AUS vs PAK: Hafeez defends Sarfaraz after Perth Test

Pakistan lost the first Test by 360 runs

By Web Desk
December 17, 2023
Mohammad Hafeez (R) defended Sarfaraz Ahmed (L) after the Perth Test. — AFP/Screengrab

Pakistan’s team director Mohammad Hafeez defended wicketkeeper batter Sarfaraz Ahmed saying that the management will not think completely differently after just one match.

Sarfaraz, 36, struggled to perform with the bat as the right-handed batter could only score 3 and 4 in two innings and became the victim of Mitchell Starc both times.

Hafeez defended Sarfaraz’s inclusion saying that he has given a lot to Pakistan cricket and has been one of the best performers in the last few months.

"Sarfaraz has given a lot of performances for Pakistan. In the New Zealand series in Pakistan, he was excellent. Yes, 5-6 months have passed but you give first priority to your best performers from recent series. Unfortunately, this match didn't go well for Sarfaraz according to our expectations,” Hafeez said in a presser.

“However, we can't start thinking something totally different after one match. Sarfaraz isn't new - he has toured Australia, South Africa, England before. He's not new to these conditions that we can say that he'll struggle to adjust. 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."

It must be noted that during their chase of 450-run target, Pakistan were dismissed for a mere 89 runs, Saud Shakeel top scored for the dismantled visitors’ side with 24 runs.

Pakistan's improbable attempt to claim their first Test win in Australia since 1995 was shattered by the Nathon Lyon and the home team's formidable pace attack, swiftly concluding the game within four days.

In pursuit of 450 for victory, the visitors surrendered meekly with Lyon claiming 2-18. Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood also secured three wickets each.

Australia declared on the fourth day at 233-5 after Pakistan were dismissed for 271 in their first innings, responding to the hosts' 487.

Schedule of remaining matches

2nd Test – Australia vs Pakistan – December 26-30: Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)

3rd Test – Australia vs Pakistan – January 3-7: Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG)