Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed believes that mental pressure is the reason due to which the team failed to perform in the second and the fourth innings.
As South Africa thwarted victory from Pakistan yesterday after chasing a fairly low total of 149 runs, Sarfraz while talking to the media said, “Since Hamilton, this is happening. We will have to sort this out going forward. It is everyone’s responsibility, including the coaching staff’s,” he said.
The skipper further said, “We take a lot of mental pressure and because of which we are unable to perform in the fourth or second innings. We are struggling in the second innings (in the last two years). We do get starts but then a wicket falls which initiates a collapse. It has been a while now.”
Pakistan made an ideal start when Hasan Ali trapped Aiden Markram leg before wicket before a run had been scored but Fakhar Zaman dropped an out-of-form Hashim Amla at gully, whereas Dean Elgar survived after a controversial decision where Azhar Ali caught him at the first slip off Shaheen Shah.
The middle-order batting collapse has now been a consistent issue for Sarfraz’s IX in recent times. In the second inning, Pakistan were 101/1, but the middle order proved to be fragile. Azhar Ali got out for a duck, while Asad Shafiq managed just six runs. The struggling skipper, Sarfraz Ahmed could not open his account in both the innings.
Despite the depressing result in the first Test, Sarfraz said that both sides faced in negotiating a bouncy pitch.
“I am not saying anything. But, if you see throughout the two and a half days, all of the batsmen struggled. The first 30-40 balls for any batsmen were not easy. For me, this pitch qualifies to be a bowling paradise,” he added.