them through the next 12 months, that's probably a big part of my job."
Speaking specifically about the Pakistan bowlers' inability to run through Australia - in Karachi, the visitors declared at nine- and two-down respectively - Tait said, "They didn't struggle. I don't think that's a problem at all. I thought they bowled quite well. Obviously the wickets… it's been tough going for the fast bowlers. It's been a real grind for both teams, as we've seen from the results.
"That sometimes is what happens in Test cricket in tough fast-bowling conditions. We don't know what the next Test is going to bring, so I'm just working through that with the players and moving forward to the next match."
Also, in the Karachi Test
, the Australia quicks bowled better reverse swing as compared to the local boys. "They did reverse the ball. Pakistan did get the ball reversing," Tait said. "The Australian thing with this [Karachi] Test match, if you watch closely, there wasn't a cluster of wickets from reverse swing, there was a couple of wickets from reverse swing. But I don't think anyone sits back after the Test match and goes, well, reverse swing played a huge role, because it just didn't. It didn't play a big role at all for either side."