ISLAMABAD - Former head coach Mohsin Hassan Khan has said that poor team combination and planning cost Pakistan second Test.

Talking to The Nation, Mohsin said: “Pakistan performed brilliantly in the Lord’s Test, which was witnessed after a gap of around 3 to 4 years. Their body language, game plan and overall performance was superb in the first Test, therefore, they managed to outclass England in all the departments of the game. Misbah’s captaincy was outstanding and the team’s unity and passion were evident.

“But in the second game, it was English team, which learnt quickly from their mistakes and their batsmen, who were seemingly outlast by Yasir Shah at the Lord’s, played with a lot of authority and determination and Yasir was nowhere near to what was witnessed in the first Test.”

Mohsin said the second Test was a total replica of the first Test. “We could not see any game plan throughout the match. The body language of the entire team was down and it was shocking for me to notice such a huge dip in approach and form of the green caps. Winning and losing is very much part of the game, but it was hard to absolve that after playing so well in the first Test, they miserably failed in the second Test at Old Trafford. Ever since England scored 300 runs, Pakistan team was at the ropes, their shoulders were down and they had already conceded the match.”

He said Misbah failed to rotate bowlers and fitness problems of Pakistani players started coming to surface. “England had very solid game plan and they countered all the Pakistani bowlers with one simple move and that was to play straight as much as possible and no cross strokes. The bowlers were bowling both sides of the wicket, which gave English batsmen too much room and liberty to score runs freely.

“Another major factor which was badly ignored by the team management was in case Pakistan team failed to win the toss, what would be the plan B. Ever since Misbah lost the toss, it was clearly evident that he started feeling huge pressure and was not expecting to bowl first. In my personal opinion Pakistan team management didn’t read the Old Trafford pitch and went into the match with winning combination, which proved totally wrong. Every match is different and every pitch had his own pluses and minuses. I feel Pakistan should have opted to play with Zulfiqar Babar, as he could have provided much-needed depth in bowling and could have formed lethal combination with Yasir Shah, which could have paved the way for Pakistani bowlers to turn tide in their favour,” he added.

Mohsin said England had a plan B too. “In case Cook had lost the toss and Misbah decided to take first use of the wicket, even then England had made up their minds of bowling out Pakistan in between 250 to 300 runs and then in return, pile up runs to put Pakistan under pressure. There was absolutely no grass on the pitch neither the bowl was moving. It was just English bowlers’ swing, which was disturbing Pakistani batsmen.”

When asked about what was the reason despite having a hefty 391 runs to enforce follow on, Cook decided against it and opted to bat, Mohsin replied: “Cook had made up his mind that Old Trafford pitch is traditionally starts to behave differently and he wanted to bat and let the pitch further slowdown. His tactics paid off in style and it was more to do with Pakistani batting rather than English bowling, as Pakistani batsmen committed too many mistakes and played rash strokes, which gifted wickets to English bowlers.”

“My best wishes are with green caps and I hope Pakistan head coach and captain must have learnt from their mistakes and will come up with a clear cut game plan for the third Test. Changes are need of the hour, it heavily depends on Misbah and Mickey what sort of game plan they have for the third Test and how will they lift the morale of the players. I know Pakistani team is highly talented and they can easily bounce back, but for that they have to apply and play according to the situation. I hope right changes will be made in the next Test and Pakistan team will give a real run for their money to high-flying Cook and company,” Mohsin concluded.