Pakistan should stick with Zafar Gohar for their upcoming Test series against South Africa, despite his disappointing debut bowling display in an innings defeat to New Zealand.
Gohar replaced Yasir Shah in the Pakistan playing XI for the second Test at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch.
It was a tough ask to for him come in and make an impact against the team seeking to move to top spot in the ICC World Test Rankings and he struggled with the ball.
The 25-year-old returned figures of 0-159 from his 32 overs, as three Blackcaps batsmen scored centuries.
Gohar toiled away against Williamson, Nicholls and Mitchell but was expensive, going at 4.97 an over.
However, it shouldn’t be the last time he’s seen in Pakistan whites.
Pakistan should stick with Zafar Gohar
New Zealand is hardly a paradise for spinners and the fact that the home side didn’t include a specialist tweaker in their XI shows that there was never likely to be much assistance on offer from the pitch.
Therefore, Gohar was always going to be up against it in his quest to take scalps and while he also failed to stem the flow of runs, he did bowl a large number of deliveries at the current number one ranked Test batsman.
There were still encouraging elements to his bowling performance, though, and his first-class record suggests he possesses genuine potency.
Tests in more spin-friendly conditions in Karachi and Rawalpindi are just weeks away and he may have more joy if deployed against a fragile Proteas middle order.
What’s more, in a Pakistan side that lacks batting depth itself, Gohar proved against New Zealand that he’s more than handy with the willow.
A first-class average of over 20 suggested potential and he delivered with scores of 34 and 37, scoring all around the ground during the second innings and finishing as joint top scorer.
Zafar Gohar has now been capped by Pakistan in two formats and he has the potential to make many more international appearances.
His confidence may have been dented in New Zealand but it’s important that the coaching staff rally around him now, and back their left-arm orthodox to shine against South Africa.