South Africa v Pakistan, 1st Test, Johannesburg, 4th day

Pakistan left searching for answers

South Africa are becoming fearsome on their home patch and Pakistan have just over a week to come up with a method to make the series a contest

Firdose Moonda at the Wanderers

February 4, 2013

Comments: 91 | Text size: A | A

Asad Shafiq made his seventh Test half-century, South Africa v Pakistan, 1st Test, Johannesburg, 3rd day, February 3, 2013
Asad Shafiq showed that success is possible against South Africa's bowlers © Associated Press

Pakistan have ten days and a two-day match to revive themselves ahead of their next bout with South Africa. They will play a Western Province Invitation XI at the Vineyard Cricket Club next Monday and Tuesday to get game time and will look at plans to counter the new ball specifically in the training sessions before the Cape Town Test.

After becoming the third team in 14 months to be bowled out for less than fifty in South Africa, Pakistan "took the emotion out," of what happened, according to their coach Dav Whatmore, and "tried to understand the facts." What they have surmised is that South Africa's potent new-ball attack can be as unplayable as they look, especially when conditions are in their favour and Pakistan need to find a way to counterattack.

"It's really important to negotiate the new ball," Misbah-ul-Haq said afterwards. "We need to concentrate on how to tackle outswing with the new ball. If you look at this match, the way Dale Steyn bowled was the turning point, the line that he bowled and the way he swung the ball. For a team from Asia, it a very difficult to deal with that kind of thing."

The batsmen's ability to adjust was always expected to be the biggest challenge Pakistan would face on the first trip to South Africa in five years. While many would argue that most batting line-ups around the world would have been equally blown away by South Africa's bowling performance, there are some who will question Pakistan's preparation.

Ramiz Raja is one of them. In his analysis with ESPNcricinfo, he was critical of the team's build-up, said they should have arrived in the country weeks earlier and asked for more than one warm-up match before the Test series in order to acclimatise.

That cannot be changed but what Pakistan can do is use the substantial amount of time between matches to fully cook what was perhaps a little raw when they arrived and rectify the situation somewhat. The Western Province bowlers will not be of the quality of the South African attack but the match will provide Pakistan with an opportunity to play in local conditions and, although it is not a first-class match, in fairly competitive situations instead of endless nets.

They will also take heart from their second attempt at the Wanderers as a sign that they are settling in. Three players, Nasir Jamshed, Asad Shafiq and Misbah himself, had some measure of the conditions. They showed a little more certainty outside the offstump and more discretion with their aggressive intent.

It showed them what they need to do to overcome South Africa. "We had an improved performance with the batting in the second innings," Misbah said. "When you go there and hang in, it gives you a little bit of confidence. It's not that we can't do it. Everybody has learnt a lesson. It's a good batting unit so now it's about applying yourself and getting starts."

With Pakistan's batting the focus, their strong bowling performance on the first day has just about been forgotten about. But Misbah is mindful that the attack too, has work to do. "Against such a quality batting line up we need to improve day by day because they are not going to give you anything," he said.

Pakistan's reliance on spin could also help to even things out for the second Test. Although Cape Town is not exactly the sub-continent, it does take a bit of turn. Graeme Smith said: "From a style factor, of using majority spinners and seamers in short bursts, it will suit them better than it did here."

While Newlands could be a leveller in some respects, it is also the ground that South Africa call their fortress. They last lost 11 Test matches ago in 2006, against Australia. It is not a thought that will leave Misbah feeling very comfortable, especially as he acknowledged that he does not need his mission to become any more difficult. "They are the No.1 side world, it's not easy and everybody knows that. We have to improve and we have to play well," he said.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Ghinva on (February 7, 2013, 9:06 GMT)

Agree with @ Andrew..a team as good as Pakistan,cannot be called rubbish be noted a team which have not played a home series for more than 3 years..South Africa no doubt have emerged one of the best teams,but Pakistan is anything but not-capable..hope the boys come up with the terms to show their real potenial..& play a good cricket..

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 6, 2013, 21:25 GMT)

Gul was initially said to have good pace & swing and also good control over reverse swing. But now we see none of this. His pace is down to 130-135. I dont remember swinging the new ball. Does not show any seam movement. Reverse swing is no longer in his book. BUT THE WORST PART THAT IRRITATES ME MOST IS THAT, INSTEAD OF MAKING THE BATSMAN PLAY WITH THE NEW BALL, HE BOWLS TOO WIDE, SO THE BATSMAN IS HAPPY LEAVING THE BALL WHILE IT IS GETTING OLDER. BY THE TIME SOME OTHER BOWLER GETS THE BALL (IN THIS CASE RAHAT) THE SHINE IS GONE, THE BALL IS NO MORE NEW. ALSO AT TIMES HE GIVES AWAY A LOT OF QUICK & EASY RUNS.

Enough is enough. Please forget him and move on. There are so many bowlers having average below22. Why do you need this Gul whose FC avg is almost 29 and Test 33.53.

All over the World any bowler having avg.30+ gets dumped. How come Gul is enjoying the status of spearhead inspite of all his failures & limitations.


Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 6, 2013, 13:06 GMT)

Please compare the following performances in first class & Tests and Kindly explain to me how Gul can be the spearhead of the Pakistan Attack.

Name - - - - - - - Wicket/AVG.(FC) - - - - Wickets/Avg (Tests)

Sadaf Hussain - - 171/17.43

Ehsan Adil - - - - - 59/18.94

Rahat Ali - - - - -- 152/21

Junaid Khan - - -- 246/21.86 - - - - - - 29/28

Asad Ali - - - - - - 355/22.87

Mohammed Irfan-131/26.23

Anwar Ali - - - -- 260/27.46

Wahab Riaz - - -- 320/28.19 - - - - - - 17/34.11

Umar Gul - - - - - 326/28.26 - - - - - - 162/33.53

Mohammed Talha-239/28.39

Gul has got far too many chances without really performing well. Time to move on to players like Sadaf, Ehsan, etc along with Junaid & Rahat.


