South Africa v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Cape Town, 4th day

My dismissal the turning point - Misbah

Firdose Moonda in Cape Town

February 17, 2013

Comments: 117 | Text size: A | A

The top-edged sweep that ended Misbah-ul-Haq's innings, South Africa v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Cape Town, 4th day, February 17, 2013
Misbah-ul-Haq's dismissal, top-edging Robin Petersen to short fine leg, led to a Pakistan collapse © Getty Images

Just as a captain is supposed to, Misbah-ul-Haq went down with his ship, as Pakistan lost the Newlands Test in four days, and with it the series. He went as far as to say he was responsible for their downfall, a brave but necessary admission from a leader who should not bear all the blame but was willing to do so.

On 114 for 3, Pakistan were 100 runs short of what many thought would have been a total challenging enough to be match-winning. To get there, Misbah had to bat a while longer. He had no problems facing Robin Peterson and was sweeping with ease, until one went wrong. His mistake was that he top-edged to short fine-leg and he acknowledged it was a costly one.

"That was the turning point. After that, the collapse started," Misbah said of his dismissal. "We really blame ourselves. We made mistakes and we couldn't afford to do that."

Pakistan, however, had let themselves down long before Misbah's second-innings dismissal. Allowing Robin Peterson to score 84 at No. 8 and take South Africa to within 12 runs of Pakistan's first-innings total was what Graeme Smith regarded as most significant. "The way Robbie batted was pretty inspirational," he said. "We knew that getting as close as we could to their total was going to be key."

A lack of adequate back up for Saeed Ajmal was Pakistan's main problem and Tanvir Ahmed's selection remained a mystery. Tanvir offered neither pace nor movement and, although his first-innings runs were valuable, he did not perform in the role he was selected for.

Mohammed Hafeez was used too sparingly and brought on too late and as South Africa crept up on Pakistan, they erased the advantage. "The lead should have been 70 or 80 runs," Misbah said.

Although Pakistan began their second innings on level terms, mentally they were behind, and then their openers departed in the space of two overs. "The third innings can be the toughest of the Test match," Smith said. "You've got to make a play and if you are not positive enough the game can get you. That's what happened to Pakistan."

Still, Pakistan entered day four with the opportunity to take control, especially with the knowledge that their nemesis, the new ball, was a session and more away. Their shot selection and decision making let them down though. Asad Shafiq lacked awareness when the ball bounced behind him and he didn't know where it was until it had hit his off stump. Sarfraz Ahmed mysteriously left a Peterson delivery that spun back and bowled him, and Umar Gul chased a wide one.

Feats such as bowling England out for 72 would have inspired Pakistan but Newlands is not the UAE - although Graeme Smith said conditions were "not ideal" for the home side - and South Africa are not England. Like the previous world No.1 side, they struggled against Ajmal and had Pakistan set a higher target, Misbah expected the mindset would have been different.

"Whenever you are chasing 250 in the last innings and Saeed Ajmal is on the opposition side, it is difficult," Misbah said. "And pressure is different when you are chasing 250 to when you are chasing 180. Ajmal really gave us a chance but we could not [put] pressure from both sides and runs were flowing. If we could have bowled more overs and restricted them, it might have been different."

Smith admitted his side did not have a method to counter the Ajmal yet. "It can be guesswork at times. He bowls a quick pace and delayed action makes it difficult to use your feet. The toughest part is to pick which way the ball is going. And he is very consistent and a lands a lot of balls in the right areas."

Ajmal's ten wickets are an achievement that will long be remembered and marvelled at. "He is a world-class bowler and he proved that today against a top quality side by taking ten wickets against South Africa in South Africa," Misbah said. "They know he can cause problems for them."

Pakistan need a lot more of Ajmal's type of discipline to earn a consolation win in Centurion. They have already provided a sterner contest than South Africa have had all summer and have got better over the two matches.

"We lost the Test series but we know we are playing against the No.1 team in the world in their own conditions and we will try to put a better showing there," Misbah said. "We want to stick to the basics and spend time at the crease. There was a little bit of panic today at the time when Peterson was bowling. We can't do that. Experience makes a big difference in this kind of game. You need to have experience to develop."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (February 20, 2013, 10:48 GMT)

Quite funny, that when he should have taken responsibility of our defeat (Mohai 2011), he did not say a thing in media, and when it was not entirely because of his dismissal that we lost, he comes out and takes the responsibility of it. Yes should not at all be apologetic of playing that sweep - we needed quick runs at that stage and he was a set batsman who should have gone for them. Though, Him and Azhar did become too defensive to a non-swinging old bowl, and then some reckless shots were suddenly being played. They should have biult innings by taking looking for singles and punishing the bad bowls.

Posted by   on (February 20, 2013, 9:40 GMT)

Play Shoaib Malik he is in form

Posted by dontlikecricket on (February 19, 2013, 22:04 GMT)

So some PAK fans are still being what they are best at!! Complaining and moaning about everything!! The matter of fact is SA has a lot of experience and have atleast 7 quality players who can walk into any team in the world (4 batsmen and 3 bowlers). Myabe MIsbah was being negative and was not aggressive enough, but people forget that selection of the final team is not only upto the captain. And the argument about playing Reham is non startes, you cant select a bowler "just in case" wicket started to take turn later in the innings. And about getting rid of Misbah, who are you going to make captain of test team? PAK has tried Younis & he does not want it anymore, Hafeez needs to concentrate on his game. So who else is left?? I seem to recall 2010 of PAK, when it was in total mess.PAK is now 4 in test ranking , highest in subcontinent, which means best Asain team at this time. This is despite poor openers,wicketkeeper batsman & inexperience fast bowlers.

Posted by mzm149 on (February 19, 2013, 20:36 GMT)

Pakistan lineup in third test in batting order should be: Nasir, Azhar, Younus, Hafeez, Asad, Misbah, Sarfraz (we don't have alternative), Rahman, Junaid, Ajmal, Irfan.

Nasir is due a good knock. People expect a lot from him.

Azhar is a better player of pace bowling as compared to spin. If promoted to top, he will help in seeing off the new ball even if he doesn't score much.

Hafeez can't play new swinging ball. Moving him down the order will not only help the team but will also help him in regaining his confidence. One thing I couldn't get in first match was that Hafeez is a proper allrounder. Why did Misbah not trust him with ball on a spin friendly pitch.

Every other team's wicketkeeper is a proper batsman.Unfortunately we don't have that privilege so we will have to go with Sarfraz.

Tanvir was good with bat but was so poor with ball that we can't keep him.

I hope Pakistan will show some fight this time too and win the match hopefully.

Posted by likeintcricket on (February 19, 2013, 15:45 GMT)

Misbah, your poor selection turned the game. In the first Test you didn't select the more obvious Irfan on a pacy wicket and in this Test you only have two wicket takers and the rest are garbage. Any lead of 100+ will surely demoralized SAfricans and would have lifted the spirit of Pak players.

Posted by m812 on (February 19, 2013, 15:14 GMT)

Well I can bet my last penny Dale sTeyn will take 10 wickets and Develliers and Amla will score 150+ individual score. The second test saw some rare herculean efoort from Pakistan ( Younis/Ajmal) to bring close the match. Now a herculean efoort is due from SA batters so this time 500 is on cards and eventually 3-0 ( not surprised)

Posted by spellbinder76 on (February 19, 2013, 15:14 GMT)

Misbah is too defensive. Leave Misbah, Imran Farhat, Azhar Ali, Sarfaraz and Tanvir out of ODI and t-20. Pakistan must try young aggressive players in ODI and t-20. Why the selectors are insisting with Faisal Iqbal in the team when the team management don't want to give him a chance. It was better to have sent in Kamarn Akmal as additional wicket-keeping batsman when Taufiq was injured and Afridi in place of the other injured fast bowler. Fawad Alam should be a must for all format, he is the best middle order batsman under crisis situation and a good fielder.

