Pakistan coach Misbah-ul-Haq warns against complacency as hosts target South Africa series win

Second Test begins in Rawalpindi on Thursday

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Pakistan coach Misbah-ul-Haq has warned his team not to get complacent ahead of this week’s second Test against South Africa.

The hosts fought back from 27-4 in its first innings at Karachi to beat the Proteas by seven wickets and take a 1-0 lead the two-match series.

Yasir Shah and 34-year-old left-arm spinner Nauman Ali, playing in his first Test, shared 14 wickets between them against a struggling South Africa batting line-up.

“It was a much-needed victory,” Misbah said. “The team came back from a difficult position, but we don’t want to be complacent. South Africa is a tough team and we know they will come back hard at us.”

Since taking over as head coach in 2019, Misbah has lost three away Test series — against Australia, England and New Zealand — but his Pakistan side have beaten less formidable teams like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh at home.

Misbah and bowling coach Waqar Younis were summoned by the Pakistan Cricket Board after the team lost a Test series 2-0 in New Zealand last month. Both coaches were given another chance, but their longer-term futures were tied to the outcome of the current home series against South Africa.

“My focus is on this series,” Misbah said. “We will put all our energies in this test match and see how we can win. Other things are uncontrollable and there is no point in thinking about it.”

Middle-order batsman Fawad Alam’s dream return to Test cricket played a key role in Pakistan putting up a formidable total of 378 in the first innings after South Africa were bowled out for 220 inside two sessions on the first day.

The second Test starts in Rawalpindi on Thursday.