‘Vulnerability to short-pitched bowling,’ challenge for Pakistan in upcoming series: Fazeer Mohammed

Karachi [Pakistan], Nov. 6 : Trinidadian cricket commentator and journalist Fazeer Mohammed believes that the real test for Pakistan in the upcoming Test series against New Zealand and Australia would be their "vulnerability to good, fast short-pitched bowling." Pakistan recently won the three-match Test series against West Indies in UAE, but on their next assignments, which include Test series in New Zealand and Australia, it would be an all-different ball game, considering the conditions and the pitches.

A relatively young West Indies side, however, defeated Pakistan in the last Test of the three-match series and, thereby, prevented the Misbah-ul-Haq-led side complete the treble of clean sweeps.

After dominating the West Indies in the T20s and One-Day Internationals, Pakistan held off a stern challenge from the Caribbean side in the day/night opening Test in Dubai, dominated the second fixture to clinch the series in Abu Dhabi and ultimately faced defeat against Jason Holder's side on the last day of the tour in Sharjah.

Mohammed, however, believes that the Sharjah defeat should not be seen so much as a setback but as a reality check with Pakistan preparing to take on New Zealand in the two-match Test series.

"To say that the West Indies won only because the hosts played poorly ignores the effort of the opposition, although there was ample evidence from day one in Sharjah that much of the discipline and commitment from the top-order batsmen was lacking and eventually contributed to their downfall.

What clearly will be of concern ahead of the New Zealand Tests and then the three that follow in Australia, beginning with a day/night contest in Brisbane, is vulnerability to good, fast short-pitched bowling," Mohammed was quoted as saying by Pakpassion.net.

There is always the danger of knee-jerk reactions to any situation and Misbah, head coach Mickey Arthur and the rest of the think-tank of the Pakistan squad will obviously be considering their options carefully heading into the upcoming assignments," he adds.

The commentator that Pakistan's sloppy fielding can have a debilitating effect on bowlers' morale apart from the cost in terms of runs and the state of the match.

"While there are ample quality resources in the bowling department, with leg-spinner Yasir Shah enjoying a phenomenal year, sloppy fielding can have a debilitating effect on bowlers' morale apart from the cost in terms of runs and the state of the match.

Mohammad Amir has been a prime sufferer of missed catches over the past six months and if Pakistan expect to prevail Down Under, they will need to snare almost every chance that comes their way," he says.

"That one loss in Sharjah is of course no cause for panic. If anything, it could be the wake-up call necessary for the challenges ahead," he adds. Pakistan will play two-match series against New Zealand, the first in Christchurch starting from November 17 and the second in Hamilton from November 25.

Misbah's side will then head to Australia for a three-Test series, starting with a day-night match in Brisbane from December 15.

Source: ANI