Posted by Munafis810 on (February 19, 2013, 15:02 GMT)

First test lost in 3 days and a score of 49 as minimum. Second test lost in 4 days and lowest score is 169 all out. Third test most likely to loose in 5 days and min score maybe 200. Pakistan is improving surely and that's a positive thing to look forward too.

Posted by babubhaiyya on (February 19, 2013, 9:47 GMT)

Hats off to SA for winning . . . . Proud of Pakistan for going down but not without a fight. In the end, its the way one plays and fights is what matters.

Posted by deconstruct on (February 19, 2013, 8:59 GMT)

Well, well.., as usual, the Misbah bashers have come into play - and man, have they really got the chance they were always looking for! You must be licking your lips, guys. After all, it was the Test matches where you never could point a finger at him; ODI's are not his strongest points, and T-20 is not his game anyway. Misbah was always cut out to be a batsman and a captain for the larger, most challenging version of the game, which is, in other words, the "real thing", despite all the glamor and fun associated with the limited overs' versions. So everyone has now conveniently forgotten what he has done for Pakistan cricket over the last 2 years or so - rebuilding from scratch a side that was down in the dumps, hitting the lowest of the low, rocked with controversies and internal disputes! One thing I would add though: this time, he has sure faltered on one thing, and thats team selection. Had Irfan been in the first test and Rahman in the second, things could have been different.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 19, 2013, 8:39 GMT)

@ Mohammad Musa Khan :

Please think coolly. If Adnan was better than Sarfraz then why should Kamran avg 28 in the first class games and Sarfraz averages 40+ in FC games. Just consider, are they playing in different countries ? Are they playing against different oppositions teams ? Are they playing against different players ? Are they playing different levels of tournaments ? THE ANSWER IS, NO. They are playing the same tournament, same level, same players & opposition teams etc, etc. Then Why is Sarfraz averaging more than Adnan and infact more that all the other wicket keepers in Pakistan.

What on earth makes you think that if Akmal brothers had been inplace of Sarfraz they would have batted better ? And Why ? in these conditions & againt the new ball even your specialist batsment are finding it difficult to stay on the wicket for a few overs. They why blame Sarfraz, Especially when he has mostly got the second new ball and in the collapse he is one of them..

Posted by imranmujtaba on (February 19, 2013, 8:28 GMT)

Misbah is lucky - Pakistan team is blessed with best bowler in the world, there always some appears from no where!!! Pakistan problem is batting after INZI & YOUSUF have gone..... Misbah only took this team back word, lost the last World Cup, misbah is poor batsmen and a captain - never any game for PAKISTAN - can any one tell how many time he MOM? PCB is investing to for his old age or what!?!?!? If they make new young captain then at least PAKISTAN will benefit in 2-3 years time.... Where misbah if he learns captaincy then he will be retired. So action please PCB

Posted by SuPerDuPerMaN on (February 19, 2013, 7:56 GMT)

Instead of criticizing, I think that we need to commend the way Pakistan competed against the number 1 side in the world. Yes they were well on top at one point in time and let their position of authority go, but this is what Test cricket really is. This lovely game never ceases to amaze us. We had two centurions in the test who constituted the highest partnership by overseas batsmen in the last 6,7 years and Ajmal was phenomenal with his 10-for in the match. Azhar Ali went on to score runs and so did Misbah. Irfan bowled super quick despite being erratic. We looked down and out in the first test but came back strongly in the second. Come on guys we gave the Proteas a run for their money and yet we are despondent. This performance was a stepping stone for bigger things to follow. Hats off to TEAM PAKISTAN!

Posted by   on (February 19, 2013, 6:05 GMT)

A good match was played and Pakistan did give RSA the run for there money. In the end the better team won. RSA is the No 1 team with Steyn, Philander, Kallis, Amla and Smith in the team and beating them can be a tough task. There is just too much experience compared to Pakistan. Misbah has done a wonderful job in the past 3 years, bringing Pakistan up from the doldrums and developing Asad and Azhar. What remains is the edeveloping of a set of openers and an all rounder worthy of replacing Wasim Akram, Imran Khan etc. Pakistan teams always had an all rounders in Wasim Akram, Imran Khan, Wasim Raja, Abdul Razzak at one time or another and great fighters as wicket keepers in Moin and Saleem. This team has none, a poor wicketkeeper batsman and no all rounder of substance. I do undertsand that it is in the building up process but the team selection for the tour and the Capetown match left a lot to be desired. Had we had abdulrehman to partner Saeed, this could have been won.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2013, 0:45 GMT)

Great of Misbah to admit it, but all the calm n performance so far by Pakistan so far are after his captainship. Bravo Misbah. It all came to either failure in containing SA to 72 lesser instead of 12 or not making another 50 more in second innings.

Posted by dontlikecricket on (February 19, 2013, 0:09 GMT)

Well what you expect? PAK batsmen have never performed collectively in SA, AUS and to some level ENG. You cant expect batsmen to perform when the domestic structure does not provide fast wickets. I am not entirely sure why PCB does not ask groundsmen to leave the grass/ make fast wickets. I am not saying all the wickets should be like SA/AUS but may be between 25-50% will assist batsmen to get use to the conditions. I am sure PAK will find more fast bowlers but it takes time to develop players. It's not current team fault that Asif and Amir are not playing. I am sure Junaid and to some level Irfan will step up. Both need to concentrate on their fitness as well. Also Amir should be back soon. In couple of years Azhar and Asad wil get better, people forget that both are still new on Int level. Jamsheed was unlucky to get first series agsint SA in such difficult conditions. I dont care how good you are in domestic cricket, playing Test cricket, especially agaisnt SA is very difficult.

Posted by IAS2009 on (February 19, 2013, 0:09 GMT)

Misbah and Azhar poor batting 3rd day was one of the cause, Tanveer was 2nd mistake. on dry pitch AR was not included in the team was baffling. with bowling attack so capable it is sad that this team came so close to beatingSA mighty SA team. Taufeeq Umar loss was big if you see what happen at top order in 4 innings. to beat top team in their backyard you have to be positive, I am baffled with Misbah approach in both test and ODI he does not rotate strike, it creates pressure and fielding side gain momentum to attack because they don't worry about runs. If Pakistan have to win test matches abroad they have to be aggressive both in batting and bowling, if weather is not a factor most test matches in Aus, Eng. & SA will be decided in 4 days, there is no point playing dot balls, see how Amal and AB played in 4th inning, AB and Peterson played same way. Aussies won so many matches because how Hayden and Slater played so quick at top of the order.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2013, 21:42 GMT)

@Sports4Youth. You are on the spot. It is the practice of PCB that on tought tours they take unwanted players so they may fail and PCB gets an excuse to write off their careers, while they drop their favorite players to save their careers. Rest assured, PCB will find an excuse to bring back Akmal brothers, as they are always able to find an excuse.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2013, 21:19 GMT)

@sports4youth i think u are thinking as a karachite and not as a pakistani. sarfraz is utter useless he way he got out in the 2nd innings was sooooooooo embarassing i mean what special was in robin peterson's bowling that he was treating him as if he was shane warne. he is mentally useless adnan athough has low average in first class cricket but he is mentally tough and sarfraz is mentally very very very weak. even if a player with talent of bradman can fail miserably if he is mentally weak. so sarfraz should atleast not be given another chance for a year let him sort out his mental problem then he can return. adnan has been treated unfairly by selectors i guess he has been no selected becoz of his brothers!!

