Shan Masood
Shan Masood Credits: Twitter

Pakistan Director of Cricket Mohammad Hafeez has defended Pakistan skipper Shan Masood’s decision to make bowling changes against Australia in the third test, blaming his team’s poor fielding performance against the Baggy Greens on home soil.

After Australia was set 130 runs to win the last Test, Pakistan did not turn to the series’ joint-leading wicket-taker Aamer Jamal on Day 4. The Pakistan captain gave him the ball in the 20th over after lunch which raised a few eyebrows among the experts and fans, as Australia needed only 33 runs to win with nine wickets in hand.

Speaking to the media after the game, Mohammad Hafeez also emphasized that the team recognized the necessity of bowling off-spin on a track that was beginning to turn in Sydney, and he backed Masood to make on-field decisions.

Mohammad Hafeez
Mohammad Hafeez Credits: Twitter

“It’s up to the captain, All bowlers were available but it’s the captain’s tactic. We wanted to bowl more from the offspinner because this track can offer a lot from the far end but the rest is up to [Masood].

“Tactically, I think Jamal should have bowled earlier, but inside the field, the captain is the best judge so you have to back that up,” Mohammad Hafeez said.

Pakistan was constantly on the wrong end of hectic moments with enormous swings in momentum throughout the series, particularly in the last two Tests. The series offered a few positives for the Men in Green, with Aamer Jamal and Mohammad Rizwan producing some good performances for the team in unfamiliar conditions.

We Couldn’t Win The Crucial Moments Of The Game – Mohammad Hafeez

Mohammad Hafeez believes that the three-match test series taught them a lot of lessons to take forward. He believes that the series scoreline could have been different if they had played better cricket throughout the series and was pleased to see some players stand up for the team in crucial moments of the game.

Pakistan Cricket Team
Pakistan Cricket Team Credits: Twitter

“We learned hard lessons. As a team, we had our moments but we couldn’t grab those. We perhaps didn’t [deserve] 3-0, as a team I think we did some really good things this series, but we couldn’t win the crucial moments of the game and that’s the reason for the 3-0.

“We lost the series, but watching the talent of the players is what made me say we could compete right from the start. We’ve seen some glimpses of it,” Mohammad Hafeez added.

The visitors were given some solace when all-rounder Aamer Jamal was named Player of the Match after scoring 82 runs and taking six wickets in the game. With three consecutive Test losses, Pakistan sits sixth in the World Test Championship cycle, with 22 points. They have previously defeated Sri Lanka in two Tests in July 2023.