Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed has lashed out at his bowlers for their lacklustre performance during the second Test defeat against South Africa in Cape Town.
Pakistan surrendered the series after losing to the hosts by nine wickets at Newlands.
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.
The Pakistan skipper also praised the South African team for putting up a good show with both bat and ball.
“Credit goes to South Africa, they know how to play in home conditions. Their bowlers bowled really well and didn’t give us any bad balls,” he said.
Sarfraz also lamented the lack of discipline in the batting department but was optimistic that the team will improve in the near future.
“We lacked discipline in batting but whenever Asian team goes away, they have problems but the way our batsmen showed their character in the second innings, that’s how you play Test cricket. We’re getting better day by day,” he said.
Speaking about relegating opener Fakhar Zaman to number six in the batting order, Sarfraz said: “Fakhar has batted at number 6 because he likes to play shots, he was facing some problems with the new ball and Shan Masood was batting really well so we thought Fakhar might feel better lower down the order.”
Speaking about the final Test match of the series at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, Sarfraz said that his side has nothing to lose and they will try to play positive cricket.
“For the last Test, we need to bat like we did in the second innings here in Cape Town, we have nothing to lose. We need to be positive. But we also have to take 20 wickets otherwise we can’t win,” he said.