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 18, 2013, 18:17 GMT)

@ malepas : We have seen two Akmals in England, Kamran & Umar. And by now everyone knows what they do and what they are capable of doing. Regarding Adnan, uptill now he has played only on flat and placid wickets and yet he could manage only a few innings worth noting. It is easier to bat boldly on flat wickets. Whereas Sarfraz has been given the most difficult assingment. I think the selectors have done it on purpose. If Adnan or Kamran are better than sarfraz then why is Adnan averaging only 28 in first class games while Sarfraz is averaging 40+. After all they are playing the same tournaments in the same country. Regarding Umar Akmal, he never had the temperament to play test cricket. Asad has taken his place nicely. Misbah had rightly dropped him in India for the first 2 ODI's. Soon Umar Akmal will be restricted to T20's.


Posted by Omer.Iftikhar on (February 18, 2013, 17:12 GMT)

All credit to Misbah for the role he has played as captain - beating India in India and whitewashing England come to mind - but in this series I feel that the gameplan in place to tackle SA was either poorly constructed or non-existent. Taking Cape Town, the second inning debacle was nothing new, but what about playing Abdur Rehman on a pitch both he and Whatmore had determined would have something for the spinners? Tanvir Ahmad was pitiful, and Rehman could not have been worse even if he tried. It is as if the team leadership had to follow the established rut of playing 3 seamers outside of the sub-continent, rather than taking the risk that may be required to actually win. Hopefully, the management will be sensible enough to give some game time to the likes of Farhat, Adil and Rehman, giving the others a break before the rest of the tour.

Posted by Solid_Snake on (February 18, 2013, 17:08 GMT)

There is something wrong with Tanveer..He is not a type of bowler with a pace of 120..The max 120 even after producing such loud sounds as if he is about to cross 150kph..I saw him before in NZ..He was so good there..Decent Pace & Swing.Either he isnt fit or totally out of form.But the question is that if he was not fit or out of form then how he got selected in the first place.& about Hafeez..He is not the type of bowler who would bowl just 4-4 overs in an entire test match.He was suppose to assist Ajmal from the other end but during the match something happened & Hafeez was never given the ball again.I dont know what's going on inside the team..Why are so many players getting injured during net practice.

Posted by getsetgopk on (February 18, 2013, 17:01 GMT)

Desihungama: Yea well that all would have been true and it surely would have been Misbah's fault but I'm sure thats not all that straight forward. Again, I dont have any insider information but who knows that Misbah has the ultimate authority to select the team? Afridi had selection issue of Imran Farhat with Waqar the then coach and what happened next is im sure everyone is aware of. And that issue is still not resolved as Misbah is still the ODI captain and what will happen next, your guess is as good as mine. Bottom line is, the safety first approach has brought us good results in tests. He didn't shuffle the batting order yes I agree with you, was a blunder. But was it Misbah that pick Tanvir for the series and in the final XI? I pretty much doubt that. But still, things were on course, Petersen was actually bowling a negative line, Misbahs shot was a poor one but what happened to those other guys? 100-3 to 169 AO isn't Misbahs fault, even the ball was an old one.

Posted by Shahzadhussan on (February 18, 2013, 16:46 GMT)

This mas is giving importance to himself for nothing. He is far bellow average player. Actually the wicket of Asad Shafiq was the turning point. If Misbah had got out on single digit, there would have been better chance for Pakistan as Asad Shafiq would have more time to set and then play some safe shots 10-15 overs before the 2nd new ball comes. Misbah did not have any contribution to defeat india, these were out bowling and the batting of Nasir Jamshed. Cricifo editor please remove the featured comment as a featured as it is not based on the truth

Posted by dmqi on (February 18, 2013, 16:40 GMT)

The match was almost lost when SA recovered from 139 for 5 to 320 plus, Pak gave the match away by poor bowling and fielding, I would say, compared to SA. Then Pak had a chance to score 250, but the openers 0,0 plus taileneders' failures made it easy for SA. Look at the way SA scored at 4th inning, again showing Pak bowlers and fielders inadequacy against strong SA. 4th ranked have little chance over 1st ranked. Pak got the opportunity but could not utilize. You need good openers and wicket keeper-batsman. No Akaml please.

Posted by Vega_bond on (February 18, 2013, 16:23 GMT)

good thing is that misbah know the importance of is wicket but he not play senstve inning and his captncy in this match was 3rd class...but i hope he try to improve his captancy and in 3rd test he came with new confidence and best wishes with him...

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (February 18, 2013, 16:18 GMT)

@Solid_snake: It's funny you say that the Pakistani quicks haven't been performing lately. In fact, it's their quicks that put India under a lot of pressure recently. Anyway, with so much fast bowling resources in Pakistan, it's surprising how the team still hasn't got match winning bowlers. I mean, they are good but they need real spear heads like Waqar and Wasim. Why not ask Wasim Akram to coach the team ? Why is he not interested ? I know he coaches the KKR club in the IPL, but after that, he is free isn't he ! More than the bowling, I think Pakistan need a batting coach, a full time one at that cause their batting apart from Younis Khan is very poor. They may be okay in Asian conditions, but in SA, ENG and AUS, Pakistan will be severely exposed. In fact. all Asian teams look funny when they travel overseas. This is a national weakness it seems.

Posted by zarasochozarasamjho on (February 18, 2013, 15:58 GMT)

Misbah, even after losing both tests in SA, has win-loss ratio of 9/3 as compared to Miandad's 14/6, and Mushtaq Mohammad's 8/4. Mushtaq as the 9th captain was the first one to have won more than lost (in fact 3rd best ratio). Misbah turned the ratio, since Inzimam, of 1/3 to 3/1, an improvement of 900%. He took over the captaincy when Pak cricket's reputation was in shreds, and performance-wise easily the worst. On top, there was the loss of arguably the 2 best pace bowlers in the world and our best recent opener. He is the first Pak captain to form a "team". But Misbah's very slow batting put pressure on other batsmen as batting was not rotated and SA bowlers become more and more embolden. On average Misbah took a single every 5.65 balls and then hit a 6 every 50 balls. This is one of the 4 main causes. Other 3 are not playing Abdur Rehman instead of Rahat/Tanvir, under-utilising Hafeez as bowler, and dropped catches. Lastly, extremely poor umpiring in both tests has hit us bad.

Posted by Solid_Snake on (February 18, 2013, 15:26 GMT)

@Cpt.Meanster->Close series??? Dude one team barely escaped the whitewash & you call it a close series? It was a series between Pak vs Dhoni & then a big full stop.. Anyways why discussing it here..Pak team lost in SA.We played well but still lost.No big deal..Ive been saying this thing again & again that our Pacers are not performing lately.We won in UAE against England only because of Ajmal & Rehman.On the other hand England pacers were so good even in UAE..When will PCB think about this matter.Our bowling coach is of no use.We were doing well with Waqar & Aqib Javed as our coach.What is Mohammad Akram doing.I see no improvement.What i saw was only degraded performance of all Pacers

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (February 18, 2013, 15:03 GMT)

@Papa_Tango: You are simply exaggerating the series win by Pakistan. It wasn't a demolishing job by any means. The result was 3-2 and it was a close series. Who are you fooling ? Besides, why bring India into this discussion ? Some of you will never learn. Keep talking about your own team instead of trying to hide behind another team's performances. The fact is Pakistan got crushed fair and square. How about an analysis on the matter.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (February 18, 2013, 14:59 GMT)

It's always difficult for Asian teams to come to SA and win a series. The conditions are simply different. This Pakistan team is an average one but they provided a good account of themselves in the first innings. The bowling was also decent with Ajmal collecting wickets along with Irfan. Their batting inexperience minus Younis Khan cost them the game. At present, no Asian team is equipped with batsmen who can handle such conditions. India used to have their famed middle order in Tendulkar, Dravid, Ganguly and Laxman. Even then they couldn't win a series in SA. So it will be a long time before any Asian team wins a series in SA. Hopefully, Pakistan can be competitive in the ODI series.

Posted by foursandsixes on (February 18, 2013, 14:55 GMT)

Misbah and short fine leg don't go well together :)

Posted by anserazim on (February 18, 2013, 14:45 GMT)

Pakistan lost because they picked Rahat and Tanvir in both the tests. SA were 5/139 at one stage and they managed to score 300+ runs and that turned the match in their favor.....pakistani team has been like this since I started following them since 1975.....On one day they are brilliant and the very next day they are less than average.........

Posted by   on (February 18, 2013, 14:12 GMT)

I think not picking rehman was a mistake. If he was around, he would have been a perfect ally to Ajmal. I hope tanvir and gul will be replaced by junaid and rehman in the 3rd test.

Posted by keptalittlelow on (February 18, 2013, 13:51 GMT)

I am sorry, criticising Misbah for the loss of the test is Not fair. If a team sinks just beacause the captain has gone down does not deserve to win. Pakistan's batting has been abysmal to say the least, only Yunus, Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali and Misbah have given any batting performance, and that too only Once in four innings, we can't win test matches with this kind of batting standard, and thats the fact of the matter.

Posted by Desihungama on (February 18, 2013, 13:22 GMT)

@getsetgopk - Buddy I am sorry but I am going to pin this one squarely on Misbah. Pakistan just did not lose the match Misbah LOST it for them. It didn't just occur in one session. It was a sequence of mistakes lead to the defeat. First off, Day 2, 3rd session when batting conditions were the easiest and Misbah and Shafiq were set they could have easily added 30-40 more runs going into day 4 with 150 lead but they did not play positively. He knows Pak players are not good at surviving session No. 1 when ball nips and swings so why was scoring fast in 3rd session day before not considered? Secondly, it was established Hafeez can't play and practically Azhar and Younis have opened the innings so why not drop him down to 4 or 5? He could have scored some useful late runs. Thirdly, picking Tanvir over Abdur Rehman. You need to be able to tinker with schemes and show positivity if you are to win against these teams or else you be always be remembered as team who could only challenge.

Posted by imranmujtaba on (February 18, 2013, 13:15 GMT)

Misbah is to blame - poor captain and poor batsman - never won any game for PAKISTAN. It is only Pakistan who make person a captain who even don't deserve to be in the team. PAKISTAN is no.4 only because of bowlers - Pakistani are bowlers gifted Pakistan would have touched new height if they would have tried new young batsmen like Azhar ali and Asad - Younis learnt to play @ international level of cricket after 6-7 years but he was blessed by super class of India and Yousuf ----- who Pakistan have now? If they DON'T get rid of old useless guns then Pakistan soon will be in league with Bangladesh and Ireland. Act now and save PLEASE PCB

Posted by   on (February 18, 2013, 13:13 GMT)

I think those who knows cricket, they can not. Blame Misbah.He galvanized team.We are number 4 side in test despit we have no home ground advantage.This is great achievement.Our batsmen specially Hafiz,Nasir,Younus has to develop the habit of staying on wicket.They should avoid repeating the same mistake which is the reasons for loosing their wicket.They should put value on their wicket like Azhar Ali and Misbah.Asad Shafiq was bit unfortunate.Our tail is too long.We need the services of Umer Amin or Hammad Azam type alrounders in our test side.I think we are relying too much on Umer Gul.He need some rest also.We should adopt rotation policy otherwise our talents youngsters will be disappointed.

Posted by Papa_Tango on (February 18, 2013, 13:11 GMT)

@rajesh_singhstm: you are correct: after demolishing India in the odi series some Pakistani fans got carried away with the way Juand Ajmal manhandled the Indian cricket team Apologies for that: India is not anywhere near SA. As far as spin is concerned: Ajmal manhandled and bullied the SA side. Despite their prep and imran Tahir helping then as reported by cricinfo's firdose Moonda, he dominated them, as you can see for smiths comments above. So I guess Pakistani fans were half right.

Posted by deconstruct on (February 18, 2013, 12:55 GMT)

Dear Rajesh: You are obviously an Indian and can't miss a chance to rub Pakistan, conveniently forgetting the back to back white washed drubbings your own team has suffered last year in England and Australia. Pakistan never claimed they have the "best" attack, but yes, arguably, it is one of the best - provided they play the best available bowlers. No one here in Pakistan, including the experts, have been able to figure out from where did the likes of Tanvir and Rahat Ali came in the side, when quickies like Wahab Riaz, Muhammad Talha and Sadaf: all of whom can bowl in the range of 140 to 150 k/h are available. Then the tour selection messed it up further by not playing Rahman in this match. With all that, of course, there is our batting, which, no doubt, is one of the weakest in the world amongst the top teams. Oh, and wasn't it just last month when your own Gautum, Kohli and Yuvy were made to jump and dance around like jokers in the ODI series? Reality check, PLEASE!

Posted by Solid_Snake on (February 18, 2013, 12:54 GMT)

@rajesh_singhSTM->Who said that it's the best attack? Irfan playing for the first time..Junaid hardly played 10 matches.Tanveer played 4 matches.All are so inexperienced. Ajmal alone cannot make any attack 'the best'.. & btw the way boys fought,it was extraordinary.Winning or losing is a part of game.Some people analyze the whole match & appreciate the fight of both the teams.While some people are always waiting for the result so as to mock the losing team.

Posted by rajesh_singhSTM on (February 18, 2013, 12:22 GMT)

Pakistanis claim to have best pace and spin attack. They got a fast paced green track in first test. They lost. Then they got a spinning track ( plus bonus of Younis century) in second test. They lost. Wow that's best attack ever. Cant win anyting

Posted by M_JAFFER_IBRAHIM on (February 18, 2013, 12:20 GMT)

When umpires change the ball due to shape before 20 overs due for new ball, it start collapse for Pakistani team, i belief, SA's did something wrong during all these

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

Reasons can be found a 100 galore.All reasons will be acceptable but the fact that despite putting their best herculean effort , Pakistan lost to SA quite easily in 4 days says lots about the gap of quality in both teams..

Posted by Munafis810 on (February 18, 2013, 12:09 GMT)

Seriously he feels his dissmissal turned game. He is just like others who feel "if this had not happened, if that had happened, if this, if that".....Will live in self denial all life long like all others

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 18, 2013, 11:46 GMT)

@ Asma Ahmad Virk :

I agree that if Petersen could get wickets on this track then in the 4th innings Hafeez was definately on. Hafeez is definately a better bowler than Petersen. Misbah made a big Mistake. Probably Misbah was trying to justify his selection, as if it was obligatory to bowl them (Tanvir & Gul) if they are in the team.


Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 18, 2013, 11:43 GMT)

@ oayaz01 :

If Abdur Rehman had to play then he can only come in at Hafeez's expense. In that case Rehman to replace Tanivr & a specialist batsman to replace Hafeez. But you dont have a specialist batsman other than Farhat & Faisal, so Hafeez is better. In anycase if Misbah does not utilize Hafee'z bowling then, Hafeez is being partly wasted. This may be a mistake Misbah has made in this match. But the other pitch is not likely to give anything to the spinners. This was Pakistan's only hope. So if next pitch is like wanderers then ADIL for TANVIR and JUNAID for GUL.


Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 18, 2013, 11:36 GMT)

Some people are critisizing Sarfraz for his batting and feel that he should not be in the team. Please consider that if Sarfraz should be removed for failing against the no.1 ranked team that too on a pitch where their specialist batsmen have failed miserably, then Hafeez, Jamshed, Azhar, & Misbah also should not be in the team. The only batsmen who have made some notable contributions are Asad & Younis. Dont forget that Sarfraz has been brilliant with the Gloves, if you get Kamran then no need to watch Pakistan games.

Also Sarfraz was highly unlucky regarding the new ball. Whenever he arrived at the wicket the 2nd new ball was was hardly a few overs old. In the 1st test when the 2nd new ball was taken immediately Misbah & Asad fell who were well settled till then. In the 2nd test when the 2nd new ball was taken Younis departed immediately inspite of being comfortable on 111, thus bringing Sarfraz to crease and after a few overs Shafiq also left who was on 111.


