Dubai – Pakistan coach Dav Whatmore is wary of world number one Test team South Africa bouncing back in the second Test starting in Dubai on Wednesday.
Pakistan won the first Test in Abu Dhabi by seven wickets on Thursday, but Whatmore recalled a personal experience of South Africa's resilience when he was the coach of Sri Lanka in 2000/2001.
“This South African unit is quite resilient,” said Whatmore on Sunday.
“I've had a first hand experience in Sri Lanka where they lost by an innings in Galle and came back to win in Kandy,” said Whamore of the series in Sri Lanka.
“I think there was a drawn game in Colombo so it was 1-1 series, so you leave them off at your peril.”
South Africa's unbeaten run away from home since losing to Sri Lanka in 2006 is also under threat and Whatmore said Pakistan will do their best to win.
“Well 1-0 is just as good as I think because a hard fought draw is also very important for any team, having been 1-0 up in the series, but we enter the game to win,” said Whatmore, whose team lost to Zimbabwe in the second Test in a 1-1 drawn series last month.
Pakistan have an incentive of jumping to fourth from sixth in the Test rankings if they win or square the series.
Whatmore, who played seven Tests and one limited overs international for Australia, refused to agree that Pakistan's win was an upset.
“I wasn't surprised we did well, people leading up to this series in Pakistan were eluding to the fact that we lost against Zimbabwe and here you are going to play the No. 1 team in the world, no chance.
“But that was never the case, in my mind I knew that we can be competitive.”
Whatmore said change of conditions and of some players, especially in the top order in batting, paid off.
“I've alway said we're better prepared against this opposition than we were the last time we played them in South Africa notwithstanding there number one ranking,” said Whatmore of Pakistan's 3-0 humiliation earlier this year.
“That conditions are different that's pretty obvious and we've had a slight change of personnel in the eleven I think it's a combination of those reasons that gave us a good competitive effort over four days,” said Whatmore.
Pakistan played debutant opener Shan Masood who put on 135 runs for the opening stand in Abu Dhabi.
Masood, who replaced experienced but out of form Mohammad Hafeez, hit 75 in the first innings to help Pakistan gain a big 193-run lead.
South Africa then slumped to 232 in their second innings which gave Pakistan a 40-run target to win. – Sapa-AFP