Pakistan to 'take advantage' of Jarvis' exit

HARARE – Zimbabwe have been left severely weakened by the departure of pace spearhead Kyle Jarvis, touring Pakistan’s head coach Dav Whatmore said on Tuesday.

Jarvis, Zimbabwe’s 24-year-old strike bowler, shock Zimbabwean cricket fans this week when he prematurely quit the national side ahead of the home series against Pakistan to take up a three-year contract with English county side Lancashire.

And now Whatmore reckons Zimbabwe will struggle without their only world-class pace bowler, who had taken on the mantle of the team’s chief striker bowler after just eight Test and 24 ODI caps – and Pakistan will aim to take full advantage.

The Asians arrived in the country on Monday for a month-long full series, comprising of two Tests, three ODIs and two Twenty20.

“They (Zimbabwe) got some decent players, they know their wicket and we need to be on top of the game with the batsmen,” Whatmore said yesterday.

“Unfortunately Jarvis is no longer among them, he was a good player and that’s gonna put a bit more pressure on their bowlers and we would like to take full advantage of that if we can. But they still got some reasonable players hence we just need to be on top of their game.”

Pakistan beat Zimbabwe convincingly on their last tour here in 2011, and will be looking to extend their dominance against the struggling African side, who are still smarting from a five-match ODI series whitewash at home by world 50-over champions India. 

Pakistan are ranked second in T20s, fifth in Tests and sixth in ODIs.

On the other hand, Zimbabwe are ranked number 10 in ODIs, number 12 in T20s behind Bangladesh and Scotland, while they are currently not ranked in Test matches due to the fact that have played insufficient number of games.

“Anybody looking at the rankings will agree that there is a difference between Pakistan and Zimbabwe,” Australian Whatmore said.

“I think nearly everybody would say Pakistan are favourites and I would agree with that but having said that anything can happen; on any particular day, both teams can start every match knot-for-knot.”

Given the predatory instincts in their bowling department that boasts of towering seamer Mohammed Irfan, left-arm pacer Sohail Tanvir, spinners Saeed Ajmal and Shahid Afridi among others, Whatmore challenged his batting line-up to rise to the occasion.

“I think I would agree with that, batting has some bigger players but not all the time have they clicked together,” he said.

“We won 3-1 in West Indies, which is not an easy task, and we did win two out five of matches in South Africa, who are a good side, so we have the players to do the job but we just need to have a bit more consistency from number one to seven.”

Whatmore, however could not be drawn into commenting on the recent training boycotts by Zimbabwe’s players ahead of the series.

“Well, it’s very difficult to make a comment to be honest, we are fellow professionals and it will be wrong if we make public comments of what’s happening based on what we have read, but that’s an issue for Zimbabwe cricket and not for me.”

Pakistan Squads

T20 Squad: Muhammad Hafeez (captain), Nasir Jamshed, Ahmed Shahzad, Umer Amin Umer Akmal (WK), Sohaib Maqsood, Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal, Sohail Tanvir, Muhammad Irfan, Junaid Khan, Zulfiqar Babar , Asad Ali, Anwar Ali, Harris Sohail.

ODI Squad: Misbah-ul Haq (captain), Nasir Jamshed, Amed Shahzad, Muhamamd Hafeez, Asad Shafiq, Umer Akmal (WK), Umer Amin, Harris Sohail, Shaid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal, Muhammad Irfan, Junaid Khan, Asad Ali, Anwar Ali, Abdul Rehman.

Test Squad: Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Muhammad Hafeez, Khurram Manzoor, Imran Farhat, Asad Shafiq, Younis Khan, Azhar Ali, Faisal Iqbal, Adnan Akman (WK), Junaid Khan, Wahab Riaz, Ehsan Adil, Rahat Ali, Saeed Ajmal, Abdul Rehman.

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