Posted by malepas on (February 18, 2013, 11:31 GMT)

@Sports4Youth:if you r not relation with Sarfraz, I would question ur understanding of cricket really,how on earth somebody playing at this level and coming at no 7 can be that poor, his keeping is not that great either,,so one would question why he was replaced with Adnan,,what he done wrong??As for Tanvir selection, his lack of pace should have been picked in the nets/first class matches in PAK and he shouldn't be included in the side. How on earth these selectors picks players is beyond me,this team needs Umer & Adnaan Akmal,(sorry to all Akmal haters), so he can counter attack and all know he can be a great asset,Adnaan is a better keeper and resilliant batter. Pak should make a pick list for fast bowlers based on thier pace,accuracy and experiance and then they should get selected in that order and not on political grounds and same goes for batsmen. This PAK team is good enough and we should be proud of them. As for SA, well done and well played.

Posted by Cricket_Man on (February 18, 2013, 11:25 GMT)

@TsoroM, I agree with you that Ajmal has a big workload. But Misbah only has maybe 2 more years in him at max. Perhaps with such performances maybe even less. Who then would be the captain? Hafeez is a really good cricketer but at the moment his position in the test team isn't very stable. Younus Khan too has not much cricket in him and he has had his chance as captain and I think he wouldn't want to be captain either. The only person who seems to be assured with a place in the test side and who has atleast 3 to 4 years of cricket in him is Saeed Ajmal. He has a cricketing brain and understands situations well. Pakistan isn't South Africa where you handover captaincy to a player at a young age as in the case of Smith, so no point to even think of making Azhar Ali or Shafiq captain but one of these two can be groomed as a vice captain.

Posted by arvind.Kejriwal.AAP_A_Better_INDIA_ on (February 18, 2013, 11:05 GMT)

Greame Smith said in post-match presentation - "The conditions reminded me of the subcontinent. "

Exactly ! No wonder, when ball got old, it literally stopped moving and bouncing. That's why Pak batsmen were able to put up some fight. And even on dead track (as per SA standards) like this, SA beat Pak with one bowler short (Morkel), poor umpiring and ordinary spinner R. Peterson. So there should be no doubt in anyone's mind that SA are real #1 side.

But SA need to find a genuine wicket-taking spinner soon or at least someone who could put pressure on batsmen (may be Botha? or Phangiso).

Posted by   on (February 18, 2013, 10:58 GMT)

The batting collapse and the lack of venom from Pakistani pacers aside, my real disappointment in the way Pakistan bowled last in the Test came from how Misbah ignored Hafeez the whole day.

What could have been the worst case scenario with using Hafeez? He would have given away a couple of boundaries? he could have bowled a bad ball per over? That was what the pacemen did already, without posing ANY threat.

Fourth inning, spinning pitch and considering the number of wickets Peterson got, I am most disappointed and wondering about the possibilities of what could have been...they may not have won it still, but the lack of thought that went into the bowling changes leaves a lot to be desired!

Posted by   on (February 18, 2013, 10:52 GMT)

Misbah should retire he is useless, he just know 2 things hit six and block... younis misbah nd hafeez r playing from many years nd nt performing well in overseas and why dey select such stupid fast bowler t.ahemad rahat ali dey dnt have pace niether swing what r dey dnd in national side

Posted by TsoroM on (February 18, 2013, 10:51 GMT)

@Cricket_Man, I do not think making Ajmal the captain will be a good idea. He is already burdened enough being only bowler capable of winning test matches for Pakistan. And great spin maestro does not necessarily mean he'll make a good captain. So the best thing is just to let him do what he does best, bamboozling batsmen with his amazing finger-tweaking abilities!

Posted by StarsnStumps on (February 18, 2013, 10:44 GMT)

Misbah played a silly shot but the blame shud go to the bowlers not enough support for ajmal noone other than ajmal looked like taking a wicket

Posted by Solid_Snake on (February 18, 2013, 10:11 GMT)

@matchfixerpkn->Just because Spinners were taking wickets dosent mean that the pitch was like that of Sub con pitches.It still was SA providing Bounce,Swing & Spin all the things which Pakistan batsmen always fail to play properly.It was also a pitch providing advantage to batsmen in the first few days

Posted by   on (February 18, 2013, 10:11 GMT)

Pakistan's weakest link is Sarfraz, a very poor and shoddy display from an experienced wicket keeper. He gave at least 40 runs as gift to SA plus missed chances. IT APPEARS THAT HE IS ONE OF THOSE WHO CANNOT LEARN FURTHER TO IMPROVE HIMSELF. I the coach should work extra on him, or he should be replaced.

Posted by Jester01 on (February 18, 2013, 9:46 GMT)

Both captains/team managements made mistakes - Smith never should have inserted Pakistan to bat first, had we lost the game - he would have been slaughtered. Misbah probably thought that Tanvir Ahmed would be able to swing the ball, that's why Rehman never got the nod. Both captains in my opinion were looking at previous games played at the ground. This particular pitch was very dry as compared to previous games played at the Newlands. It made it a more even contest. I don't expect Pakistan to get something similar in the next test at Centurion but its really good to see Pakistan compete so well when conditions favour them. Ajmal really gave our boys a stern test; he's miles ahead of the next best spinner.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 18, 2013, 9:43 GMT)

I agree with many comments here that yound Ehsan Adil would be better choice compared to Tanvir Ahmed. I dont understand why Tanvir was in the team if his pace is down to 125 and below. Last when he played in Abu Dhabi & WI his pace was around 135. But Misbah should have picked up the difference in the nets.

I hope in the next match Umar Gul is also dropped. If the conditions and pitch are similer to the one at Cape Town (2nd test), then Junaid, Irfan Ajmal & Rehman wil be a good choice.

But if the pitch and conditions are like the 1st test (Wanderers), then Junaid, Irfan, Ajmal & Eshsan Adil should be the combination.


Posted by imtiz on (February 18, 2013, 9:30 GMT)

So Tanvir made 44 runs and you say that he did not perform the role he was selected for (fair enough) but then with Mohammed Hafeez (failed in all 4 innings as batsman) you have entirely different set of rules and talk about how he was not given enough overs to bowl (not the role he was selected for) instead of criticizing him for his lack of technical skills to play as professional batsman? Pakistan batsmen and their very very poor fielding have always been the reason for them to loose. Yet people find soft spot for them and go on to blame the bowlers. Mind Blowing!!

Posted by   on (February 18, 2013, 9:26 GMT)

I dont understand why people is saying not to criticise MISBAH , why shouldn't we? He is the captain, He should have taken the responsibility in the batting department, and what did he do when the singles were coming easily for SAF, why did he spread the field when it was needed to block the singles ? Why Hafeez was not introduced in to attack early in the innings.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 18, 2013, 9:25 GMT)

Some people are critisizing Sarfraz for his batting and feel that he should not be in the team. Please consider that if Sarfraz should be removed for failing against the no.1 ranked team that too on a pitch where their specialist batsmen have failed miserably, then Hafeez, Jamshed, Azhar, & Misbah also should not be in the team. The only batsmen who have made some notable contributions are Asad & Younis. Dont forget that Sarfraz has been brilliant with the Gloves, if you get Kamran then no need to watch cricket.

Also Sarfraz was highly unlucky regarding the new ball. Whenever he arrived at the wicket the 2nd new ball was was hardly a few overs old. In the 2st test when the 2nd new ball was taken immediately Misbah & Asad fell who were well settled till then. In the second match when the 2nd new ball was taken Younis departed immediately inspite of being comfortable on 111, thus bringing Sarfraz to crease and after a few overs Shafiq also left who was on 111.