Posted by pauliangenius on (February 6, 2013, 3:46 GMT)

@Desihungama Well said sir. I would like Imran Farhat to come one down to replace Azhar Ali to expose Steyn struggle against left handers. And would also like Tanvir Ahmed replace Rahat Ali and not Irfan. Irfan has only bounce and no swing at all, and because SA have a habit to play on bouncy pitches, he would make no difference. By the way, his tall frame will not intimidate SA batsmen as they have Morne Morkel to face in nets. Tanvir Ahmed can both Bat and Bowl superbly. He saved Pakistan a face against West indies with his batting the last time he played a test.

Posted by pauliangenius on (February 6, 2013, 3:02 GMT)

Tanvir Ahmed will give Pakistan two benefits: he can wreck SA batting lineup and secondly, he can strengthen the batting line up.

Posted by pauliangenius on (February 6, 2013, 2:58 GMT)

Tanvir Ahmed can both bat and bowl, but they played Rahat Ali who doesn't know anything ranging from batting to bowling to fielding.

Posted by Surajdon9 on (February 5, 2013, 17:28 GMT)

When Sri Lanka have been bowled out for 43, New Zealand have been bowled out for 45, Australia have been bowled out for 47, Pakistan have been bowled out for 49, doesn't that tell you something about the quality of the bowling and the difficulty of the pitches?Dale Steyn deserves his due. You can criticise Pakistan all day, but one should at least have the courtesy to appreciate a sublime bowler, a sublime talent, a once in a generation bowler, a lethal bowler who has found the edge and ran through the defences of many highly respectable test match batsmen. In an age where batsmen dominate, seeing the ball angle, swing, zip through like it does when Steyn is charging in; is agreeably a refreshing sight. His accuracy is unerring, his swing is late, his pace is always up, and his attitude is one of a man who refuses to give up...

Posted by Papa_Tango on (February 5, 2013, 16:33 GMT)

@harmony111: Pakistan will do better in the next matches. Whether they are world-class or not will be and should be judged at the end of the tour. We do know that they are better than India who in the past series against England and Australia are a combined 1 win and 10 losses, whereas Pakistan are 6 and 3 in the same period. So keep your obssession with the Pakistani travails against the world's best ranked team, at bay till the end of the series.

Posted by Papa_Tango on (February 5, 2013, 16:17 GMT)

@Harmony111: Here you are again. Will you please worry about a Certain Team that was whitewashed by England, whitewashed by Australia, defeated by Pakistn in an ODI series, defeated by England in at-home test series,instead of focusing on the travails of the Pakistani team against the world's best team?


Posted by Harmony111 on (February 5, 2013, 16:00 GMT)

@Zifan Hai: The only thing right in your comment is that SA is going to get a two digit reply from Pak - hell yeah they already did it once. The rest of your comment would have made a great satire had you not been serious there. How can anyone say Pak are World Class after the way they performed in the 1st test? Even if we set aside their 1st innings fold-up what else did they do right? Bowling SA out for 250? Well, truth is, a no of SA batsmen thew their wickets away after being well set, FAf was so unlucky in the way he got out plus their running was comical too. Neither did Pak bowl great in the 2nd innings, allowing Smith, Amla & ABD to score runs freely and conceding 4+ RPO. As for their 2nd innings batting, how is a score of <300 any sign of being world class? Its not that Pak got remotely close to the target set by SA. SA were never under any pressure or felt like losing this test.


Posted by tests_the_best on (February 5, 2013, 15:39 GMT)

@ReverseSweepIndia that echoes my thoughts. I have thought for the longest time with all these concerns about getting enough match practice that why don't they simply play the odi series first. As it is 7-8 players are usually common to both the test/odi sides so it's not as if it's an entirely different team. I wonder what's the reason, tradition or financials etc why they don't do it the other way round.

Posted by bohurupi on (February 5, 2013, 15:34 GMT)

This problem with Pak batting is not new. They are extremely vulnerable in bouncy pitches. Most batsmen tend to have a habit of snicking the outside off-stump ball which should be left alone. Pak should, as most cricket experts would suggest, try to make similar pitches at home to play domestics. At least. they should vigorously practice against machine-operated simulated fast and swing bowling of the highest quality. Finally, it is time to get rid of the old haggards and replace them with the talented young ones. Risk-benefit ratio in this case may tilt more towards risk at the beginning but benefit is the most likelier outcome at the end of the day. Pakistan should also be trying Umar Amin at this point. He is a vastly talented player and can come at #3.

Posted by Amerpaki on (February 5, 2013, 14:35 GMT)

congratulations SA but there are lot of lessons for pakistan also. one reason could be not only for this match but its pak problem since 1992 that at the passage of time when players become senior or become captain they change there batting order and come on 5 or 6 down position when ur half of team will go back on 50/5 at that postion its use less.pak seniors have to step up like imran khan did in world cup 1992 to come in no. 3 position semi final and final and pak won the world cup, but pak seriors i think donot have enough confidence/brave, they thinks if we ll not score we can be drop better come at 4-5 postion when ball will little old and we can score some also to stay only in team rather team win or loss. No dought azhar ali is very good bastman but these conditions are new for him, better seniors take only little responsibility mean donot take too much responsibilty and make double century... no... make only 50 its more than enough for u in these conditions,.. cheers....

Posted by pauliangenius on (February 5, 2013, 14:14 GMT)

please play Tanvir Ahmed. WHy should you drop him??

