KARACHI - Former skipper Aamir Sohail have expressed his surprise over the nature of pitch prepared for the three-day match between Pakistan ‘A’ and South Africa in Sharjah.
"While there is a thinking going on for preparing spinning tracks, this batting track has surprised me," he said in an interview on Wednesday. "In my opinion track at Sharjah Cricket Stadium should have been bit on the turning side to judge how South Africa batting fare on it," he commented. Keeping in view Pakistan's batting troubles even against Zimbabwe, Aamir ruled out the theory of spinning tracks for two-Test match series. "I don't see outright turning tracks in the series because that is not going to benefit our batting," said former Test opener. "Pakistan must play an outstanding and classy cricket to beat Proteas. It is not an easy job. But it going to be very tough proposition for Misbah's team," he remarked.
He said he was surprised to see that Saeed Ajmal's off-breaks were not turning which was cause of concern. " Ajmal is off-spinner and he should produce his magic with his dangerous ‘doosra’. “Coping with hot conditions will be the biggest challenge for the South African team," he stressed.
He also did not agree that pitches in Abu Dhabi and Dubai would be totally favouring spinners. "Spinning tracks could also disturb and cause trouble for Pakistan batting," he said. Aamir, a member of Pakistan's 1992 World Cup winning team, also rejected the theory that newly-inducted left arm orthodox spinner Zulfiqar Babar could be a surprise package. "South African batsmen play against such bowlers in the past and they got one in Robin Peterson in their line-up," he reminded.
Aamir reiterated that playing the front foot was causing a great harm to Pakistan batting. "What are these qualified coaches doing to teach their batsmen to stop this trouble," he added.
He said looking at the South African batting powerhouse with Graeme Smith, Alviro Peterson, Jean-Paul-Duminy, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis. He said South Africa got good balance in their pace bowling led by Dale Steyn with Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel and Kallis and spinners like Imran Tahir, Robin Peteron and JP Duminy.
Aamir said South Africa enjoyed edge in the fielding department and their think tank was stronger. It is to be mentioned here that experience-wise South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis had alone featured in 162 Test match scoring 13,128 runs at an average of 56.10 and have taken 288 wickets.
Pakistan's combined four senior players Younus Khan (84), Misbahul Haq (41), Saeed Ajmal (28) and Abdur Rehman (19) have 172 Test matches altogether.