Former players term series result fair for Pakistan
Former Pakistan players on Sunday termed a 1-1 series draw as a "fair result" for their team against the world's top-ranked nation South Africa. Pakistan went down by an innings and 92 runs in the Dubai Test on Saturday, a result that squared the two-match series after they had won the first Test by seven wickets in Abu Dhabi.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013
Former captain Aamir Sohail said the result was not to be sniffed at, especially after their embarrassing defeat against minnows Zimbabwe last month.
"It is more than a fair result because of the way Pakistan cricket is run," Sohail told AFP. "A win in the second Test was never on the cards for Pakistan as South Africa were expected to come back strongly and they did.
"South Africa were stunned by the defeat in the first Test but the way they hit back showed that they are the world's best Test team," he added. Sohail said Pakistan must learn to play a fifth bowler in Tests. "I think there are a few lessons to be learnt, especially they must realise the importance of a third fast bowler and play with five bowlers in all."
Pakistan used two frontline pacers in Mohammad Irfan and Junaid Khan and two spinners in Saeed Ajmal and Zulfiqar Babar in the two Tests, but Sohail termed the absence of a fifth bowler as "a big lacking for Pakistan."
"Most of the teams have a fifth or a sixth bowler who are either their all-rounders or any batsman who can also bowl but Pakistan lack in that department and we miss a fifth bowler when it is needed," said Sohail, also a former chief selector.
Another former captain Rashid Latif agreed a 1-1 result was acceptable.
"It's a fair result because South Africa proved they are currently the best Test team in the world," he said.
"The South African bowlers adjusted their length in Dubai and their whole team played for the pride of the nation and team." Latif did not have such kind words for the Pakistani batsmen, though, after they slumped to a low score of just 99 in the first innings.
South Africa piled up a big 418-run lead by scoring 517 in their only innings, and while Asad Shafiq (130) and Misbah-ul Haq (88) fought hard in response, Pakistan were dismissed for 326 on the fourth evening.
"The Pakistani batsmen struggled after the first innings of the first Test and committed so many mistakes in the remaining three innings," said Latif.