Posted by QingdaoXI on (February 5, 2013, 12:47 GMT)

Pakistani Batsmen should learn to bat, they only batted good in second innings becuase pitch became flat. One most importnat thing i noted in Pak team is that is this a Punjab (Pakistan's) XI, becuase atleast 13 out 18 players were from same province, why there are not good cricketers in other provinces, give equal chances and i think you will get better batsmen too from other provience.

Posted by wrenx on (February 5, 2013, 12:35 GMT)

The lack of preparation and sporadic test cricket that Pakistan get (and lack of home games) is definitely a problem, but a lot of this criticism minimises the fact that Pakistan came up against a South African side on fire who rightly bossed the game. When Pakistan play hard and don't make silly mistakes, it's hard for us fans to be too harsh on them. There were some odd DRS decisions, but other than Younus and Nasir fiddling away wickets, our batsman were beaten by absolute brutes, it was top-class bowling through-and-through. There should be some encouragement though, especially taking down a magnificent batting line-up for 250-odd on the first day, which is not something to be sniffed at (especially a side that happily compiled 637 in a first innings not that long ago). To that, we need to add more disciplined batting and a slice of luck, and hopefully the next test will be more competitive.

Posted by challagalla on (February 5, 2013, 12:15 GMT)

Not really surprised at the result. This is expected when asian teams tour South Africa. The do have the most potent fast bowling attack today and they just blow away the opposition. Think of Australian batsmen at perth last year. The Sri Lankan team won a test in South Africa as did us Indians and the Pakistanis just may win one next test. They need atleast 2 of their frontline batsmen to show some application to put up a decent score for the bowlers to come into their own. Lets not forget the bowlers did get the South African batsmen out for less than 250in the first innings and that a very good show.

Posted by SamRoy on (February 5, 2013, 11:20 GMT)

@gujratwalla Shoaib Akhtar never was a great fast bowler. Imran, Wasim and Waqar were great. Shoaib was a great talent but to be a great fast bowler one needs to convert it into consistent performances. Only helped in winning test matches against NZ (many times) and once against India (in 1999 at Eden Gardens which was quite controversial). Apart from that had only one great spell against Australia (in 2002) and South Africa in 2007. Blasting out the comparatively fragile NZ batting order with sheer pace is no great deal. Very inconsistent more often than not.

Posted by gujratwalla on (February 5, 2013, 10:05 GMT)

I would to all fans of CRICKET that dragging other national sides into this discussion is NOT cricket!What other sides would have done against Steyn and Co, on this pitch is better left to the imagination... this article is about Pakistan and South Africa so keep it that way.I maintain that Steyn is a great fast bowler and every now and then as with all great fast bowlers of the past like Lillee,Holding,Roberts,Garner,Ambrose,Walsh,Donald,Shoaib Akhtar there comes pitches and personal peak when everything just clicks 100% and in such circumstances the fast bowlers are irresistable and unstoppable. Steyn is in the process of such a period but he will find it difficult to remain in the same momentum forever.

Posted by   on (February 5, 2013, 9:34 GMT)

@Shan156 being an England fan Im very suprised that you want to bring in players countries of birth all things considered? as for beating England and Aus at their places SA have beaten them both the last two times they have played there and two drawn series away to India that is some effort that surely needs recognising ? Yes we lost to Australia and Home in 2006 but that was 6 years ago? Since then SA have been a model of Consistency something no other team currently can boast

Posted by   on (February 5, 2013, 9:31 GMT)

In the 2nd innings, Pakistan showed why they are considered so talented and world class (particularly after such a bad prep). Scoring 250+ against steyn & co. is not a mean achievement. SA is going to get a two digit reply from Pakistan. If there is one team who can beat SA at the moment, it is Pakistan.

Posted by Pappu_bhai on (February 5, 2013, 9:26 GMT)

This is not a new story.SAF treated pak the same way india treat SL.Thats why SL supported Pak in the 20-20 WC.Same type team without any good players.Just luck will won them some matches.Or else even Bangladesh will destroy them.

Posted by Thampuran on (February 5, 2013, 7:54 GMT)

If this is the case with Pakistan where they have better pacy pitches in Pakistan than India, India will find more difficult to cope with the conditions in South Africa. Pakistan have done pretty well in the second innings, but the first innings cost them, I wish the Paks play Mohammed Irfan (New sensation) in the next match for Junaid, South Africans will find it hard to play him surely, the only thing he has to do is pitch in the right areas and he will be rewarded, i think Pakistan can come back in the second test surely.......................

Posted by proudlyprotea123 on (February 5, 2013, 7:36 GMT)

@shan156 Smith's Protea's have beaten England in England, India in India and most recently Australia in Australia. I agree that they aren't at the same level as Ricky's or Steve Waugh's best aussie sides yet, they definitely have the potential to though. Amla is born and bred South African Tahiir didn't play in this test. We will enjoy our success and I think it will last.

Congrats to Smith on his 100th test as captain one of South Africa's best ever? Congrats to AB on his 100 and 11 dismissals in a game Congrats to Dale on his 11-fer and his humility in his post match interview.

Hope Paikstan's prep for the 2nd test is a bit better, looking forward to the South African batters being tested on day 4/5 against Ajmal

Posted by Jabulani on (February 5, 2013, 6:44 GMT)

@Shan156 - okay I'll remind you! Amla was born in Durban South Africa to parents who too were born in South Africa. His Grandparents were originally from Gujarat, India. This makes Amla very much a born and bred South African.

Tahir, on the other hand, was born in Lahore, Pakistan, but qualified to play for South Africa via naturalisation. He is married to a South African.