Posted by AltafPatel on (February 18, 2013, 9:13 GMT)

The pitch was prepared absolutely for visitors. Flat, no grass, helping the spinners. Still they could not take much advantage particularly batsmen, except Ajmal. Amazed, Hafeez was not introduced in bowling !! The match that Pak should have won comfortably, they lost same manner. Tanveer Ahmed in playing eleven, joke of the match... !

Posted by AltafPatel on (February 18, 2013, 9:07 GMT)

The way Amla-deVilliers were playing, it was clear that target 300 would not have been far away. Finding boundaries so easily. They lost the wickets to finish that quickly seeing target closer, duPlesis followed the same.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2013, 8:44 GMT)

Had it been a five match series, Pakistan might have beaten sa 3-2. Good for sa. Pakistan actually have improved a lot in this match.

Posted by screamingeagle on (February 18, 2013, 8:20 GMT)

To all those who are criticising Misbah, imagine the batting if he and Younis leave now. We in India have seen what happened when Dravid and Laxman retired. Try and appreciate what they bring to the team.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2013, 7:47 GMT)

Well played SA for winning yet again from a difficult position and well played Pakistani batsmen for gifting their wicket in the second innings. Safraz and Misbah dismissal was soooo embarssing . I think Misbah needs to change his approach to the game or quit the game. his captaincy should be tested by resting a. couple of key players for the nexmatch. Selection of a 35 year old Tanveer with his pathetic 122Kph speed WHY ???

Posted by arvind.Kejriwal.AAP_A_Better_INDIA_ on (February 18, 2013, 7:17 GMT)

Congratulations to SA for winning the series. Pak tried hard but SA showed again why they are #1. I was amazed to see Ajmal so happy/ relived after getting his 10th wicket of the match when Pak was on the verge of losing the match and the series. It seemed he was playing for his personal milestone not team's win. He surely is a Great Bowler but not a match winner. #InspiredFromSRTBashers

Posted by matchfixerpkn on (February 18, 2013, 7:12 GMT)

india 1-1 , srilanka 1-2 ..and pak 0-3 ??? considering this western teams have much better record in sub continent... they play much better in sub continet compared to asian teams status in s afric or asutralia..

Posted by zmabix on (February 18, 2013, 6:46 GMT)

misbah shouldn't critisize himself it was matter of time we had lost the match now we should see what to do in future and we really need to work hard how to play new ball

Posted by matchfixerpkn on (February 18, 2013, 6:45 GMT)

Sugath..truth is that india already draw a sereis in s afric 1-1 last time..only srilanka lost it .that was expected one .bcso srilanka cant win series out side srilanka bcso srilanka have no qualtiy paleyrs.....but paksitnas case was poor stratergy.they have qualtity players but not come when required...

Posted by   on (February 18, 2013, 6:36 GMT)

As expected Misbah is always in firing line despite he gots d run n wat other ppl doing in d team like hafeez,gul,tanveer or sarfaraz n Jamshed,Azhar n younis failed to show d consistency. As Consistency only shown by Misban n Shafik

Posted by   on (February 18, 2013, 6:21 GMT)

i cant understand the logic of having Ehsan Adil in the team,why would you send him with your squad and rather play your back ups instead,which are supposed to be your 2nd choice!In domestic circuit he has been the best bowler!You had on faith in fitness of Irfan yet you have him in squad,this is ridiculous!Anwar ali,know for his prodigious swing tours India but doesnt feature in this tour,dropped even without having played a single match,instead a man out reckoning plays a test match,and expectedely fails to impress!pakistani batting was inevitable to succumb to Proteas pace attack but their seamers were a disappointment Im sorry but with the oflate consistency which Misbah has brought to the team has taken away the flare u associate with pakistani cricket,and with series gone i dont expect them to lift themselves now

Posted by matchfixerpkn on (February 18, 2013, 6:17 GMT)

actually s africa prepared spinner friendly pitch just to test theier strenght on uae..believe pak will not get better pitch than this even in pakistan...

Posted by Romanticstud on (February 18, 2013, 6:13 GMT)

Up until the delivery that Philander bowled where the ball mysteriously bounced onto the stump from the bat of Asad ... Pakistan has looked the better team at Newlands ... South Africa were on the back foot ... already 159 behind and before the dismissal had 6 wickets standing ... ordinarily speaking a sound position ... maybe 250 would have been reachable ... but 22 runs later and it was South Africas turn ... and 182 was a different ball game ... 250 would have been a tougher ask since the closer SA got to the 182 the more wickets fell, and it wouldn't have been hard to see that with Ajmal bowling so well that another 4 wickets would have fallen for the 70 odd runs more ... which is what Peterson did for SA in their first innings when a lead of about 80 was likely ...

Posted by   on (February 18, 2013, 5:57 GMT)

Agree with everyone that Tanvir was the weakest link in bowling, something that he was selected for. In hindsight it is clear that left arm Abdur Rehman would have formed a formidable spin attack with Ajmal, more so to exploit the rough outside leg stump. Strangely, while SA are known to play fast bowlers well, then why was Hafeez kept out of the attack until the target was shrunk to a mere 20 runs. He was excessively under utilized (11 overs in all in both innings) in this test considering his 4 for in the first test when Ajmal was lacking. Hafeez could have done better than Tanvir and Gul to stem the flow of runs from one end or else would have thrown the challenge to SA top order to take risks. The pressure that was being generated by Ajmal could not be sustained by the fast bowlers. The decision to underbowl Hafeez on a fourth day roughed track astonishes me and in my opinion was much worse than Misbah throwing his wicket.

Posted by sherishahmir on (February 18, 2013, 5:48 GMT)

Another heart breaking shock similar to last ODI lost against India, we almost strangled Proteas but again we remain short by 50-75 runs otherwise we would have game in our pocket. Credit to Pakistan bowling which has restricted SA world class batsman to score so far. Credit also goes to SA bowling which is simply phenomenal ,in my opinion, this SA side is one of best of all times.

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (February 18, 2013, 5:42 GMT)

Pakistan needs to find a good batting coach from India. As long as they do not have a home series, security will not be an issue. But only problem is affordability.

Posted by Hiba.R on (February 18, 2013, 5:26 GMT)

Misbah Ul-Haque (joined the team at the time of Zia ul-haque) does not deserve a place in the team, and he is leading the pack, so is true with Younis Khan these two 36+ years players should retire now and Pakistan should build a younger team and have more options like if Jamshed is not playing good have some other opener replace him. And same goes with Hafeez who seems to be playing a survival innings not like what he recently played in India. Sohail is neither a bowler nor a batsmen and he finds place in the team and not Afridi who could have proved deadly on these SA pitches.

Posted by Cricket_Man on (February 18, 2013, 5:12 GMT)

The easiest and the most risk free thing to do for a batsman is to take a single and rotate the strike and the South Africans showed us that. Misbah struggles at it big time and therefore he can't be qualified as a good batsman no matter what his average is. What is the use of an intellectual captain when he struggles to bat? He has got a good average because he has batted on flat tracks of UAE mostly. Pakistan needs to make Ajmal the test captain and needs to bring a new batsman in the side. Thanks for your services Misbah but you neither have the age or the skills on your side. The sooner Misbah leaves the better. Misbah is a good captain but we need Misbah the batsman first which we aren't getting.

Posted by Cricket_Man on (February 18, 2013, 5:03 GMT)

I think Umar Gul, BEING A SENIOR BOWLER , didn't perform well. Yes, he was a bit unlucky in the first innings but he didn't maintain any pressure. His economy rate was 5.75 and when you have a low total to defend this becomes unacceptable. Tanvir's selection was wrong too. In the next test match they should bring Junaid in place of Gul and Ehsan Adil in place of Tanvir. Saeed should also be rested for the next test and Rehman should be given a chance. They have lost the series and should now give chance to these bowlers. Batting lineup should be the same because only now the batsmen currently in the team would have some idea about how to play Steyn and Philander. New batsmen would take at least 2 innings to get a clue of Steyn and Philander, so no use playing them.

