CAPE TOWN – Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed rued his team's inability to take 20 wickets as they conceded the Test series 2-0 to hosts South Africa at Newlands on Sunday.
Ahmed admitted that he was disappointed with the team's performance, which saw them lose Tests in Centurion and Cape Town.
If they needed to do better in the third Test in Johannesburg, they simply had to bowl the opposition out, on surfaces that aided pace bowling, he said.
"If you have to win Test matches, you've to take 20 wickets. Otherwise, you are not going to win matches in South Africa."
In the Cape Town Test, Pakistan were bowled out for 177 and 294 in their two innings, while South Africa made 431 and quickly chased down the 41 runs required for a nine-wicket win on Sunday.
"Our bowling was not up to the mark in this Test," Ahmed said after the game. "If you see, our bowlers were at 128-129, an average speed of 130kph, while they (the South Africans) were bowling at 145kph. If there is a lack of pace here, you will not get wickets."
Pakistan, who pride themselves on a strong pace attack, had a similar problem the last time they visited in 2013, the captain pointed out. "I don't know what is going on," he admitted, adding, "For me, they are fitter than us."
Having posted a low total, if they had restricted the hosts to around 250, it would have been a different story, he said, urging his team to capitalise on opportunities that came their way and build on the promise they had shown in the first match.
Praising the home bowlers, he added: "The real credit goes to their bowlers, who bowled really well and did not give us any bad balls. Our batsmen played some quality shots. But, when they were batting – while they played well, we delivered a lot of loose balls."
As for the Pakistan batting, Ahmed was more positive about it.
"Whenever Asian teams travel away, they have problems. But the way our batsmen did in the second innings, that's how you play Test cricket. We are getting better day by day."
African News Agency (ANA)