Posted by joseyesu on (February 5, 2013, 6:18 GMT)

"Hang In" wont work in SA. It can happen in Asia. Aggressiveness is what is expected. (Player with calibre of Gilchrist, Sehwag, Gayle, Lara is what expected, to win in these conditions.To bundle out SA for 250 in the first inning is commandable.

Posted by crashed on (February 5, 2013, 6:05 GMT)

@Shan15 Amla is born in South Africa Durban if you read his profile which you can get by clicking on his name in the scorecard you will read Born March 31, 1983, Durban, Natal. Tahir ... Born March 27, 1979, Lahore, Punjab but he married a South African - he came here on his own and were not imported by Cricket SA but if you want to call him an import go ahead and do so - How many South Africans is playing out there in international test teams ... you know what I wish them to play well even against South Africa I am proud of our exports :) as I am proud of our team with or without a Tahir they perform at this stage close to top gear and dominate the test scene by beating the number 2 3 and 4 teams the world has to offer live with it hate them or love them enjoy the ride - I for 1 and I am sure with 50 mil South African supporters behind them surely do enjoy this ride :)

Posted by shakaibkhan on (February 5, 2013, 5:47 GMT)

Please give Younis Khan a rest of his life from circket. It will be better for him as well as Pakistan cricket.

Posted by sahbas_s on (February 5, 2013, 5:14 GMT)

i am an indian but i really like the post match statements of Misbah. Instead putting the blame on the batsmen,he openly agreed tat it is very difficult for asian batsmen to tackle Steyn&co. Had Dhoni been in his position, we would have heard the top order batsmen should contribute, pitch factor, wrong umpire decision, or it is better than innings lost of 4-0 in Aus bla bla...I back pak to win next test though i may be optimistic....

Posted by ReverseSweepIndia on (February 5, 2013, 5:07 GMT)

when you go to eat what you are served first? Starters or Main course? So according to our cricket admins test series are starters and one-day is main course and T20 is desert. Asian teams when go outside why can't they play one-day before tests? Core of the team is almost similar. And say even if we lose limited overs games, our main players will be better prepared (I don't think switching from one format to another would be that much issue, they do it anyhow). So lets say a squad of 20 sent to SA/Eng/Aus 14-15 of them starts playing one-day games and rest test specialists start practising own game. So one day series which runs say 15 days + say 5 days break before first test give test specialist 20 days and and another 8-12 guys have got good game time in that country. I do not think any of the BCCI, PCB or SL board give it any thought. I think none of the board today except Eng (they go deep with planning) think too much about scheduling only criteria would be maximize TV revenue.

Posted by Shan156 on (February 5, 2013, 4:59 GMT)

@Soso_killer, I am free to post my comments on any article. It is cricinfo's decision to publish it. I definitely don't need your permission.

Perhaps you should read my comment again. I didn't say that SA will not be able to beat Ind. in Ind or SA will lose. We won because of our 2 spinners. SA don't have spinners of that quality. SA have better batsmen and fast bowlers than England but would that be enough in India? Time will tell but it is too early to say.

Re: Smith's away record. What are you suggesting? That Smith's best SA team is better than Ricky's best Aussie team? Really? Just FYI, the Aussies have defeated everyone everywhere in their prime. The so-called great SA team haven't done that yet. They didn't beat Ind, Eng, and Aus at home. I did agree that SA are the best team now by some distance, didn't I?

That comment about Eng.'s win against Ind. was a reply to a Pak. fan.

@Salman Zafar, you beat 'em in a ODI series. I'm talking abt tests.

Posted by ReverseSweepIndia on (February 5, 2013, 4:57 GMT)

heading for this post, was that intended at the team or PCB? I do not think adminsitrators give any value to test cricket, its just looks like charity to them where they spend their earnings from T20 and one-days. Why can not they give teams 3-4 warm up games instead of just 1 or sometime an extra 2 day game. This lack of prepration hit us hard in Eng, in Aus and end result was 0-8. Same thing happened to SL and I am afraid can happen to Pak too. Pak is lot better than that. In fact best subcontinental test side at the moment. 10 more day to go before next test, hope they can pull up their socks. SA are real #1. So will love someone challenging them.

Posted by ihaq1 on (February 5, 2013, 4:45 GMT)

Dale Steyn is bowling outswingers mostly and most balls can be left alone when pitched outside off...the pakistanis seemed tobe trying to overstretch to reach the ball...a batsmen needs to use his eyes and feet to counterattack the moving ball...the pakistani's must realize that they are ordinary hardworking feels that they should call up umar amin and try the spare batsmen like haris sohail and even imran farhat/faisal iqbal...hafeez should best be replaced by abdur rehman...playing rahat when irfan was doing well seems odd too...the other option is one of the two medium pacers...In a test one should try for specialists rather than alrounders...three pacemen and two spinners should be the way to go... try all the spare batsmen/bowlers inthe side game

Posted by IAS2009 on (February 5, 2013, 3:58 GMT)

If Pakistan have grafted in the first inning this could be different game. It is doable as they did in second inning. the talent level difference between these two teams is too much. SA have beaten England so easily in England. SA struggled in Australia du plasis bailed them out, they could have lost series 2-0. Pakistan have to some how see the new ball in order to score and put some pressure on SA.

Posted by TaqiSharp on (February 5, 2013, 1:39 GMT)

Come On paKistan its A WaKeUp call to Show TheM that We Cant be UnderEstimated in thEse Sort Of Pitches....'coz we are Known For Our unPrectiBility and Upsetting the Big Name....All we ahve To do is Stay Calm and do our Work....

Posted by Sinhaya on (February 5, 2013, 0:41 GMT)

This test yet again proved that one bad session can cost a test match. Pakistan simply batted very poorly on day 2. No doubt Misbah and Shafiq batted well in the 2nd innings but it was far too late.

