• Mental strength key for ul-Haq

    Opening batsman Imam-ul-Haq has insisted Pakistan will not lack motivation, come the third and final Test against South Africa, which will get under way at the Wanderers on Friday.

    Defeats in the first Test at SuperSport Park in Centurion and second at Newlands in Cape Town have seen Paksitan concede the series. A three-nil whitewash, though, can be avoided in Johannesburg.

    ‘We lost the series, we know that, but the last match is very important for us because we have to make a statement as we have been working very hard for the last two months,’ said Imam, who is the nephew of former captain and current chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq.

    ‘We have learnt a lot. Some guys have had some good innings in the two Test matches. We are still working hard on it and hopefully we will do better in the last Test.’

    The 23-year-old left-hander scored zero and 57 in the first match and eight and six in the second. He has not fallen to one bowler more than once, instead affording Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Duanne Olivier and Kagiso Rabada his dismissal each.

    ‘To score against South Africa, you have to be at your very best, mentally strong and prepare well. The wickets are so difficult here. It is very difficult to start on, but when you do get a start it is easier,’ he added.

    ‘Before coming here I knew it was not going to be easy, but it is all about the hard work you do in the net sessions.’

    Photo: Getty

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