Pakistan middle-order laments lack of practice matches ahead of series
Pakistan middle-order batsman Asad Shafiq has pinpointed lack of practice matches as one of the reasons behind Pakistan’s poor show in ongoing Test series against South Africa.
While speaking during the press conference at the end of third day’s play of the second Test in Cape Town, Shafiq said that the team did not get enough match time to acclimatise with the challenging conditions of South Africa — as compared to their tours of United Kingdom in the recent past.
"We had home series in UAE so we didn't have time for more than one practice game,” said Shafiq. “Before UK tours we had more tour matches as we had time."
Opener Shan Masood — who was promoted up the order in place of Fakhar Zaman — hit a composed 61 while Shafiq and Azam both played aggressively to score 88 and 72 respectively.
Masood and Shafiq shared the most enterprising partnership of the match when they put on 132 in 132 minutes off 168 balls for the third wicket.
Shafiq said a positive mindset was the key to Pakistan's best day of the series.
The right-handed batsman also said that a positive mindset was the key to Pakistan's best day of the series.
"If you get in you get good value for your shots. The ball was coming on to the bat and the outfield is fast," he said. "I had to see off the first 20 or 25 balls but then I decided if the ball was in my zone I would play my shots."
Although Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur criticised the quality of the pitch on Friday, Shafiq said: "It was a bit easier today and the ball was not coming off the cracks so much."
The 32-year-old was also disappointed to miss out on a hundred despite looking all set to score one.
"I am disappointed to get out on 88, because I was playing well and my team needed a big century here,” he said. “As an individual, I also wanted to score a hundred but it's a part of the game and it happens."