I hope Pakistan can look at adding 2 more all rounders once Ajmal quits. Like after the number 7 batsman, no batting at all making the tail very weak. Gul scores 20 plus scores in extremely rare cases.

Posted by Soso_killer on (February 5, 2013, 0:07 GMT)

@shan156 by the way SA have won a series in India in fact we were the last team to beat India in India in consecutive test. Something you did against an aging team. In fact we are the only team to beat India in India by an innings twice (in the last 10 years). Australia never achieved that, so did the bunch of exports representing England/Wales and Britain (against an aging team no less). Dont come in an SA forum to make yourself cute.

By the way didn't India just thrash you in 2007 in your back yard? Guess what, no subcontinent team has won a series in SA.

Posted by Soso_killer on (February 4, 2013, 23:35 GMT)

@Shan156 England just won in India (albeit against an ailing team), so what gives you the idea that SA cant win there? When they have a far superior batting and bowling lineup than yours?

For your info, Smith has lost just 13 games away from home in 54 games as captain, Ponting lost 11 out 38 (thats poor). Arguments about SA not having a team to perform in different conditons are insipid to say the least. A team that has not lost away from home in 7 year on top of that *SMH*

Posted by Des_65 on (February 4, 2013, 23:34 GMT)

India did better when they were in SA before the WC 2011 when they had the services of SRT, RD & VVS (test series drawn 1-1 but could have won 2-1 and ODI series lost 2-3 which also could have been 3-2). I don't think that India will do that good the next time they visit SA.

Posted by   on (February 4, 2013, 22:46 GMT)

Shan156! beating ind is no big deal.pak also did so. SA will visit UAE later this year, then we will see. Beating SA will be difficult because dey r not overrated like england.In the last series against SA in UAE wickets were flat but won't be dis time., i m sure

Posted by crashed on (February 4, 2013, 22:20 GMT)

@Auditor2012 this is test cricket you can bat as slow as you want for as long as you want - if your wicket does not fall when the fat lady sings you made the grade. Fast batting will end up usually in you losing your wicket - 1 reason the Ausies did not win the second test at Adelaide - we had to adapt our batting to batting slow and Faf and ABdV did that perfectly giving SA the chance to beat the Ausie team in the third test. Using this as an example - go and look at other great matches where similar situations demanded similar tactics and you will see that it is actually used more regularly than you think another example I can think of England did that to SA on the same pitch Pakistan played on also for a draw in the days of HC as captain.... and we never complained about that England team. :p

Posted by Shan156 on (February 4, 2013, 22:14 GMT)

Dravid_Gravitas_Statchin_Selfishkar, w.r.t. SA in India: Yes, the Windies didn't need a spinner to win in India but they also had 4 great bowlers with able backups. While SA's pace trio is good, only Steyn could be compared to the WI greats. Vernon has potential but he still unproven in those conditions and Morkel is not as good as any of them.

@Mahjut, Peterson's ODI records may be good but will that translate to performance in tests? Indians are excellent players of spin. Their relative failure against Swann and Panesar is more of an exception than a rule. Let's see but it would be hard for Peterson to emulate his ODI success in tests against India.

Posted by Shan156 on (February 4, 2013, 22:02 GMT)

@Arun Karthik, at least we managed to draw in SA against SA. Well, so did India. And Australia. But, we managed to beat India both home and away something no other current side can boast of. Pak. had an opportunity against SA in the UAE. Did they win? I remember it was a draw.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (February 4, 2013, 21:13 GMT)

@Shan156, I agree with you completely about South Africa. I would love to see Philander in India. Steyn decimated us already in India. But, if they can beat everybody anywhere, then it doesn't matter whether they have a spinner or not (circa Windies of 70s and 80s). And the less said about Ajmal, the better. He can't 'bowl' without full sleeves. Why should we talk about Ajmal when we talk of Swann? We don't have to be so apologetic to criticise Ajmal. It's ICC's problem. Not our problem, when people like me don't include him while discussing Swann, Murali, Kumble and the Genius Warne.

Posted by mahjut on (February 4, 2013, 21:06 GMT)

Shan ... I think Peterson will contribute very nicely in the subcontinent! the guy has come a long way since his 2006 return and in ODIs in the subcontinent since the he's played 8 ODIs in India with a SR of 25 and an ave of 19, in Bangladesh since then he's played 2; SR 19, ave 12 and in the UAE 2 games; SR 23 ave 20 .... ie in the 12 games he's played in the subcontinent since 2006 his average is 17.7 with a SR of 23 ... his econ is over 4 (which is a blemish) but I'd say those stats are more than acceptable. I think it'd be worth keeping Tahir in the picture for a while too - at least expectations next time round will be low and he may be more comfortable with that. He had a great WC in the SC too (though he didn't play against any of the SC big guns). I imagine SA may struggle in SC with this attack and Tahir could step in for Morkel/Vern - depending on who's not performing

Posted by   on (February 4, 2013, 20:55 GMT)

so SA are bowling one delivery and that too with new ball :) outswinger hmmm there must be a way to play that ... what about attacking the ball and hitting up and over what about that ... i remember azhar mehmood used to hit these outswingers up and over so i hope hafeez will fire for Pakistan nasir is not going to be troubled with this ball as it is coming in so how about playing another lefty in harris sohail comeone guys nothing to lose as styn said he ran in and bowled not chanllenged and when in the partnership between asad and misbah there was nothing in the pitch, i think Pakistan played well and will be performing alot better

Posted by   on (February 4, 2013, 20:43 GMT)

similar story over and over again... subcontinent sides take couple of tests for adjusting to foreign conditions and in the process loose so much confidence that they keep loosing everything after that. Pakistan has to do what england did to India recently, but i am afraid SA too strong even if pakistan plays better in the rest

Posted by manobilla on (February 4, 2013, 20:36 GMT)

This sentence gave me lot of consolation. "After becoming the third team in 14 months to be bowled out for less than fifty in South Africa,"

I hope weo do better in the next tests. We may loose all, but I want more fight and digging-in.....

