LAHORE - Former Test cricketer and chief selector Salahuddin Sallu has said that complacency cost Pakistan second Test against England and they need to improve their batting and fielding to get better results in next Test matches.

Talking to The Nation, Salahuddin, who is advisor (South) to Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi, said: “Pakistan won the first Test just because of superb bowling, batting and fielding of green caps, as they played like a unit and everyone contributed well, which resulted in historical Lord’s victory. But in the second Test, batsmen failed to deliver and no one took major responsibility, that’s why they came under pressure and lost the match.

“Our fielding was also not as good as it was in the first Test, which gave them extra edge against the hosts. But this time, they couldn’t put that pressure on the hosts through fielding while our bowlers also kept on struggling and suffered just because of the batsmen, who failed to post a big first innings’ total against England,” he added.

The former cricketer also pointed out that Pakistan team need a better opening pair in Test matches, which may provide the team a solid start and also help middle order batsmen to play freely and post a respectable total. “During the England Test series, our opening pair couldn’t provide us a good start as they kept on falling cheaply for 12, 12, 0 and 20 in the first and second Test. They must apply themselves with concentration and dedication, if they want to excel,” he added.

Sallu also said that the conditions also played key role during the second Test. “The conditions of Leeds suit hosts more than the visitors, which they got benefit and succeeded in inflicting an innings defeat on Pakistan. Although the ball was not swinging yet the hosts utilized the conditions well in their favour and outsmart the visitors.”

Babar Azam got injured during the first Test and was later replaced by Haris Sohail. The former cricketer lauded the move and termed Haris as a good replacement to Babar. “Yes, Babar absence was a great loss for Pakistan team as he played anchorsheet role in green caps’ victory in the first Test but unfortunately, he had to return home due to injury. Haris also played well without any pressure but he couldn’t prolong his innings, which is very essential for Test cricket.”

He said that he do agree with many of the former greats that the main problem of Pakistan cricket team is complacency, which cost them the second Test. “Yes, it is complacency which cost Pakistan team second Test. The greens caps need to overcome this, if they want to perform well against the best in the business. They need to give some consistent performances, which will help them excel against top cricketing nations and also improve their Test rankings, which they topped under Misbah-ul-Haq’s captaincy,” Sallu concluded.