Posted by cricpolitics on (February 18, 2013, 4:59 GMT)

Nepotism is the real problem for the Pakistan team. It will never settle a strong Pakistan side. The first case being the selection of Sarfaraz Ahmad, why in the world would you drop a settled wicket keeper like Adnan Akmal who was also decent with the bat. Sarfaraz not only keep making mistakes behind the stumps, he is absolutely incapable with the bat. Second why two backup bowlers were sent down SA and even got to play a test each (both Rahat and Tanvir) where as the regular bower who was with the squad already was not even given a chance. Both Rahat and Tanvir were a big failure. Iqbal Qasim and company are playing their tricks with the selection and have a big hand in Pakistan's failures against SA. I don't even believe that Taufiq Umar and Haris were injured either.

Posted by mtalhas on (February 18, 2013, 4:28 GMT)

As usual, Pakistani fans are loosing their patience and bashing their captain. You all should know that he is one of the greatest and most intellectual captains cricket has ever seen. The main problem is his team dynamics. He tries to use them in the best possible way but then not every call is his call. Misbah's main bowler is Gul, who has lost his touch in the last few years and is by no means a test bowler anymore. On the other hand, the responsibility of batting collapse should completely be thrown on the professor. Being a senior player, when he cant face the new ball as an opener, then you should know that your middle order does not has players like Zaheer Abbas, Miandad, Inzi, and in this case whatever Younis, Misbah, Azhar and Asad did was commendable. Pakistan are still the dark horse of sub-continent though. They should keep their spirits high.

Posted by ultimatechamp_1 on (February 18, 2013, 4:20 GMT)

Hafeez is really not a standard opener. He doesnt have techniques to counter new ball. It is better to drop him to give a chance to Farhat or Faisal. On the other hand, selection of Tanvir was baffling, he was not better than Younis Khan when it comes to bowling medium pacer. Rahman should have been a better choice.Gul is also not in form. In the Next test Pak should go with Junaid, Irfan , Ajmal and Rahman.

Posted by HabeebRaja786 on (February 18, 2013, 4:09 GMT)

@asiacricket1234 spot on.I can not agree more with you.

My reasons for losing a test series A) PCB could have arranged more side matches before the first test. B) Umer gul has never been a premium test bowler.He can not be a leader of pack.On key occasions he leaks runs.We are one proper fast bowler short.

Posted by Sugath on (February 18, 2013, 3:53 GMT)

The stark reality is that of the 16 SA wickets that fell Ajmal too 10 of them or 62.5% and all the other could manage only 6 wickets. The fault was in the initial selection, not picking Abdur Reheman who would have teamed with Ajmal and the result a different one. Sri Lanka made the same mistake against Aussies in Sydney test and took only Herath and four ordinary seamers. Just as with Lanka Pakistan lost due to poor strategic planning and tactical delivery and not due to being unable to because the ability was there. This seems a malady that has set in to teams of Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India, not doing the match SWOT and developing the strategic tactical ploys

Posted by venkatesh018 on (February 18, 2013, 3:05 GMT)

It is puzzling how many teams don't know what their Best XI is when they go into a Test match: Tanvir Ahmed should never be selected as One among Four bowlers even on a green top, leave alone a match on such a slow pitch. Abdul Rahman or even Wahab Riaz would have been invaluable on this pitch. And why was Hafeez bowled so sparingly? This pitch was tailor made for him on the third and fourth days.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2013, 1:30 GMT)

Yeah those who are saying Misbah should have picked two front line spinners should remember that historically Cape town is one the quickest pitches in SA. This was a very odd pitch in that it was on the slower side and bounce was ok.

I dont think the offer will be extended to Pakistan next match, expect a very typical SA pitch, quick , bounce and lot of movement of the pitch

Posted by   on (February 18, 2013, 0:51 GMT)

Many Congrats to SA again for wining another series however this match was given away by the careless and headless thinking of the Misbah`s men it seems very clear no strategy and planing involved the match was won literally when SA recovered through 6th wicket p`ship.SA is a strong team but it is also fact that they have won majority of test matches on the bouncy tracks i would like to see SA playing Ajmal at Pak`s wickets.Shame on the PCB management and on selectors that despite abundant of talent we are still looking for a world class test wicket keepers batsman faraz must must must be out and other fail batsman be given a mouthful and only way forward is to eliminate the fail batsman with looking at their stats.It is the best time to introduce new faces .I wounder how many Paks batsman see their dismal replay from the hafeez dismissals it looks no one.......

Posted by Cricket_theBestGame on (February 18, 2013, 0:45 GMT)

good fight from pakistan. though i think they missed a trick by not playing abdur rehman. he is better than tanvir and given day and can bat too. don't know why misbah plays sweeps, reverse sweeps. hasn't he learnt his lesson the hard way number of times now!!!

also why haifz wasn't bowled? i'd open with him in the 2nd innings to just see how SA will bat. misbah, just think outside the box for once and be attacking. look where being defensive gets you so why not attack?? the end result may be the same at the end anyway but at least you went down fighting.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2013, 0:19 GMT)

Team Selection was wrong. Tanvir Ahmed was useless as a bowler. Pakistan played with three regular bowlers and got 16 wickets. My question is why Tanvir in the touring party?

Posted by   on (February 18, 2013, 0:02 GMT)

Pakistan need a stronger opening platform, number four cannot always be facing the new ball. But Pakistan have a tremendous wealth of talent and are very competitive.

Posted by Surajdon9 on (February 17, 2013, 23:09 GMT)

I had no clue about the Pitch Preparation of Super sport Park, Centurion But i think Centurion pitch will behave as much as Johannesburg so it will seaming hugely with plenty of uneven bounce and lateral Movements.So Pakistan need to drop Hafeez or either rearrange their Batting order.My Playing XI : Asad Younus Azar Misbah Jamshed Hafeez sarfaraz Rehman Ajmal Ehsan Irfan

Posted by   on (February 17, 2013, 22:57 GMT)

The wicket for next test match at Centurian park is never considered good for spinners. So, Ajmal advantage will be minimized. I hope that our coach is not dumb enoguh to play with two specialist spinners. I wish, Junaid regains fitness and this should be last tour for Sarfraz, bring back Adnan Akmal. Team for next match. Farhat, Nasir, Azhar, Younus, Misbah, Asad, Sarfraz, Gul, Junaid, Irfan, Ajmal. It's about time that you say good bye to Hafeez in tests. My choice was Taufeeq but since he is injured, so, Imran will do.

Posted by 14.08.1947 on (February 17, 2013, 22:53 GMT)

Top 11 for Test Matches in the near Future: 1.Taufeeq Umar 2. Abdul Razzaq 3. Azhar Ali 4. Younus Khan 5. Misbah-ul-Haq* 6. Asad Shafiq 7. Adnan Akmal 8.Abdur Rehman 9. Ehsan Adeel 10. Junaid Khan 11. Saeed Ajmal ...... You cant always blame to Misbah ul haq. Fact is, that he has cleaned up the SCANDAL Infighting Problems which happened in the past. The real MISTAKE was done by the Team Selection Commitee (IQBAL QASIM)..He really has no idea how to adjust YOUNGSTERS in the Squad. I think we need SHOAIB AKHTAR as a TEAM SELECTOR, because he knows the MODERN CRICKET well. Only thing which Pakistan needs to continue is to ignore KAMRAN AKMAL from all FORMATS!!!

Posted by   on (February 17, 2013, 22:51 GMT)

Ajmal was a lone warrior in the bowling department, with a decent contribution from Irfaan in the first innings. However the pace attack in general seemed toothless without Junaid. The longer the format of cricket is the less convincing Gul gets.

