After captain Sarfraz Ahmed rued the lack of bite in Pakistan‘s pace bowling attack, it was the turn of bowling coach Azhar Mahmood to bemoan their inconsistency.
Sarfraz was unhappy with the lack of pace in Pakistan’s seam attack with all pacers bowling around or below the 130kph mark. He received a lot of flak as it was Pakistan’s batting that was seen as the main reason for their impending series whitewash. However, the fact is visitors’ bowling attack did let South Africa off the hook from 93-5 to 303 in the third Test in Jo’burg with Quinton de Kock (129) and Hashim Amla (71) leading the way.
Seamers Mohammad Abbas and Hasan Ali went for more than four runs an over. Pakistan ended the third day of the Wanderers Test on 153-3 chasing an imposing target of 381.
After the day’s play, Mahmood said inexperience in the bowling line-up was to be blamed.
“We could have bowled a lot better today, and there were patches we didn’t bowl well in Centurion and Cape Town as well,” Mahmood was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “But as you see, our bowling line-up is very inexperienced, and this is a learning curve for them. Apart from Amir, no one has come here before. These are different pitches, different atmosphere, so it’s a learning curve for them.”
Former all-rounder Mahmood said the wicket had flattened out dramatically on Sunday, which was evident in the way Pakistan’s openers put together a fifty-run stand.
“I think the pitch flattened out a bit. For the last three days, all sides opted for the heavy roller and the pitch flattened out. I think our plan was to get them out for less than 50 or 60 runs today, so we’d have to chase 270 or 280. But credit goes to de Kock and Amla. They played really well. They left the ball well, and when they got opportunities, they hit boundaries. On this ground, there are a lot of boundary options.”
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