Islamabad: Pakistan's Twenty20 captain Mohammad Hafeez believes that selectors have got their sums wrong in the pace attack chosen for next month's three-test series against South Africa.
Pacemen Umar Gul and Junaid Khan will be assisted by uncapped fast bowlers — 2.16-meter (7-foot-1) Mohammad Irfan and Ehsan Adil — in a four-man attack against the No. 1 ranked Proteas.
"I think we are a fast bowler short, but it's a decision of the selection committee," Hafeez told reporters on Monday in the southern port city of Karachi.
The squad was announced by selectors last week.
Speaking during the four-day final of Pakistan's premier first-class tournament, the President's Patron's Trophy, Hafeez backed each of the four chosen pacemen.
"Junaid Khan is very good and is improving very fast, and then we have Umar Gul who is very experienced," Hafeez said after being dismissed by Gul for just four runs off 28 balls on Monday in the first innings. "Ehsan Adil is new but I think when you put pressure on a new player he tends to give his best.
"Irfan has also given a good performance in Twenty20 (against India) from where he was selected for the ODIs in India and now for tests."
Pakistan has played just six tests over the last year — three each against England and Sri Lanka — with a break of nearly six months between the two series.
"It's unfortunate that we get less test matches," Hafeez said. "It's tough, but all the players have played four-day games at the domestic level."
However, Hafeez said the Pakistan Cricket Board needs to arrange more test matches to find quality cricketers like Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq, who have established themselves in Pakistan's middle-order.
"I think test cricket produces good quality cricketers ... we need to promote test cricket," he said. "If we play only six tests in a year then it will be tough."
With South Africa having just completed a 2-0 test series victory over New Zealand — winning both test matches by an innings margin — Hafeez is well aware of the task ahead.
"A test series in South Africa will be challenging because the conditions are different," he said.
"We played there in 2007 and most of the players of that team are not there. But we have faced tough challenges before and will do that again."