"We Made More Mistakes Than Australia": Sarfraz Ahmed
Muhammad Rameez 3 days ago Thu 13th June 2019 | 10:39 PM
Pakistan Captain Sarfraz Ahmed has said that failure to stick to the game plan and more mistakes in the field cost Pakistan team the match while Australians executed their game plan better than us
To a query, Sarfraz said, "The things went our way as we had planned to win the toss and field first and restrict the Australians under 280 runs." About playing four fast bowlers, he said the team has not played much cricket on the ground besides a single warm-up match during the 2016 tour and tha fast bowlers had done well in that match, adding four fast bowlers were included in the team against Australia to exploit the moisture.
On pitch assessment, the skipper said both the teams read the pitch correctly and left out leg-spinners like Shadab Khan and Zampa in their teams as the Wednesday pitch had grass on it. The pitch, at Taunton, had bounce and it maintained its character till the end, he maintained, adding the need was to pitch in right areas and earn reward.
On Shadab, he said the decision to leave out Shadab was taken in the best interest of the team after much deliberations.
On bowling, the Pakistan Captain accepted that the fast bowlers, apart from Muhammad Amir, failed to bowl as was expected of them and failed to cash in on the advantage of bowling first on a green pitch. He said the inconsistency with the bowl enabled Australia post a big total like 307.
On Amir's success, he said Muhammad Amir was successful because he bowled in the right channels and pitches the ball up, adding a lot of people had questioned Amir's inclusion in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup squad despite not being part of originally announced team. He further said the management had with in Amir's abilities and nerve wrote him off rather we included him in the squad for the England series before the global tournament.
On Wahab, he said the quick was recalled for his ability to generate pace and experience of bowling in the middle overs, adding both fast bowlers had justified their inclusion in the team by the selectors.
To a question, he expressed his satisfaction over Hasan Ali's bowling, adding it was mere luck that he was not among wickets. He said Shaheen Afridi was off the mark in the beginning of the match but came back strong and got wickets in his second spell.
Sarfraz praised Australian openers for hanging on despite good bowling from Amir and Wahab, and earning a victory for their team in the end.
On fielding, the skipper was of the opinion that the team missed a crucial catch with Australasian score on 67, adding missed opportunities were part of the game but a wicket at that stage would have changed complexion of the game.
On drop catches by a Asif Ali, he said Asif Ali was otherwise known as safe hands in the field and had fielded in the slips previously, adding, "We were forced to put him slips as Babar Azam had to stand at point to fill the gap for Shadab Khan who usually fielded in that position." Sarfraz agreed that Pakistan team needed to improve their fielding in the remaining matches of the World Cup, adding fielding had become a constant worry as players had failed to translate training drills into performance since England series last month.
While commenting of Asif's batting fortunes in the match, he said the hard-hitting batsman was dismissed off a very good delivery.
Pakistan Captain Sarfraz said he had full faith and confidence in the team, adding they were fully capable to turn the tables on any opposition.