Disappointed not to win the series but still proud of my team: Sarfraz Ahmed

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Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed said he was disappointed not to win the first series in England for 21 years but was proud of his young team for a 1-1 result as people had thought his team will lose both in tough conditions.

Pakistan went down by an innings and 55 runs with two days to spare on Sunday after their batting collapsed under the pressure of a big 189-run deficit, getting bowled out for 134 just before tea interval.

That followed a brilliant nine wicket win at Lord’s in the first Test.

“If you see when we came here people thought that we will not win one game,” said Sarfraz after the defeat. “But the way we played at Lord’s everything was perfect, our fast bowling was perfect, our batting and fielding were perfect.

“It’s disappointing that we had a chance to win the series but unfortunately we didn’t play well here. I am proud of my young team, the way Abbas is bowling, Shadab is doing well, Faheem did well so really disappointed that we didn’t win but 1-1 is good for us.”

Pakistan were caught on the wrong foot after they won the toss, batted and they were bowled out for a paltry 174. England knocked 363 to take a big 189-run lead.

Sarfraz admitted his team lacked discipline in batting.

“We lacked discipline in batting in both the innings. We lacked that, the way we won the toss and batted we had hoped that we will do well but we lacked discipline.” said Sarfraz.

“I think they also bowled well on the first day, we had to play well in this inning but unfortunately we didn’t bat well as a unit.

“In the first innings we must give credit to their bowling but in this inning our batsmen came under pressure. A lead of 180 plus put pressure and we committed mistakes. Our batting unit is young so they will learn from the mistakes.”

Sarfraz disagreed to the comment that batsmen were not learning from mistakes and told how much trust he has on Azhar Ali as a batsman.

“No, its not like this. Obviously, we work hard and try to overcome our mistakes. Azhar is our main batsman, it is true that he is not in a good nick but he scored a good fifty at Lord’s. So its not like we are not learning from our mistakes, whatever time we get during the matches we try our best to overcome shortcomings.”

Sarfraz admitted a dropped catch off Jos Butler cost Pakistan dearly.

“Catches are part of the game but yet if that Butler catch was taken, perhaps, things would have been different,” said Sarfraz of Hasan Ali’s dropped catch of Butler off Shadab Khan on 16. Butler went on to make a solid 80 not out.

“Taking and dropping are part of the game but overall our fielding is good throughout, if you talk about this Test we took eight catches behind the stumps so that is good.

“As for Hasan’s bowling, he was a bit inconsistent, his deliveries were falling short but he tried his best, he is learning and I hope that the mistakes he committed, he will learn from them.”

Sarfraz said there were big positive to take from the series such as Faheem Ashraf’s potential and Abbas’ class

“There are a lot of positives, Abbas did well and we have found a bowler who can do well in Tests, we inducted Faheem Ashraf with a hope that he will bowl and bat. He did well in Ireland and scored runs, was good at Lord’s and he bowled well here so such kind of players are utility players.”

He admitted his poor batting form was a concern and accepted that he got out played poor shots.

“Look if you talk about batting then I am not satisfied with it in the series. I committed mistakes and played a few bad shots, I am not satisfied but I always try to do well,” said Sarfraz who managed scores of nine , 14 and eight.

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