5 reasons why Pakistan lost (second consecutive) test against Proteas


South African pacers once again tore through Pakistan and secured their second conclusive win in the test match against green shirts. South Africa now has a definitive lead of 2-0 in the three-match series and Pakistan can do nothing more than to whine over the poor state of affairs.

Pakistan was already facing tough challenges to overcome in the 2nd test, and many were expecting this result if we are being honest.

Although South African pacers did show a phenomenal display of talent, it wasn’t their outstanding performance which ensured defeat for Pakistan rather it was Pakistan’s own recurring mistakes which left them doomed.

To sum it all up it was basically heartbreaking for the ardent cricket fans but it’s important to identify what went wrong for Sarfaraz and team.

5 Reasons Why Pakistan couldn’t perform against South Africa

Here the top 5 mistakes which Pakistan made during the Capetown test:

1. Top order failure

Pakistan’s top order seemed like amateur players playing street cricket, even they might know how to hit the ball better but our very talented Fakhar Zaman and Imam ul Haq were completely oblivious to the South African pace and bounce.

Imam ul Haq, the nephew of chief selector Inzamam ul Haq, was particularly a disgrace to the team and one fails to understand on what merits was he given a chance to play against one of the best test teams of the world.

His scores reflect his undermining performance:

At a time when Pakistan needed him the most, Imam got out on just six runs. He managed to play only 13 balls in the second innings of the Capetown test.

Even during the first match, Imam could hardly score 58 runs in total in both the innings.

These numbers speak volumes about Imam’s growing inability to score for the team and provide a stable start. Imam is yet to show some good performance in test match cricket. It is because of the top order failure that the whole team immediately comes under pressure, allowing Proteas to dominate.

Stats clearly showing our top order was nowhere to be found in the 1st innings. Picture by: PCB

2. Lack of consistency

It’s not just the top order batsmen who disappoint us time and again but also the veterans of the team who fail to show any class. There was a time when Misbah ul Haq and Younis Khan use to come on the field and ease off all the tensions; such was the stature of these great players.

However, today even the most experienced test players of Pakistan e.g. Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq could not provide that level of confidence to the team.

Azhar Ali, Pakistan’s most experienced batsman, fell to a short ball from Olivier for the third time in a row in the first innings, fending tamely to first slip. Five of his teammates also were dismissed by short deliveries.

Even in the second innings, Azhar failed to performed and got out on Rabada’s delivery.

Asad Shafiq managed to provide some resistance in the second innings of the match but could not survive for a very long time. He got out on Philander’s ball after making 88 runs

Owing to such inconsistencies, it became hard for the team to survive one day. Pakistan was out in 51.1 overs and before tea on an opening day at Newlands.

One could not even imagine the number of overs they have played so far:

With 47,56 and 51 overs of batting in the three innings of the series so far Pakistan was destined to lose.

3. Sloppy captaincy

It was a failure of Sarfaraz’s leadership as well, neither had he kept the moral high nor did he push the boys to add some sort of pressure on the South African batsmen.

He was really confused, to say the least, torn between saving his own captaincy and saving the match. It looked as if all the odds were against the captain. Even as a batsman he could only manage to cross 50 in one inning with two golden ducks in the first match.

4. No pace no gain

While South African pacers truly shined through, Pakistani bowlers were a sore sight. The bowling was so poor that Markram and Dean Elgar were able to put on 56 for the first wicket at almost five runs an over.

Mohammad Amir put a brake on the scoring by having Elgar caught behind during a second spell in which he conceded only eight runs in five overs. But Markram and Hashim Amla steadily built a second-wicket stand of 67 off 109 balls.

Even the tail trio of Rabada, Styen, and Duanne Olivier performed brilliantly in front of our pacers and added handy runs to South Africa’s lead with them scoring at almost a run a ball.

5. Recklessness by coaches 

Another strong reason for this dismal performance was the failure of the coach; Micky Arthur could not instill the spirit that was required.

It is important to remember one important fact:

When Micky Arthur got the coaching responsibility of Pakistan, the team had giants like Misbah and Younis hence the wins came in easily. But after these two left, the reality was exposed. Micky was unable to train the fresh lot in the same manner.

Instead of adopting a proactive approach, he went towards a reactive one and failed to lift the team. His unnecessary anger and bitterness further increased the pressure on the team which led to their repeated failures.

What the future holds?


On a whole, the test tour proved to be a bitter dream for Pakistan, they failed in all departments, from bowling to batting to fielding. There was not a single moment when the players stood out and made their nation proud. Instead, it seemed like a circus where the performers did not know what tricks they were playing.

Some questions have now become pertinent:

Will Sarfaraz Ahmed be able to retain his position as a test captain or not? 

The cricket pundits are clearly not happy with his performance in test and it seems more than evident that we will be expecting a major change in the test team.

However, is there any better option available with Pakistan? Azhar Ali, who is the most senior player, can be a strong contender for captaincy but even his performance is not hidden from the world. In this situation, it will be interesting to see who will get the command or will Sarfaraz continue.

You can also give a read to 5 unbelievable things Pakistan did in the first Pak Vs SA Test.

For more updates, stay tuned to Cricket Howzat.

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