Posted by Big_Chikka on (February 17, 2013, 22:25 GMT)

this series was always about SA's batting depth and quality. in the end that is what decided the series, PK simply did not have quality in the top 3 of the batting order and were always trying to rebuild after poor starts. jamshaid, he's had a wake up call. hafeez, is a clown opening in tests. the number 3 so poor i don't even remember his name. if this was boxing the top three would have been written off by the doctor for a year!!!!

Posted by DeckChairand6pack on (February 17, 2013, 21:56 GMT)

The Proteas are going to have to work hard when they tour the UAE later this year. No doubt the tracks will be a whole lot more favourable for Pakistan as is their prerogative. But one thing this Proteas side does so well is to analyse, adjust and prepare. Before recent tours to the sub continent no one gave us much hope. And yet we ended up scoring a lorry load of runs and taking a truck load of wickets. They will have no fear of, just respect for, the opposition. Well done to Misbah for his admission. I think he did his best with the resources at his disposal against a powerful team and gave us a fright.

Posted by kc69 on (February 17, 2013, 21:35 GMT)

I seriously dont understand why Pak fans are blaming Misbah for this defeat.Cricket is a team game and one player like Saeed Ajmal or Asad Shafiq cannot just win this match alone.Well i would completely blame the openers who were very much overrated,some contribution from them(and other batsmen who failed) would have changed the match.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2013, 21:12 GMT)

Two thigs that Misbah 's team did wrong a) They did not slect abdur rehman, b) Borth of the openers failed in each innings.. which exposed the middle order every time to the new ball. You can't expect to win test macthes against world number 1 team with no openers and only one wicket taking bowler.

Posted by mazdonal on (February 17, 2013, 20:57 GMT)

Ramiz Raja was right. Abdur Rehman should have been played. In the opinion of a lot of commentators Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman form the best spin combination in the world. The two have spun a web of hazard around most of the best batsmen in the world, from which there is little escape. Pakistan missed a good opportunity, yet again.

Posted by Beertjie on (February 17, 2013, 20:36 GMT)

Agree @oayaz01 on (February 17, 2013, 18:58 GMT) Best team for 3rd test is: Azhar, Jamshed, Younis, Misbah, Hafeez, Shafiq, Sarfraz, Rehman, Ehsan, Ajmal, Junaid. These teams will meet again in Oct in UAE and Pakistan must get the right personel. Why take people on tour if they get no opportunities? Pity about Haris Sohail's injury or he could have been included. Even if the wicket is bouncy give Rehman a chance. Gul's luck is out atm so give Ehsan a go. By October a different combination may be more successful.

Posted by asiacricket1234 on (February 17, 2013, 20:33 GMT)

I donno what else this guy could have done as a captain. SA is the best team at the moment and Pakistan fought hard in this test. Compare to 1st test this was way better performance from Pakistan. Donno why he picked Tanvir though, That guy 34 year old and bowl as fast as Praveen Kumar of India. He is not really a test match bowler. Ajmal was great as always but him alone cant win test match, Other bowlers of Pakistan team needs to step up,

Posted by WonkyBail on (February 17, 2013, 20:29 GMT)

I agree with SurlyCynic re:Hafeez he could have made an impact, as for Tanvir he is hardly a replacement for the very promising Janaid. I am a neutral and have seen some great Pak bowlers Gul is not one of them, he lacks variety or guile and I am suprised he has had such longevity in the Pak side. Misbah took over as captain at a very difficult time and has helped in turning Pak into the strongest Asian test side by some way. Hoping you don't get whitewashed as in spells Pak have looked very good, unfortunately these spells are interceded by regular batting collapses.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2013, 19:59 GMT)

Misbah has let us down by his batting and his defensive captaincy!

Posted by ZuluKingdom on (February 17, 2013, 19:53 GMT)

Pakistan is not a bad side at all. They just need to sort out a few things and they could become a better. The way they had South Africa on the ropes is quite commendable. It was a great contest, but S.A just had too much firepower... Thats why S.A is currently the best side in the world! Go Proteas. Tougher challenges lie ahead.

Posted by IAS2009 on (February 17, 2013, 19:43 GMT)

defensive tactics caused pakistan test match, this is an issue with Misbah's approach, defensive approach will draw test matches in subcontinent not in Englans Aus or SA. Defensive approach made SA 160 for 5 in first inning, third morning they came out with purpose and handled Pakistan bowling well. When Pakistan were 2 for 7 in 2nd inning YK and Azhar were playing positive with intent the scoring rate was good and SA was defensive Smith took the short leg away sadly YK was out and I knew when Misbah will come it will dry out runs, Misbah never try to rotate strike and he always fell for playing a big shot ODI and test both , even Azhar who was playing positively went in his shell, it takes 10 balls to take 10 wicket playing dot balls do not win you games, the winning formula in test is to attack, Aussies did it, WI did and SA is same way, the odds are against pakistan to win against SA but with positive intent odds of winning is higher. selection of 34 year @120K speed bowler is odd.

Posted by ObjectiveCricketism on (February 17, 2013, 19:31 GMT)

Misbah-ul-Haq's honesty is most welcome in an era where captains hide behind platitudes. Pakistan gave South Africa a fright here but the fact remains that South Africa are a very strong team, fully deserving of their No.1 status.

Saeed Ajmal is a great bowler and once again showed what a gem he is. Test cricket has so much to offer these days, with great bowlers like Steyn, Ajmal and Philander in action.

Posted by a-khan74 on (February 17, 2013, 19:13 GMT)

once again pakistan batting let them down. worth to watch world class ajmal spin bowling.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2013, 19:13 GMT)

UAE test was different. You can't compare it here. 1st it wasn't a turner like that, 2nd in that 144 run chase rehman took 6 and ajmal only 3. Plus it was a pressure from both sides. Over here sa were easily picking runs vs others and playing ajmalcautionly. 3rd england was mentally jolted before that 144 run chase in 2nd test by spin as they crumbled against spin in 1st test and also 1st ininngs of same test so that was different. Here ajmal hasn't got any support. You can't win against a top side witn 1 bowler. And no score stopping pressure from other side. Simply not enough runs for ajmal alone. Needed few moreor a good economical option from other end.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2013, 19:07 GMT)

Yes a great and may be only chance for winning a test in series lost by pak. Lead should have been more. They let it go.yes misbahs wicket was turning point but its internatinal level others should do well. For winning you need more people to participate. Brain freeze and a colkapse of 6/22 was the match for them.

Tanveer wasa disapointmen. 120 & screaming. Plus what more hurt pak tht no 1 supported ajmal in 2nd inings. To maintain pressure they need to stop runs but gul went 5+ taveer around 6 wasn't a pressure putting effort. Haffez wasn't bowled either & tanveers selection a mystry Sarfraz might be playing last series. Worse batsman for already poor batting side.

Posted by aarshad on (February 17, 2013, 19:05 GMT)

What happened to the talented Mr. Jamshed?

Posted by whoster on (February 17, 2013, 19:04 GMT)

Typical of Misbah to shoulder the blame for his side's defeat. He's done such a brilliant job as Captain, and has made Pakistan Test cricket a force again. Against the best team in the world on their home turf, Pakistan could've caused a real upset with a little more consistency in the first two Tests. SA worthy winners though through the sheer quality of their pace and seam attack.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (February 17, 2013, 19:02 GMT)

Hafeez could have caused problems, I just don't understand why he didn't bowl until the end. One of his deliveries turned a mile.

Posted by oayaz01 on (February 17, 2013, 18:58 GMT)

Tanvir was selected to add some runs down the order and hafeez to bowl few overs, what Misbah forgot, this is test cricket and you need specialist and not bits and pieces players. Hafeez could have been dropped or probably dropped down to No 4 or 5 with Azhar Ali opening as he feels better against pacers than spinners. But Abdul Rehman should have played, bog mistake to exclude him from the line up and in the end cost us the game and series.

Posted by asimations on (February 17, 2013, 18:51 GMT)

sorry misbah you dont learn and you are too experienced

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