PAK v SA 2018-19

Bowlers react on Sarfraz’s criticism after Cape Town Test defeat

CAPE TOWN: Pakistan bowlers are reportedly unhappy with their skipper Sarfraz Ahmed’s criticism after Cape Town defeat.

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed has lashed out at his bowlers for their bad performance during the second Test defeat against South Africa in Cape Town.

While speaking during the post-match press conference, Sarfraz said that there was a visible difference between the pace of bowlers from both sides — which was instrumental in the visiting bowlers not getting many wickets.

“If you talk about our bowlers and their bowlers, there was a big difference as our bowlers were not up to the mark,” said Sarfraz.

“Our bowlers are bowling at average speed of 130 kph whilst their bowlers were bowling at 145 kph, if you bowl with lack of pace you will not get wickets.”

Despite a low first innings score on the board at Centurion, Mohammad Amir and Shaheen Afridi had kept Pakistan in the contest by restricting the first innings deficit to 42 runs.

Pakistan looked well on their way to set a daunting trail for the hosts as at one stage they were one down for 100, but yet another batting collapse saw Pakistan set a paltry 149-run target.

With Mohammad Abbas’s return, after a shoulder injury, adding more firepower to the pace attack on these seaming wickets, Sarfraz hoped for his pacers to replicate the Boxing Day’s performance.

Sarfraz added: “For me as a team we are not playing well, we were thinking that our bowling was far better based on Centurion but we didn’t take wickets here and if we had done that, we would have restricted them to 250-300 runs and it would have been a different story,” he said.

Apart from being down on pace, Sarfraz had said the bowlers delivered too many loose balls to provide scoring opportunities for the South African batsmen.

According to team sources, the bowlers are unhappy with the criticism and are of the opinion that any wins the team has amassed till now is because of them.

Sarfraz’s comments regarding their performance were discouraging, the sources said.

The sources added that the team atmosphere has been unpleasant ever since the press conference. 

In the meantime, rumours have been floating around that Sarfraz was considering stepping down as the national team captain. Sources in the team, however, refuted the reports. 

South Africa defeated Pakistan by nine wickets in the second Test at Newlands. They also won the first Test in Centurion by six wickets and lead the three-match Test series 2-0.

The third and final Test starts in Johannesburg on Friday.

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