Sarfraz calls on Pakistan batsmen to take more responsibility after Centurion collapse

Waseem Ahmed 17:20 29/12/2018
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Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed.

Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed believes his team’s extreme vulnerability to batting collapses is down to the mental pressure his batsmen have to deal with.

Pakistan’s latest batting collapse came in the second innings of the Boxing Day Test against South Africa with the side slumping from 100-1 to 190 all out at Centurion. That dramatic collapse saw the hosts chase down a paltry target of 149 with six wickets to spare to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Batting collapses have been plaguing Pakistan for almost two years now and played a significant role in their recent ‘home’ series loss to New Zealand in the UAE.

Speaking to the media after the Centurion loss, the Pakistan skipper urged his men to take more responsibility in a bid to stop the rut.

“We take a lot of mental pressure because of which we are unable to perform in the fourth or second innings. We are struggling in the second innings. We do get starts but then a wicket falls which initiates a collapse. It has been a while now,” the wicketkeeper-batsman lamented.

“Since Hamilton (in 2016), this is happening. We will have to sort this out going forward. The responsibility lies on everyone: the players and the coaching staff.”

Sarfraz is backing Azhar Ali to come good in the next Test.

Sarfraz is backing Azhar Ali to come good in the next Test.

The Pakistan captain was himself under the firing lone after registering a pair in the Test. It was reported that head coach Mickey Arthur lashed out at the senior batsmen including Sarfraz, Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq for throwing their wickets away cheaply following the collapse.

However, the Pakistan team management came out later to refute those reports strongly. Sarfraz has backed Azhar and Shafiq to bounce back strongly from their Centurion failures.

“Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq have been working hard and we expect them to bounce back in the next match,” he said.

Pakistan will now hope to put in a much improved batting performance when they take on South Africa in the second Test of the series which gets underway at Newlands, Cape Town on January 3.

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