ISLAMABAD - Sarfraz Ahmed Test captaincy got off to worst possible start, as he failed to lead the green caps, the way he should have.

There were lots of things, which led to the downfall of Pakistan team in the first Test against Sri Lanka. First the selectors made a huge blunder by going into the Test with only four regular bowlers. M Aamir looked off-coloured, rusty and it was clearly evident from his body language that he was not physically present at the venue and his heart and mind was somewhere else.

How the team management could completely forget the simple fact that Sri Lanka arrived in the UAE with shattered morale after suffering humiliating defeats at the hands of India and nobody was ready to give them even outside chance. The Abu Dhabi is a favourite hunting ground for Pakistan where they never lost any match but it was being expected that the green caps would easily tame the Tigers, but the way, Pakistan bowling and fielding gave away too many chances to the Lankan batsmen, it was an uphill task for Pakistani batsmen.

Captain Sarfraz never looked comfortable and made a lot of blunders. He failed to utilise his bowling options. Entering the Test with only four regular bowlers including main strike bowler Aamir, who was supposed to spearhead bowling department, Pakistani bowling looked highly out of shape and never bothered any Lankan batsmen. Aamir's figures clearly indicate that he is not fully fit to deliver. Asad Shafiq was the main culprit, who dropped significant sitters, which made a huge difference. What is the purpose of having an army of international coaches, if they couldn't help the fielders improve their fielding.

Pakistan team must consider it highly fortunate not to concede hefty first innings score, when Chandimal and Dickwella were looking highly dangerous and especially Dickwella was scoring quickly. But classical bowling by Yasir Shah and M Abbas restricted Lankans to 419. Pakistani batsmen played highly casual strokes and gifted their wickets away. It is true that Herath bowled superbly, but it Pakistan batsmen, who looked in a hurry to go back to the dressing room rather than staying at the crease. Only Haris and Azhar Ali save blushes of green caps and ensured Pakistan take slight 3-run first innings lead. Pakistan could have taken handy first innings lead, but rash shots, poor technique and lack of patience cost them dearly.

Sarfraz must take responsibility of simply throwing his wickets away in both the innings, especially in the second. What was the purpose of jumping down the wicket, when everything was going smoothly? He and Haris were slowly steadying the ship, why he came down to hit the ball out of the park. Had Pakistan team entered the match with 5 bowlers, three pacers and two spinners, it could have made huge difference.

What was the reason of including Sami Aslam, when Azhar Ali could have easily opened the innings, just like he did on a number of occasions in the past? It was clearly evident the way middle order failed, Pakistan team badly missed backbone of middle order Younus Khan and Misbah. The so-called pundits and former Test cricketers should now justify Sarfraz' captaincy, who never looked comfortable.

Leading in T20s and ODIs is different thing than Test cricket. Sarfraz should first make his place in playing XI, then he should be handed Test captaincy, but due to a certain lobby, he was hurriedly appointed Test skipper. Had PCB chairman Najam Sethi thought even for a while in the best interest of national team, he could have met Younus and requested him to play for another year or so. Younus was not only super fit, but was also scoring runs and was instrumental in helping green caps win a number of Test matches as there is still a lot of cricket left in him.

If Sarfraz can't win against Sri Lanka on UAE tracks, how can he stamp out his authority against the teams like Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and England. All is not lost yet, but now green caps should have to come with highly positive frame of mind and go all-out attacking, play with five regular bowlers and leave the non-performers. Only aggressive and winning mentality can save Pakistan blushes.