After a dismal defeat by six wickets, Pakistan will once again face hostile hosts, South Africa, in the second test of Pak Vs SA series which will be starting from tomorrow at Cape Town.
Pakistan’s inexperienced batsmen have a huge task lying ahead:
They must decipher how to deal with South Africa’s potent pace attack if they are to claw their way back into the three-match series in the second test that starts on what is likely to be a lively Newlands wicket.
In the first test, almost the whole batting lineup disappointed the fans badly.
PAK Vs SA 1st test recap
Captain, Sarfaraz Ahmed himself went out on a duck in both the innings. Veteran batsmen Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq also provided no support to the team making it harder for the younger ones to survive the lethal bowling attack led by Duanne Olivier, who took 11 wickets for 96 runs.
Rabada and Dale Steyn also provided good support and together with the Proteas pace attack completely destroyed the Pakistani batsmen.
The whole Pakistani team was ruled for 190 in the second innings of the test match and could only pose a meager target of 149 for the Proteas to chase.
The easy target and sloppy bowling propelled South Africa to win their first test with ease.
Haris Sohail ruled out of the series
At a time when the team is already badly struggling, another setback comes into play as experienced middle-order batsman; Haris Sohail gets ruled out of the series after a knee injury.
Shan Masood will most likely be his permanent replacement; he came into the side when fellow left-hander Sohail injured a knee during the pre-match warm-up. He made an impressive 65 in the second innings in Centurion.
Mohammad Abbas to return to Test Squad
Pakistan will be welcoming back a first-choice fast bowler in Mohammad Abbas, with Captain Sarfaraz Ahmed saying after Centurion that Abbas had fully recovered from the shoulder injury.
Abbas has consistently shown great form in test cricket and his stunning performance against Australia in UAE has allowed him to win many hearts.
Shaheen Shah Afridi will be dropped from the test squad ahead of the second test as Abbas makes his comeback in the team.
Micky Arthur’s wrath
Although the bowlers performed considerably well the batsmen continued the tradition of trembling down all of a sudden.
This poor batting form resulted in the wrath of coach of Micky Arthur.
The second innings collapse that saw them lose nine wickets for 90 runs was shattering for Pakistan. After the end of the first test, he gave his batsmen a dressing down and had a heated argument with senior batsmen over their irresponsible batting style.
Captain Sarfaraz Ahmed is also quite concerned about the current form of the team. In a pre-match conference, he expressed hope for winning the second test match and bouncing back harder.
The team has been unable to perform par excellence in Test cricket having being defeated from New Zealand in the recent past.
The 2nd test will be a much bigger challenge for Sarfaraz Ahmed than anybody else. Losing the second test would mean Pakistan will also lose the series making it tough for Sarfaraz to retain as the captain of the test side.
Let’s see how the green shirts perform in this 2nd test. For more updates, keep visiting Cricket Howzat.
Pic Credits: Cricket Australia