Karachi: Pakistan's failure to force a win over Sri Lanka in the first Test has come under criticism from former players, with many of them blaming dropped catches as the reason behind draw in Abu Dhabi.
Sri Lanka, led by a superb double-hundred from Kumar Sangakkara, managed to draw the match albeit helped by some sloppy fielding from the Pakistan players, who dropped crucial catches on the last two days of the Test.
Pakistan, led by 314 runs in the first innings, but dropped seven catches in Sri Lanka's second knock, with six going down on the fourth day to help their rivals salvage a draw.
Kumar Sangakkara, let off on 50 and 56, went on to make a match-saving 211 while Prasanna Jayawardene, given a life on 11, scored 120 to guide Sri Lanka to 483 in their second innings.
Pakistan called it a day on 21-1 after 10 overs of their second innings, having been set a daunting 170 from a maximum of 20 overs on the fifth day on Saturday.
Pakistan's interim coach Mohsin Khan admitted that dropped catches had cost Pakistan badly, but said he was 85 percent satisfied with the performance of the team.
"We will work harder on our catching and fielding for the next Test," said Mohsin.
Former captain Rashid Latif paid rich tributes to Sangakkara and said the left-hander has further proven his class with a double-hundred.
"I think the fielding did play a part in the draw, but we also missed another spinner and we need to get Danish Kaneria back into the team," said Rashid.
Former chief selector and Test player Salahuddin Ahmed blamed Mohsin for the draw and said, "The coach was unable to motivate the players. We lost a golden opportunity to beat Sri Lanka."
Former Test spinner Iqbal Qasim blamed the dropped catches for the draw but said one must not take away any credit from Sangakarra, who played a brilliant knock under lot of pressure.
Pakistan's former Test opener and coach, Mudassar Nazar, while praising the Pakistani bowlers for their hard work, felt that perhaps the team had underestimated Sri Lanka's resolve to draw the Test.
"Misbah was a bit lackadaisical. If you look at Misbah, he was just standing at mid-off most of the time and not standing in the slips. He's a much better slip fielder than Hafeez, who doesn't look like a slip fielder. On top of that, Shoaib Malik, sitting outside, was the best fielder in the Pakistan team. Instead it was Wahab Riaz, the bowler, coming in [as a substitute fielder] and dropping that catch," said Nazar.
Nazar felt that Pakistan were not pro-active in their approach. "Pakistan will rue the fact that they didn't push Sri Lanka hard enough, they just sat back, thinking it was just a matter of time before they will get the desired result."
"You need to put in the hard work."