New head coach Gillespie vows consistency in Pakistan Test side

Pakistan's new red-ball coach Jason Gillespie speaks during a press conference at the National Stadium in Karachi on July 7, 2024 (Asif HASSAN)
Pakistan's new red-ball coach Jason Gillespie speaks during a press conference at the National Stadium in Karachi on July 7, 2024 (Asif HASSAN)

Former Australian fast bowler Jason Gillespie Sunday vowed to make Pakistan a consistent side after taking charge as red-ball coach with a hectic six-month schedule in focus.

The 49-year-old will start his two-year tenure with a two-match series against Bangladesh next month followed by three against England in October -- both at home.

Pakistan will also tour South Africa for two Tests in December before hosting the West Indies in as many Tests in January next year.

Gillespie, who arrived early Sunday, said Pakistan are a "talented" side but need consistency.

"How can they be more consistent is one thing that I am hoping I can find some solutions for," Gillespie told a news conference.

He hoped Pakistan can improve on their fifth position in the current World Test Championship cycle, competed by nine teams since 2019.

"Ultimately we want to win games of Test cricket," said Gillespie.

"There are skillful cricketers here, how can we play as a team and perform well against good quality international oppositions and that's going to be the key for us."

Hailing from one of Australia's best Test sides in 1990s and 2000s, Gillespie played 71 Tests, 91 one-day internationals and a solitary T20I in a successful career.

He coached Yorkshire to win the English County Championship in 2014 and 2015.

Gillespie was hired to improve Pakistan's Test side that lost 1-0 to Australia in 2022 before suffering their first-ever 3-0 home white-wash at the hands of England the same year.

Pakistan were routed 3-0 in Australia last year -- their sixth series white-wash in Australia since 1999 -- which Gillespie believed was not one-sided.

"As an observer from outside, I think there were some moments in games where Pakistan were on top but could not finish well," Gillespie reflected.

Pakistan squandered good positions in the second Test in Melbourne and the third in Sydney through crucial dropped catches, leaving them tagged as a poor fielding side.

He said Pakistan needed to be smart to counter what he termed England's "very aggressive" style of playing Tests, dubbed as "Bazball" after their coach Brendon McCullum's nickname.

"England will be a challenge, no doubt about that. But I think we are certainly up to it," said. "We are going to play very smart".

Smarting from a first round exit in both the ODI World Cup last year in India and Twenty20 in USA and the West Indies last month where South African Gary Kirsten was head coach, Pakistan will begin their Test series against Bangladesh in Rawalpindi from August 21-25.

The second Test is in Karachi from August 30 to September 3.

They face England in three Tests starting in Multan (October 7-11), Karachi (Oct 15-19) and Rawalpindi (October 24-28).

sh/sn