PERTH: Pakistan’s team director Mohammad Hafeez backed wicketkeeper Sarfaraz Ahmed amid criticism following the latter’s dismal performance in the first Test against Australia.
Sarfaraz Ahmed had a forgettable outing in Perth as he scored a total of seven runs in two innings.
However, Hafeez defended the wicketkeeper saying that he was excellent in the last series and has served Pakistan with great performances in past.
“Sarfaraz has given a lot of performances for Pakistan. In the New Zealand series in Pakistan, he was excellent. Unfortunately, this match didn’t go well for Sarfaraz according to our expectations,” Hafeez said in the post-match press conference.
“However, we can’t start thinking something totally different after one match. Sarfaraz isn’t new – he has toured Australia, South Africa, and England before.”
Hafeez stressed the fact that the management cannot drop a player over the performance of just one match.
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“Yes, he didn’t perform up to expectations as a batsman and keeper. But this doesn’t mean that we should start doubting someone’s skill and saying they can only play in certain conditions,” he concluded.
Notably, Australia are currently leading the Test series 1-0 after thumping Pakistan by a huge margin of 360 runs in the first Test match at Perth Stadium.
Australian bowlers bowled the Pakistan team for a meagre 89 runs in the second innings after setting a mammoth target of 450 runs to register a dominant victory.
Australian all-rounder Mitchell Marsh was adjudged man-of-the-match for his brilliant performance in both innings with scores of 90 and 63* as well as one wicket in the first innings.
Pakistan and Australia will square off in the second Test match of the three-match Test series at Melbourne Cricket Ground, which is scheduled to start on December 26.
Pakistan Test squad
Shan Masood (c), Aamir Jamal, Abdullah Shafiq, Abrar Ahmed, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Khurram Shahzad, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Nauman Ali, Saim Ayub, Salman Ali Agha, Shaheen Afridi, Saud Shakeel, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Sajid Khan