South Africa easily knocked down Pakistan in the second Test, winning it by a convincing nine-wicket margin and also sealing the three-match series by 2-0.
Pakistan will now play for their pride at Johannesburg, from January 11 to 15, in a dead rubber contest, however, if the visitors manage to get a win in the third Test, it will be a huge confidence booster for them ahead of the ODI and T20I series.
Every defeat teaches something, so here is what we learned from the second test between Pakistan and South Africa, which was played at Cape Town.
Solid Shan Masood
The left-handed top-order batsman, Shan Masood has been the most consistent performer for Pakistan in the first two Tests so far. He has scored 189 runs in four innings so far at an average of 47.25 with the help of two impressive half-centuries. He replaced Fakhar Zaman as an opener in the second inning of the Cape Town Test and he was convincing at the top as well. With his solid technique and cool head, he can be surely a man to invest in.
Impressive Shaheen Shah
The 18-year-old left-arm pacer, Shaheen Shah Afridi is improving day by day. He took his second four-for of the series in the first inning of the second Test and was extremely pleasant to watch. He can potentially lead Pakistan’s bowling attack in the future in probably all three formats of the game. But, he should be used carefully and not be overburdened.
Azhar Ali’s short ball problem
Pakistan’s most senior batsman, Azhar Ali is struggling badly on short balls. He was unlucky in the second inning of the Cape Town Test as Kagiso Rabada’s delivery kept low. However, he has found it tough to negotiate the shorter stuff. He has to lift his game and take a leaf out of Shan Masood’s book as of how he is handling short-pitched deliveries.
Yasir Shah toothless on these wickets
There is no doubt on Yasir Shah’s skills, but these wickets are just not assisting him a bit. If they get a similar surface in the Johannesburg Test, Pakistan can replace him with Faheem Ashraf to add a seamer in the line-up and also add batting depth. Faheem bowls at a teasing line and length and can be handy in these conditions. He is also a capable batsman in the lower order.
Babar Azam a Test player
Pakistan’s young batting sensation, Babar Azam was often criticised for getting failed in Test cricket when he was batting in the top order. As he has been demoted to fifth or sixth, he looks a completely different player. Azam is playing with confidence and almost dominating South African bowler at the position. He also bats well with the tail. Babar Azam seems like a bright prospect for Pakistan in the longest format of the game as well.