SYDNEY (Reuters) – Pakistan’s hopes of upsetting hosts Australia in their upcoming two-match test series have been seriously undermined by their poor preparation schedule, former test batsman Dean Jones believes.
The tourists have played three Twenty20s, a day-night tour match against Australia ‘A’ and a two-day contest against a Cricket Australia XI since arriving in Australia.
Jones, who played 52 tests for Australia in the 1980s and 1990s, said it was insufficient preparation for the test matches in Brisbane and Adelaide.
“I blame Pakistan’s cricket board for their horrendous scheduling of this test series,” Jones wrote in a column in the Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday.
“Pakistan have not played a test match since early January. Do they honestly feel playing a three-day match at night and a two-day match in Perth will get them ready to be competitive against Australia?”
Jones said Pakistan’s inexperienced pace bowlers in particular would suffer for the lack of preparation and could have done with some time with the red ball at the venues for the two tests.
“(The) test matches will be played in Brisbane and Adelaide and their bounce will be completely different to Perth,” Jones added.
“Why didn’t Pakistan schedule a three- or four-day match when their T20 matches against Australia were on in Adelaide or at the Gabba?
“Pakistan could have easily put together a decent team to take on a state side while the international T20s were on.
“Asian players need at least three matches to get used to our conditions and this itinerary will not help them much.”
Pakistan have never won a test series in Australia and last tasted victory in the longest in format of the game Down Under when they won a dead rubber at Sydney Cricket Ground in 1995. The first test starts on Thursday at the Gabba in Brisbane, where Australia are unbeaten in tests since 1988.
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Kim Coghill)