Posted by aamir187 on (February 4, 2013, 20:22 GMT)

The Pakistani captain and his seniors need to leave from the front now. Hafeez at 1, Younis Khan number 3, Misbah number 4.

Posted by Just_be_fair on (February 4, 2013, 18:49 GMT)

Another problem is that Azher Ali does not fit for number 3 position. Even on test match level he do play so slow that not only het gets lot of pressure on himself but his very slow batting at number 3 allows oponent bowlers to get dominent on the Pakistani batting line up. Younis was doing very well on number 3 before Misbah due to his personal liking brought Azher on number 3 and since then this problem have started. Azher can play better on dull subcontinent pitches though his strike rate is very slow even there but out side the sub continent Azher's patehtically slow batting at number 3 position brings lot of pressure on the remaining batsmen. Most of the teams in the world do use aggressive batsman at # 3 positions like S. Watson, H. Amla, K. Petterson, V. Kohli etc but Misbah chooses Azher Ali at very importent position of # 3 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by   on (February 4, 2013, 18:46 GMT)

@Shan156! Calm down mate. pak can still challenge this sa side, unlike eng who were almost whitewashed by sa at home. Arun, agree wid u mate.Cheers

Posted by quittthewhinging on (February 4, 2013, 18:33 GMT)

I have no ongoing knowledge of cricket in PK but from what I've seen in recent years there is/was one consistent PERFORMER in the team and that was Abdur Razzaq. I bet PK wish they had him here now.

Posted by   on (February 4, 2013, 18:16 GMT)

@Shan156! As an indian i feel that dis pak side can challenge sa more than eng because dey are a resilient and talented bunch of cricketers. And i feel that dey r da only team at present who can beat sa atleast in the uae unlike eng who can't beat sa both home or awa.

Posted by Pak117 on (February 4, 2013, 18:12 GMT)

Get Azhar out and get have Hafeez play 3 down to replace with more suitable opener. We also need someone in the middle...perhaps someone like Malik or his caliber who can play longer innings...

Posted by   on (February 4, 2013, 17:56 GMT)

Pakistan gave a glimpse of their capability in the 2nd innings. In the 1st innings it was difficult for them to acclimatize to the conditions as they lacked preparation time. With little more effort, boys can fight neck to neck with SA. A series win is extremely difficult, as it is just a 3 match series but miracles have happened and it is not entirely impossible.

Posted by Zahidsaltin on (February 4, 2013, 17:48 GMT)

Any analyst will tell you that Hafiz' game cant stand swing. His stance, his footwork and his open bat approach wont resist many balls. Azhar Ali must be promoted to open and the Hafiz can come at no. 3. Irfan should have been played and only God knows why Rahat was included. He failed on a track which was tailor made for fast bowlers.

Posted by AamirAbuOzair on (February 4, 2013, 17:46 GMT)

I would say that Pakistan lost on a high note. But I could not understand the mentality why Rahat Ali was picked for the test rather than Ehsan Adil or M Irfan. Are not Irfan and Ehsan preferred over Rahat Ali in picking up the squad? I would like to see Irfan or Ehsan playing the second match in place of Rahat Ali. Ehsan is young and bowl for longer spells. My first choice will be him and use Irfan for ODI. Hafeez bowled pretty well as a bowler in fact better than Ajmal. So I would drop Ajmal to place an additional batsman. Better to bring in Imran Farhat as opener, he just scored 300 in domestic cricket. He should open with Nasir Jamshed and drop Hafeez at No 6 after Misbah. I would also drop Younis Khan, he failed to perform recently and there is no point in keeping Haris Sohail on the bench. He should take No. 5. Misbah to be promoted to No.5 I am sure if I can think this way, the coach and captain will also!!!!

Posted by Shan156 on (February 4, 2013, 17:18 GMT)

@Zifan Hai, yeah 49 on the card for SA but when they bowl. Given that fragile batting line-up, there is every possibility for Pak. to be bowled out for more double digit scores in this series.

Posted by Shan156 on (February 4, 2013, 17:09 GMT)

@edgie, I am an England fan and I agree with your assessment. SA are the best team by some distance currently. There is still some work to do before they can be compared to the great Aussie/Windies teams but this team has the potential to emulate them. The only problem for them is the lack of a good spinner. Peterson is good but would he be good enough to win you tests in the SC? How effective will Philander be in the SC? SA have enough quality in their batting and fast bowling ranks to not lose a series anywhere to anyone but do they have it in them to win everywhere against everyone?

Posted by BnH1985Fan on (February 4, 2013, 16:43 GMT)

Bowling SA out for 253 on day 1 was great, but what followed the 2nd morning is inexplicable. Younis will freely admit he was missing from this match (save taking Amla's wicket in the first). Perhaps PAK need more experience in the middle; I wonder if they are missing Shoaib Malik, although, his average in tests is not exactly heartening. Someone needs to step up and hold one end tight. And PAK also need to pray that SA bowlers are not as effective again as they were in the first test. As a cricket lover, you hate to see blowouts, even if your team wins (well may be the latter is wishful thinking).

Posted by   on (February 4, 2013, 16:33 GMT)

Pak need to make some changes like bring haris sohail and irfan in place of younis or azhar ali and rahat

Posted by keptalittlelow on (February 4, 2013, 15:57 GMT)

It was an extraordinary performance by SA bowlers and not the first time. Pakistan must try and think positive, losing in SA against this SA attack is not shame, however they must put up a fight. I was shocked to see the indifferent attitude of Junaid Khan when batting, he showed no professional integrity, he was trying to slog blindly. Its true he is a good bowler yet every member of the team must fight till the end.

