Pakistan v SA

Kallis praises Pakistan

2010-11-24 19:07
Jacques Kallis (Gallo Images)

Abu Dhabi - Stand-in South African captain Jacques Kallis said Pakistan deserved the credit for drawing the two-Test series on Wednesday.

"We put Pakistan under pressure in both the Tests, but Pakistan performed well and their cricket is looking positive," said Kallis after the second Test ended in a draw, leaving the two-match series at 0-0.

The first Test also ended in stalemate in Dubai last week.

Set a daunting 354-run target in 82 overs, Pakistan were pegged back by South Africa with three wickets soon after lunch before Misbah-ul-Haq (58 not out) and Azhar Ali (28 not out) took them to safety.

Kallis said Pakistan - hit by spot-fixing scandal since their tour of England two months ago - showed a lot of guts.

"You have to give credit to Pakistan, under severe pressure they put big performances and showed that they have the determination needed to survive in big games and although we have lots of positives it was disappointing not to win," said Kallis.

Kallis, deputising for Graeme Smith who was unable to take the field because of a finger injury, showed concerns on two flat wickets in the series, shifted from Pakistan over security fears.

"The one worrying thing that has to be looked at is that we strive to keep Test cricket alive, playing on two wickets like this and I don't think that's good for the game.

"I think you know the groundsman needs to ensure the game of Test cricket stays healthy and produces a good contest between the bat and the ball. It didn't really live up to that and you can probably play another Test match straight away and not get a result."

Kallis hopes Smith gets fit in time to face India at home.

"I think Graeme should be fit and he is a big player and hopefully he will be fit for the Indian series," said Kallis of the three-Test, five one-day and a Twenty20 match home series starting next month.

Misbah believed the two drawn Test were like victory for Pakistan.

"Drawing two Tests against world's second best team is a moral victory for us and that will give us boost in our confidence," said Misbah, leading Pakistan for the first time in a Test series.

Misbah dispelled the impression that Pakistan were low on confidence before the series.

"In the first case I never felt that this team was demoralised. Maybe their morale was up and they played very good cricket and I am happy with the team, the way we played hard cricket," said Misbah.

And he believed Pakistan still needed consistency to improve their Test ranking, currently low at six.

"We have some talented youngsters like Azhar (Ali), Asad (Shafiq) and some experienced players, so all we need is to be more consistent and play as we did against South Africa," said Misbah.

Pakistan next tours New Zealand to play three Twenty20, two Tests and six one-day, starting from December 26.

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