Pakistan’s head coach Mickey Arthur said that the side did not capitalise on match-winning opportunities in the Test series against South Africa.
“We had our moments and we didn’t take them,” he said on Monday, according to ESPNcricinfo. “That’s disappointing, but saying that, South Africa were outstanding. Particularly their bowling. The bowling just kept coming and coming at us, and the one thing that was always going to be tested was our young batting group. A couple have come through nicely and a couple maybe not, but that was always going to be tested.”
He added that his side can’t expect to stay in the game when they are getting dismissed for less than 200 on a regular basis.
The Pakistan head coach did praise the performances of Babar Azam and Shan Masood in the series though.
“I thought Babar Azam was outstanding. I think he’s taken his cricket to another level. The question marks that were around Babar will certainly disappear now. I thought the way he’d played this series was amazing and he’ll just go from strength to strength now. I thought Shan Masood played exceptionally well at the top of the order and at three.”
The head coach went on to say that Asad Shafiq played two innings that were significant and everybody else chipped in along the way.
“We didn’t get enough runs clearly, but saying that, the 430 at Newlands was probably just too many from a very good bowling unit. We’ve got some work to do, particularly in these conditions,” he said.
Arthur, advocating his decision for a five-bowler pace attack, said that the key is having an all-rounder play at number seven.
“Shadab was unfit for the first Test, he was physically fit for the second but probably short of cricket. So it would have been hard to just dump him in there. I think he showed in this Test match it gives us a real good flexibility. And we’ve got to play to our strengths. That’s the aggressive way to go, and certainly five bowlers is our strength,” he said.
Arthur heaped praise onhis side for their attitude and work ethic.
“We’ve got some pretty high standards in the Pakistan cricket team and clearly we hate losing so 3-0 doesn’t sit well. It certainly doesn’t sit well with me, and it doesn’t sit well with the dressing room. I can’t however, fault attitude, and I can’t ever fault work ethic. The boys have worked incredibly hard on all their skills, they have been fantastic. They’ve tried as hard as can be throughout this Test series, so from that sense, I’m proud of them. The other sense, we have standards, we can never accept losing a Test series,” he said.
The head coach that the main reason why Asian side is unable to clinch victories in Test series in South Africa is because they stay legside of the ball.
“In these conditions you need to stay offside of the ball. You’re going to get out with the short ball if you’re legside of the ball consistently. I think we need to develop a game-plan those batsmen’s techniques. Outside of our own conditions, we’ve got to find players with a skill set to manage the bouncing ball going forward. We play Sri Lanka in the UAE in September, and then we play Australia in Australia straight after that. So we have to have our skillset perfect to manage the bouncing ball by the time we get there. We’ll get our Test batsmen into Australia three or four weeks before the games start,” he said.