Pakistan’s team director Mohammad Hafeez has come to the defense of Sarfaraz, the team’s wicketkeeper-batter. Hafeez emphasized that the management won’t rush into making drastic changes based on just one match.
Sarfaraz, 36, faced a tough time at the crease, managing only 3 and 4 runs in both innings and falling prey to Mitchell Starc’s bowling on both occasions.
Hafeez stood by Sarfaraz’s selection, highlighting his significant contributions to Pakistan cricket, particularly in recent months.
“Sarfaraz has been a key player for Pakistan. In the recent New Zealand series, he performed exceptionally well. While it’s been a few months, we usually prioritize players who’ve shone in recent games. Unfortunately, this match didn’t go as expected for Sarfaraz,” Hafeez stated in a press briefing.
He added, “But making drastic changes after just one game isn’t the way to go. Sarfaraz isn’t new to international cricket; he’s toured Australia, South Africa, and England before. He’s experienced in these conditions. Yes, his performance as a batsman and keeper wasn’t up to par in this match, but that doesn’t mean we doubt his abilities or confine him to specific conditions.”
It’s worth noting that Pakistan’s chase of a 450-run target fell short, with the team only managing a mere 89 runs. The visitors struggled against Nathan Lyon and Australia’s formidable pace attack, leading to a swift conclusion of the game within four days.
The remaining matches in the series include the 2nd Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) from December 26-30 and the 3rd Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) from January 3-7.