Dubai – Memories of the seven-run defeat at the hands of the Proteas came back to haunt Dav Whatmore as he prepared his Pakistan squad for the second Test in Dubai, starting on Wednesday.
Pakistan lead the two-match series 1-0 after a seven-wicket win over South Africa in Abu Dhabi last week.
Whatmore was coach of Sri Lanka in 2000 when they annihilated the Proteas, captained by Shaun Pollock, by an innings in the first Test at Galle. But South Africa hit back in the second Test, winning by seven runs in a tense finish, before they drew the final Test.
“I know how well they can come back, I’ve experienced it first hand,” Whatmore said.
“There’s no doubt that they will come at us hard in this second Test. This South Africa unit is very resilient. You write them off at your peril.”
Whatmore said he was not surprised at Pakistan’s first-Test win as his team had prepared better under pressure – they were criticised after their shock Test defeat in Zimbabwe and their 3-0 series loss in South Africa earlier this year.
“I knew that we would be competitive against the No 1 side. That was motivation after they had beaten us 3-0. The conditions suited us and we rose to the occasion.”
South Africa batted poorly in the first Test, but of more concern was the uncertainty of line and length from the bowlers. However, Proteas coach Russel Domingo was far from downbeat on Sunday.
“We lost the Test comfortably, but there was a sense that, if we had (set) 120 runs as a target, we could have had a real sniff of the Test,” he said.
“I have no doubt that we have the bowlers to get 20 wickets. We just need to implement our plans better and be more disciplined in our bowling throughout the innings.”