DUBAI: Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed believes experimenting with the number of days in Test match cricket should be given a chance.
The debate over reducing the number of days from five to four for a Test match is picking up the pace, with almost every pundit batting in favour or against the idea.
The move from five to four days is supposed to help bring back the audience which is leaving Test cricket for more entertaining and less time-consuming formats of ODI and T20.
“I can’t say much about this, the experts are better suited to comment on the matter, but if you see in New Zealand and Australia, the results of the Test matches come on the fourth day or early on the fifth day because of the conditions there. So if they are trying to experiment with the number of days, then they are most welcome,” said Sarfraz in a video interview for Roznama Express.
‘Batting failed us in Sri Lanka Tests’
Pakistan were, for the first time in the UAE, whitewashed by a team, Sri Lanka, 2-0 in the Test series and when asked, Sarfraz said batting was to blame for the defeats.
“When you lose, people start finding mistakes in your game plan,” he explained. “I believe we didn’t bowl well. The kind of bowling attack we had, we thought we could get Sri Lanka out, but we were unable to do that.”
He continued by saying that the lack of partnerships hurt them. “However, the biggest problem we faced was in the batting department. Batsmen did score fifties, but the kind of innings Asad Shafiq played in the second Test, if someone played such a knock in the first Test or in any of the four innings, the result could’ve been better. We lacked partnerships; there was no 100-plus runs partnership which is why we lost.”
‘We relied too much on pacers’
Pakistan missed the trick in the Tests by not giving leg-spinner Yasir Shah a partner in the spin department and Sarfraz said no single person was to be blamed for it and that they were simply relying more on pacers and reverse swing.
“No individual can be blamed for it,” he said. “It was a team decision. We relied too much on our fast-bowling. We thought reverse swing would come into play and we would be able to get Sri Lankan wickets, but our decision backfired. You can say that two spinners would have done better, but we put more belief in our pacers and unfortunately it didn’t work.”
But would he repeat the same mistake of not playing two spinners again? Sarfraz believes he will do whatever the situation demands when the next series comes.
“The next series is after a long time,” he said. “I don’t know what the situation will be at that time. But whoever will be in charge, we’ll try to play according to the situation. If the conditions suit spinners, we’ll play two spinners there.”
On Amir’s fitness
Mohammad Amir was ruled out of the ODI series against Sri Lanka after incurring an injury during the second Test and Sarfraz believes the 25-year-old will be fit and firing again soon.
“Since his comeback, Amir has been playing in all formats. He hasn’t played much Test cricket in the UAE, but I hope he will acclimatise himself to the conditions. He is one of our experienced bowlers. I hope he will get fit soon and replicate his ODI performances in the next Test series,” concluded Sarfraz.
(Translated and transcribed by Abdul Majid Awan)
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