Pakistan’s tour of South Africa has been a tough one. They lost the Centurion Test by six wickets and also suffered defeat in Cape Town by nine wickets to squander yet another chance to win a series in South Africa. Pakistan’s batsmen and bowlers have performed poorly in the series with only one or two players contributing. In the third and final Test at the Wanderers in Johannesburg, South Africa were boosted by a magnificent 90 from Aiden Markram and looked set to pile on the agony. At 229/3, South Africa looked set for a big score but Mohammad Amir, backed by Faheem Ashraf and Hasan Ali ripped through the South Africa lower order as the Proteas lost seven wickets for 33 runs to be bowled out for 262.
Speaking at the end of the day press conference, Amir, who had picked up 2/36 responded to a question of whether this was the best performance of the bowlers on the tour so far. “The first two sessions we didn't bowl well. But after tea, we made a plan that we had to bowl wicket to wicket and we have to control run rate so we can get wickets. This wicket is far better than previous wickets. If you settle in, you can get the runs and wickets. But I always believe when you stick with the basics whether you're a bowler or batsmen, you can get the reward,” Amir said.
However, it was another question that miffed Amir and he walked out of the press conference. It was about the comments made by Sarfraz Ahmed, the Pakistan skipper about the bowlers following defeat in the Cape Town Test which angered Amir. “Please leave this question. Leave this question. Are we done?” Following the tense exchange, Amir walked out.
The anger from Amir stems from the comment made by Sarfraz during the post-match press conference where he blamed the bowlers for the team’s defeat. “Our bowling was not up to the mark. Our bowling average speed was 130 (kilometres an hour), South Africa was bowling at 145. Our bowling was far better (in the first Test) in Centurion,” Sarfraz said. The comments did not go down well with the bowling unit, with one Pakistan Television channel stating that the bowling unit was miffed with the captain’s comment.
Earlier, Pakistan’s batting coach Grant Flower admitted that the current environment in the camp was also not ideal. The batsmen have had to face the wrath of coach Mickey Arthur, who criticised their approach following the collapse in the Centurion Test. The Johannesburg Test represents the final opportunity for Pakistan to salvage some pride in a country where they have never done well.