Posted by SamRoy on (February 4, 2013, 15:44 GMT)

Let's be honest. Yes, SA were very good in the first innings but Pakistan should have made 150 rather than 50. A few of the wickets were gifted away. In the second innings too, Hafeez and Jamshed threw their wickets away. Any way, SA much stronger than Pakistan in both bowling and batting and fully deserve to win the series. But Pakistan must fight to make it hard for SA.

Posted by Ray24 on (February 4, 2013, 14:56 GMT)

It was never going to be a match of equals, SA were always the favourites with Pak having a very slim outside chance. Whatever chance they had, Steyn and co. made sure it was nipped in the bud! Pak should take heart from the second innings performance. The first innings of SA was critical, as the way the ball was moving, 250 was a very good score. Rahat disappointed, maybe Iran would've been better. But I think Pakistan should play Tanvir, as he bowls in the areas and is more than a handy batsman. Rest of the team looked OK, its only that SA were on another planet.

Posted by mahjut on (February 4, 2013, 14:37 GMT)

@sports4youth ... Eng really didn't pose as much of a challenge as they should've when they met not long ago (and although they tied the series in SA prior to that, Eng were on the back foot in 3 of the 4 games) ... and on the only pitch in Oz that was close to being 'bowler friendly' Oz were rolled over by SA! ok, that may be a bit of an exaggerated statement but i think Kirsten has helped this test team enormously and they are now sitting clear at the top...even if it is not destined to last more than a few years!

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 4, 2013, 14:35 GMT)

On second thoughts I think the ony positive for Pakistan in the 1 st test was the batting of Jamshed because he is the only one to have performed against the new ball. Though Misbah & Shafiq made some runs, but they came against an older ball. The moment Smith claimed the new ball, both of them perished. So really speaking I dont know how much can be read into the performance of Misbah & Shafiq.


Posted by edgie on (February 4, 2013, 14:30 GMT)

@Zifan Hai, no offence, but i think Pakistan are more likely to repeat the 49 all out than them inflicting it upon the Proteas. And don't forget, the next test is Newlands, the Proteas's fortress, and Philander's hunting ground, so expect him to raise up in the next test, that is if Steyn doesnt beat him to it :) @Protears, i think we shoudl never get too confident, we are always one test away from defeat, and from us getting hammered and ridiculed by the rest of the cricket world when the proteas do loose that one test. We just have to be gracious in victory, never forget where we can from, but celebrate the success the Proteas are now enjoying. And I am sure very few, even those biased Aussie and Indian supporters, would argue that the Proteas don't deserve what they have so far achieved, and where they are heading. This team is building up to be one of the best of our era.

Posted by umairasgharbutt on (February 4, 2013, 14:30 GMT)

we need to workout as soon as possible to overcome !

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 4, 2013, 14:28 GMT)

@ Crikoot :

Frankly I expect Younis Khan to give atleast 2 good innings in this series. He has the numbers to back that claim. But you may be right that if he fails to give any substantial contribution during this series then he should retire or even the selectors should drop him. Players like Haris Sohail are languishing on the bench inspite of having a battng average of 52 in the first class games. And if senior players continue to dissapoint then their time may be up.


Posted by khurramsch on (February 4, 2013, 14:27 GMT)

It was expected for these batsmen to fail here. but 49 is too bad . problem for pak is most of these havent played out of asia/uae. & SA attack is a top class.

yes 1 can argue to arrive earlier in SA as pak was free for more than 20 days before arriving.

batting need to be good on these tracks vs these SA bowlers. bowlling need to be improved as well. 2nd inings bowling was disapointment. plus problem is no backup in shap eof 3rd seamer. rahat ha disapointed. and question may have asked why he was picked up at 1st place when he arrived late. junaid an gul need to learn which line to bowl. 1st inings was good asking questions. rahat will be replaced now.

spining at capetown or not problem will be same batsmen need to score atleast some runs for bowlers.

Posted by Nuxxy on (February 4, 2013, 14:26 GMT)

Newlands is better for spin, but you still wouldn't go in with two frontline spinners. So please, no claims that Ajmal will blow away the best batting lineup in the world (when Duminy is fit).

The biggest lesson Pakistan can learn is from what Smith and Petersen did on the first morning. Their scoring rate was under 2, but they survived, and by the time they fell Kallis and Amla could cash in. If those two hadn't gifted their wickets, SA would have had a first innings of over 400.

Posted by Protears on (February 4, 2013, 14:25 GMT)

I have heard all the world class spinner names come up; Swann, Panasar, Ajmal, Ashwin. Honestly none are world beaters of the Murilitheran, Warne or Mushtaq level. Only prentenders in a world where the paradigm shift is back on seam bowling.

Posted by Clan_McLachlan on (February 4, 2013, 14:22 GMT)

> "For a team from Asia, it a very difficult to deal with that kind of thing".

Not just teams from Asia; Aus and NZ got scragged in SA too. Not to mention Aus in Perth, Eng at the Oval, NZ in Hamilton, India in Nagpur...

Posted by khurramsch on (February 4, 2013, 14:21 GMT)

supurb by SA. congrats.

For pakistan, as expected pak batsmen failed but 49 was too poor & that was the game lost. improved in 2nd inings. played 100 overs. which will help in next games. though in 2nd inings i would say some poor shots cost them.

what is more important pak bowling was toothless in 2nd inings they need to fix bowling as well. rahat to be relaced & coaches need to tell where to bowl. 2nd ining was too poor from them.

