KARACH - Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif has criticised team management for failing to come up with solid plan and bank mainly on luck to do well against South Africa in the second Test as well.

In an interview with The Nation, Latif said: “After losing the first Test, it was thought that the coaching staff will come up with some solid plan for the second one, as defeat would have meant series is over for the tourists, but no heed was paid and the entire team looked in complete disarray.”

He said there was absolutely no planning witnessed in both the Tests. “Although I do believe that pitches were difficult, yet not so much that we concede and simply throw away our weapons without any fight. No doubt Fakhar Zaman is an excellent white-ball player, but he looked completely out of sorts. Azhar Ali was sent to bat at number 4 in the first innings and then in the second innings, he was pushed to bat at number 3 and Fakhar was sent at number 6, which clearly indicates that Pakistan team management and coaching staff doesn’t had any ideas what was coming and rather than taking bold and positive steps, they relied on luck to turn tables against Proteas.”

He said everybody is blaming captaincy and coach for poor results, but no one bothers to pay heed towards highly-important area that is system. “If we look at India, New Zealand and South Africa, they have very strong domestic set up, which is boosted by entire team management, selectors, captain and coach. No doubt the captain’s role in cricket is highly important, but once again, what was the selection committee doing.

“The PCB has hired people on hefty monthly salaries, perks and privileges and they know everything, if we tell them areas where they lack, and it irks them a lot. They must justify their roles as all the other teams are fully prepared and keep in mind positives and weaknesses before taking on their opponents. Their domestic system holds the key to progress. They have prepared players keeping in mind all three formats of the game, while in Pakistan, we give top most priority to T20, then a bit to One-Day Internationals while Test cricket doesn’t have any importance in the eyes of PCB and selectors. Test matches define the strengths and how much a team progress at the top,” he added.

The former captain said now after this series, Pakistan team will play shorter format and ODIs for next six months. “I feel the green caps must pay attention towards working on longer version of the game, during the long break. Now last Test remains and I advise the team and management to enter the last Test with fresh frame of mind and forget about the last two Test results and play natural cricket.

“We must enjoy our cricket and bowlers should come up with all cylinders firing and batsmen must try to bat for themselves at least. If they can’t bat long enough for the team, wickets doesn’t mean too much. It is batsmen’s responsibility to play sensibly and ensure they don’t give wickets easily and let the bowlers to work hard. Let the players play at their natural positions and don’t make too many unwanted changes in batting order.

“I think Pakistan team has better chances of doing well in the third Test if they enter with winning mentality. I think one or two changes are on the cards. South Africa is favourite to go all out attacking to inflict whitewash on green caps and it can be avoided through aggressive approach,” Latif concluded.