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Pakistan need strong domestic structure like India for Test success: Butt

823   //    02 Jan 2019, 10:30 IST

Karachi, Jan 2 (PTI) A strong domestic structure is key to India's Test success and Pakistan cannot expect a similar performance from their players when most tend to avoid the four-day cricket in the country, said former Test captain Salman Butt.

Last month Pakistan lost the three-Test series against New Zealand 1-2 and also suffered a six-wicket defeat against South Africa in the first Test at Centurion last week.

India, on the other hand, defeated Australia by 137 runs in the third Test at Melbourne to take an unassailable 2-1 lead and retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

"Look when India won the recent Test against Australia, Virat Kohli credited India's domestic cricket for the success in bowling and batting," said Butt, who played 33 Tests and 78 ODIs in his international cricket career.

"India is doing well because their players are only allowed to play in the IPL T20 cricket and have to play Ranji Trophy unlike us where most players tend to avoid four-day domestic cricket.

"Look most of them (Pakistani players) have not even played 50 first class games. Not many of them have spent time in domestic four-day cricket. Worse they have played all their cricket mostly in UAE conditions," he added.

Pakistan will take on South Africa in the second Test beginning Thursday at Cape Town and Butt said changing the playing XI will not make much of a difference.

"Even if changes are made in the Pakistan team for the second Test in South Africa, I don't think it will make a difference," he said.

"We just don't have players who can be expected to come up with a big innings after every three or four innings.


"What we need to do is somehow get to 300 in the second Test and if Muhammad Abbas plays we stand a good chance of winning."

He also questioned in general that when players were defined as being fit for one or more formats, the same rule should also apply to the head coach.

"I think we need to see if Mickey Arthur or for that matter any coach has the temperament like a player to adjust to all formats or which format," he said.

"Because a coach can't expect to have the same approach or expectations for all formats. That is not practical. I wonder if the head coach has the penchant to handle all three formats or test cricket."

Butt's international career was cut short after he was convicted and jailed for 30 months for his role in the 2010 Lord's spot-fixing scandal. He was banned from playing cricket for ten years, of which five years was a suspended sentence.

He was released from jail in 2012.