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Mohammad Hafeez critical of Canberra pitch for Pakistan’s warmup match

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Last Updated on 6 months by Charbel Coorey

Cricket News: Mohammad Hafeez critical of Canberra pitch for Pakistan’s warmup match | Hafeez has his say on Canberra pitch

Pakistan coach Mohammad Hafeez has taken aim at the pitch dished out for his team’s tour match against Prime Minister’s XI at Manuka Oval in Canberra. Just 13 wickets fell in three days of play, before the match was abandoned after a storm blew the covers off the square.

Pakistan, batting first, scored 391/9, led by Shan Masood’s unbeaten 201. Jordan Buckingham impressed with 5/80 off his 23 overs, but it was tough work for the bowlers where four bowled in excess of 20 overs.

Pakistan then had five bowlers deliver more than 20 overs on the flat surface. Matt Renshaw sucked the life out of the attack with an unbeaten vigil of 136* off 337 balls. Test hopefuls Cameron Bancroft (53), Marcus Harris (49) and Cameron Green (46) were also in the runs as the PM’s XI fought to 367/4 off 141 overs.

Speaking to reporters at the WACA in Perth, Hafeez said it was the slowest pitch a team could expect when playing in Australia. He was pleased with his team’s effort, but was expecting more in the pitch in the lead up to the Tests.

“We ticked most of the boxes as a team, but obviously really surprised and disappointed with the arrangements in Canberra,” he said. “The pitch we received for the practice (match in Canberra), that was the slowest we can ever, ever play on as a visiting team in Australia.”

Maybe it was tactical – Mohammad Hafeez on the Canberra pitch

Hafeez suggested that “some of it was maybe tactics” as the team is set to play the first Test at the fast and bouncy Optus Stadium pitch in Perth. “Everyone knew, so there’s no point saying it again and again. The disappointment was really high because we were not expecting these kinds of arrangements.

“Some of it was maybe tactics. But we were ready for that. We’re not using it as an excuse, we’re absolutely ready for the challenges coming up.”

However, Canberra copped 120mm of rain in the week leading up to the tour match, which made the pitch preparation a challenge for the curators.

“The match was played on a safe surface, but with little life in the pitch for the players. It was disappointing but exceptional circumstances did present leading into the match which made getting pace and bounce challenging,” said Peter Roach, Cricket Australia’s head of cricket operations.

Hafeez also told reporters he is confident his team can not only compete with Australia, but beat them. Pakistan have lost 14 consecutive Test matches in Australia dating back to 1995, but the settled nature of the team encourages Hafeez.

“This Test team is really settled, they have done a great job for Pakistan cricket in this format and everyone is excited to take the challenge,” said Hafeez.

“That is the most encouraging thing. Performing in Australia would be great for them. As they always believe as a Pakistan team, we are here to beat Australia, not (just) to compete here.

“We have great talent within the team who can win within Australia. Preparation-wise we have ticked most of the boxes. The guys are really hungry to play against Australia … they want to beat Australia here this time.”

The series will kick off at Perth on December 14. The second Test will be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground starting on Boxing Day, followed by the New Year’s Test starting on January 3 in Sydney.

Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. He is also a keen fantasy sports player. Charbel has also had the privilege of interviewing cricketers on the CricBlog TV YouTube channel, including James Neesham, Rassie van der Dussen, Andrew Tye, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat and Saurabh Netravalkar: https://www.youtube.com/@cricblogtv For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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