‘Not feeling confident here’: Pakistan banish butter-fingered slip from the cordon, but back him to rebound
Pakistan have indicated that Abdullah Shafique will be banished from the slips in Sydney after his costly drops behind the wicket cruelled Pakistan in Melbourne.
Shafique put down two vital catches in Pakistan’s Boxing Day Test loss, including a simple chance to remove David Warner early on the first morning.
His miss on Mitch Marsh then proved more vital in the second innings, with the West Australian adding 76 more runs after being put down by the Pakistan opener.
Australia went on to win the Test by 79 runs.
“It’s like a crocodile jaw trying to catch a ball.”
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 28, 2023
And it appears unlikely he will return to first slip for the third Test in Sydney, starting Wednesday.
“Definitely we saw Abdullah wasn’t feeling comfortable out there,” coach Mohammad Hafeez said.
“Obviously as a team, you always back your teammates if something is not going well for him. But we made that decision.
“If he’s not feeling comfortable, Babar is always a better fielder so he should take that lead and go to the first slip.
“Abdullah is also a good fielder, but somehow he’s not feeling confident as a slip here.”
Hafeez conceded Pakistan should have entered the tour with right cordon set up, after Shafique also put down an important catch early in the first Test in Perth.
“You’re absolutely right (we should have had it right),” he said.
“As a fielder, he used to do slip fielding very well. But different conditions might be disturbing him.
“I will still believe that he’s a good fielder, but it might be the confidence went away.
“I know as if you as a slip fielder … once that confidence goes away from you, you need a little bit of time which we will definitely give.”
Hafeez was adamant after the Test Pakistan were the better side, only to be cruelled by what he labelled as “inconsistent” umpiring and the “curse” of video technology.
But the tourists desperately need to clean things up at their own end, with 52 first-innings extras the second-most ever bowled by a team in Australia.