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November 24, 2010
Jacques Kallis, the South Africa allrounder, has criticised the Abu Dhabi pitch, after Pakistan, led by a determined half-century by captain Misbah-ul-Haq, drew the second Test and the series. South Africa set Pakistan a target of 354 but managed only three wickets in the chase, though they did pick them up in quick succession after lunch to put pressure on their opponents.
"The groundsman needs to ensure the game of Test cricket stays healthy and produces a good contest between bat and ball," Kallis said. "It didn't really live up [to expectations] and you can probably play another Test match straight away and not get a result. The pitch was really flat.
"Our spinners bowled well but there was absolutely no turn on that pitch and no pace either. Any team would have struggled to take 10 wickets, today, out there."
Though not winning the series was disappointing for Kallis, who scored two centuries in the two Tests, he said his side had prepared well for the Test series against India starting December 16 in Centurion. "The pleasing thing was the way we went about our business," he said. "We put Pakistan under pressure for most of the series apart from one or two sessions where we were perhaps not as good as we can be.
"I think the guys will take a lot out of the series and have got some good runs under their belt. The bowlers did not take as many wickets as they would have liked but the wickets played a role in that. As a unit, we've gained a lot of confidence."
Pakistan, currently ranked No.6 in the Test rankings, were helped considerably by the experienced duo of Younis Khan and Misbah, both making a return to the Test format after a long break. The youngsters stepped up too, with Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq making important contributions. Kallis admitted Pakistan had resisted well. "I think we had them under pressure in the whole series and the Pakistan cricketers, especially the youngsters, came in and performed really well. Their cricket is looking positive.
"They put in big performances and showed that they have the determination needed to survive in big games, though the tracks were flat."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Plays of the day from the fifth ODI in Ranchi
Plays of the day from the fourth ODI between India and Sri Lanka in Kolkata