Pakistan, South Africa 2nd ODI today
15 March, 2013
Pakistan after heavy defeat in opening ODI returns to Centurion hoping to bounce back against a ruthless South Africa side in the second ODI today.
The SuperSport Park has been a venue of mixed fortunes in the past for the tourists, who will be aiming to level the five-match series.
The team, after resting in Johannesburg for a couple of days following their first loss, went back to action in Centurion on Wednesday.
The Pakistan team was not just involved in regular training sessions to prepare for the important tie but was also made to go through additional routines, sources said.
“The coach (Dav Whatmore) and manager (Naveed Akram Cheema) held various meetings with players.” “The purpose was just to help them regain confidence. Definitely, it has been a tough tour for the players and the team management is doing everything to lift their morale. The management feels this team can still bounce back to end the tour on a positive note.”
The official revealed that the team management also held a special meeting with senior players including captain Misbahul Haq, Mohammad Hafeez and Shahid Afridi, and others who have struggled on the tour so far.
“It wasn’t a scolding session as they were encouraged to perform better. The management feels the performance of the senior players can play a big role in getting good results.”
He added that the playing XI will be selected after making a final assessment of the conditions. However, a couple of changes could expected after the official hinted at the possibility of the inclusion of fast-bowlers Mohammad Irfan and Umar Akmal.
South Africa are offering no respite to Pakistan as their spearhead bowler Dale Steyn is set to feature in the tie today.
Bowling coach Allan Donald has urged his bowlers to improve their yorkers and emulate Pakistan legend Wasim Akram.
“Nailing yorkers is our number one priority,” the former South Africa fast-bowler was quoted as saying on ESPNcricinfo.
“Not being able to bowl them out enough is what has let us down in the past, particularly when we are defending.”