Posted by Dessaffer on (February 4, 2013, 14:19 GMT)

This was a clinical task for the Proteas, however I'm going to place the argument that this teams weakest link is NOT Elgar, but Morne, he really has to improve to be part of this No. 1 side. De Langer is in the wings and WHEN he's fit is going to challenge Morne for his Place. The only part of this bowling attack that is for certain is the Phalaborawa Express, even Vernon is replaceable, but not Stein as has been proved over the past three days

Posted by SurlyCynic on (February 4, 2013, 14:19 GMT)

I'm an SA supporter and I can't help feeling Pakistan will come back hard in the 2nd test. They are a dangerous side and improved during this match, but surely Rahat can't be selected again.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 4, 2013, 14:17 GMT)

@ matchfixerpkn :

I agree with you. But what Ramiz meant is that while fixing the schedule, PCB must realise that this is a big test & must find some ways to give the team more practice matches. for Example the gap between the 1st & 2nd test is 10 days and even in this they will be playing only one 2-day match. What is the logic ?

The gap between the 1st & 2nd Test could have been reduced to 5/6 days by postponing the 1st match, so that they could have got 2 practice games before the start of the series.


Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 4, 2013, 14:12 GMT)

@ Protears :

There is no doubt that SA are ranked no.1. But a team which is familiar to such conditions can challenge them. for example England & Australia.

Please dont forget that for the last 30 months or more Pakistan has been playing in sub-continent like conditions and they did not get sufficient opportunity to acclamitise or to adjust to the pitch & conditions. Also this is a very young team. Most of the members are seeing SA for the first time, bowlers as well as batsmen. But with some minor tweeks to their combination, I expect them to bounce back. I believe they have the fire-power to do so.


Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 4, 2013, 14:06 GMT)

@ HellDiver :

Frankly I think if they cannot see off the new ball, then even rain cannot save them. Today Safiq & Misbah were well set. But the moment the new ball was claimed they both perished exposing Sarfraz with the rest of the tail to the new ball. And the way the new ball was moving around, I dont blame Sarfraz or the tail for the collapse.


Posted by Crikoot on (February 4, 2013, 14:03 GMT)

Wake up call for not only Pakistan team but all fanatic fans and egotistic management - especially the way Pak fans and management reacted to Bangladesh withdrawal was only reflection of bad leadership and attitude. Also handling of Injamamul was a poor example. A good leader never gets provoked and lose their calm. Anyway hope and wish they will learn quickly and do better in the next test. They may bring in Mohd Yousuf and perhaps Abdur Razzak back in the team, I guess. Younis Khan should retire after the series.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 4, 2013, 14:03 GMT)

India has one of the strongest batting in the world yet they prefer to go into any match with an extra batsman. Pakistan need more of that since batting is their weeker suit.

Somehow Misbah need to draft in Haris Sohail into the playing eleven. The big question will be, at who's expense ? My suggestion is that it can be done at the expense of the specialist spinner. Especially considering the fact that Hafeez is not a bad spinner. He should play in the team as an all-rounder and not as a part-time spinner. He should have been given the ball earler in the first inning.

Also Irfan has to be tested in thease conditions. I have a high respect for Rahat, but to be honest he has dissapointed in the 1st test.

Considering Misbah's defensive approach he can also bolster the batting by bringing in Tanvir Ahmed & Abdur Rehman at the cost of Rahat & Ajmal. Though I would not prefer this.


Posted by Asif_123 on (February 4, 2013, 13:59 GMT)

I don't think any Pakistani Team official is making any excuses ... SA bowling destroyed our batting line up in first innings .... No questions about it..... I watched those 30 odd overs and it was extra ordinary bowling ..... Pakistan can take, what little confidence they can, from the 2nd innings and make a game plan ....... Try losing not more than 2-3 wickets in the first 20-25 overs should be the first target for the next matches :) .....Plus bring in Irfan (No Idea how he will perform but can't be worse than Rahat) ...... Also someone should tell Ajmal to bowl some overs from over the wicket as well .... Not that the tracks are that much Frirendly to him but still bowling that line hasn't helped him much in this match.... Let's hope for a better performance in the next match ....

Posted by   on (February 4, 2013, 13:55 GMT)

Since it is going to spin, pakistan has a very good chance to win. Ajmol will show the world where he belongs. 49 on the card for SA ?

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 4, 2013, 13:55 GMT)

Everyone knows that Pakistan's batting is one of the weakest and most fragile in the world. Their streangth has always been their bowling. But even that needs to be adjusted to pitch and conditions. The present team is very young and inexperienced in both the departments.

Two players making debut does not help in alien conditions that too against the no.1 ranked team in their backyard.

Batting has always been their weeker suit, but 49 was not expected.

Posted by HellDiver on (February 4, 2013, 13:50 GMT)

Sadly only rain can save Pakistan from a 0-3 defeat

Posted by Rhygwyn on (February 4, 2013, 13:49 GMT)

So... anyone else want to comment on how rubbish SA and Steyn in particular is? Maybe we can now get to a point where we can agree that SA is deservedly no.1 but that as always in sport victory/continued success is never assured.

Posted by Protears on (February 4, 2013, 13:33 GMT)

Excuses can be made, but the sooner people accept this South African team as a really good one the better. Not only the starting 11 but the cover is deep and bountiful, this is a golden period for SA cricket with depth of talent and the the guidence of two of the Countries hardest competitors and thinkers.

Australia is where this team learned to be men, and there is no reason why it cannot continue.

Posted by matchfixerpkn on (February 4, 2013, 13:30 GMT)

rameez raja : "should have arrived in the country weeks earlier and asked for more than one warm-up match before the Test series ".. at that time pakistan team was in india and same remeez raja was in comentry window with no clue of s africa series.. :)

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