ISLAMABAD - Former fast bowler Sarfraz Nawaz holds the team management responsible for Pakistan defeat in the first Test against Sri Lanka.

Talking to The Nation, Sarfraz, who is also inventor of reverse swing bowling, said: “Pakistan entered the Test with only four specialist bowlers and they badly missed the services of a regular spinner, who could support ace leg spinner Yasir Shah. Had another spinner included in the team , Pakistan could have easily bowled out Sri Lankan team within 200 runs.

“Another major area of concern was sharp decline in speed of fast bowler M Aamir, who is bowling in the region of 130 plus. I am surprised, Aamir has lost considerable pace, without being at his level best, so, according to me, he doesn’t deserve a place in the playing XI,” he added.

Sarfraz said Pakistan team must have to understand a simple thing that fast bowling is their strength and they had to go all-out attacking against Lankans, who had just one quality spinner in shape of Herath.

“Pakistan had quality fast bowlers, who could easily destroy any given batting line up, but they were not utilized accordingly. I am amazed that on what grounds, the head coach didn’t opt to go with lush green pitch, which could help the bowlers in destroying Sri Lankan batting line up. Now they must utilize this option in the second Test, if they really want to win it.”

He said Pakistan batted very well in the first innings and managed to restrict Lankans in the first innings too. “After they had a very bright start and things were looking grim for green caps, but the way Yasir Shah bowled in the second innings, it put a new lease of life in Pakistan team . It was totally batsmen’s failure, who flopped miserably, as the target of 138 runs was not too big to be chased. But the batsmen played highly irresponsible strokes and simply gifted their wickets.

“I was surprised to witness Sarfraz Ahmed, being a skipper, it was his responsibility to prolong his stay at the crease, because the more he stayed at the crease, the better Pakistan team had chances of winning. But he played very irresponsible stroke, which cost the team dearly and even the match,” he added.

He said the openers were looking clueless and Azhar Ali, being the most senior batmen, should have played sensibly, while Asad Shafiq and Babar Azam also failed to handle the pressure. “One thing is quite clear that Pakistan team didn’t have Misbah and Younus Khan at their disposal. Now the team has to learn to play without these two greats, who had played major role in helping the green caps register countless victories.

“Now the team management should come out with clear-cut plan and enter the second Test with positive approach and prepare green top, without taking gamble and trusting fast bowlers. I don’t see Pakistan even stand outside chances of doing well. The fear factor has considerably shifted from Lankans to green caps.

Mickey Arthur must think positively and go all-out attacking. Wahab Riaz should be included in case green pitch is prepared, or else Sri Lankans have bright chances, as they have good quality spinners while their batting is not as sound as it was.

“I can feel that Pakistan team , is still balanced and strong as compared to the Lankans. Now it depends how the team management and captain chalk out plan for the second Test, which is round the corner. No rocket science is required, as Sarfraz and company needs to enter with their best available options and trust on their main weapon, which is bowling. It is not all over yet and Pakistan still has chance to make a strong comeback,” Sarfraz concluded.