Pakistan are on verge of a Test series whitewash at the hands of South Africa
Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed is concerned about the batsmen losing their wickets once getting their eye in, as the visitors were dismissed for yet another low score in the first innings of the third Test in Johannesburg.
While speaking in a press conference at the end of second day’s play, the Pakistan captain voiced his concerns about batting aspect of the Green Caps.
“We’ve been facing the same problem since past 10-12 innings; In first Test, Shan and Imam were batting well but once Imam got out, we started to lose wickets,” said Sarfraz. “The same happened in Cape Town and here, so this is a problem we are facing, and we have to work on this”
Sarfraz and Babar Azam played some thrilling strokes in putting on 78 off 61 balls for the sixth wicket but both were out within the space of five balls, to be followed immediately by Ashraf, who was out first ball to Olivier.
"If you want to score here you have to play positively because a good ball is coming," said Sarfraz, who scored 50 off 40 balls. But he blamed "three bad shots, me, Babar and Faheem" for the collapse.
Sarfraz played one cut shot too many and was caught at first slip off Kagiso Rabada before Azam hooked Olivier to long leg. Ashraf got into a tangle trying to play a pull shot and spliced a simple catch to short leg.
“We played a few bad shots today; I played a bad shot and so did Babar Azam; in fact, if you see the last 5 wickets to fall in our innings, I, Babar and Faheem all played bad shots and if we hadn’t done that, maybe our position would have been much better in the match,” he said.
Sarfraz’s own batting form has been a bit better in the series —notching up two half-centuries so far — and for that he credited the improvement in his footwork and a positive frame of mind.
“I have done some work on my batting because in the first two innings my feet movement was not working so I worked on that,” he said. “Also over here you have to play in a positive way because a good ball can come at any time. If you don’t play positive cricket, you can lose your wicket at any time.”
The Pakistan skipper also praised the South African batsmen — especially opener Aiden Markram and middle-order batsman Hashim Amla — for their batting efforts over the course of the series.
“If you see Aiden Makram and Hashim Amla, whenever they see a bad ball, they play their shots on it,” he said.
Pakistan were dismissed for 185 runs in their first innings of the ongoing Test match in response to South Africa’s total of 262.
The home side already have an unassailable two-nil lead in the series, having won the first two matches of the series in comprehensive fashion.