Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Observations of the First 2 Days of Pakistan versus England

The much touted tussle in the Desert between Pakistan and England has not disappointed with excellent play in abundance coupled with oodles of tension and topped of with a lovely bit of controversy. The game enters the third day with Pakistan having the advantage of a 96 run lead with 3 wickets in hand, but the relentless glint in all the eyes of the English makes you believe in their potential to turn the game on its ear.

A few observations so far are as follows:

1. Selection Gaffs by both Teams

The one that stood out the most was the Pakistan decision to include Aizaz Cheema, rather than complete the sincere variety of their attack by selecting the left hand variety of either Junaid Khan or Wahab Riaz. In defence of Cheema, he has been stellar in the early parts of his career, but by having that left arm swing version it would have rankled the English batsmen in a more profound manner

The England side of things is two part. Firstly they are so governed by stringent beliefs that stopped them from investing trust in Matt Prior moving up to 6, and including a 5th bowler. Which more than likely would have been Monty Panesar to have an attack that was more suited to the condition. The selecting of Chris Tremlett lacked imagination, and was a safety first approach when a bit of outside the square thinking would have benefited the Team.

2. The English Batting- Rusty Or Reality?
In watching the batting not only be made silly by the truckload of Pakistani spinners, but also aide greatly in that process. The old chestnut of the line up being rusty was rolled out. Which in truth is a crap shot for this is a professional sporting entity, and if there were fears of them needing the dusts blown out of their jets they should have facilitated this reality.

Their first innings total of 192 was caused by some ill advised shots. Though most of these shots were tempted by the batsmen's inability to read the very refined changes in pace of the Pakistani spinners coupled with their laser like lines and lengths. Leaving the English feeling a real sense of strangulation.

It will be a huge challenge for the batsmen to turn this around, and for this to happen they need to facilitate scoring against the spinners. This will not be easy for they so struggled in reading the spinners subtleties, and this was without any real evidence of spin. In the second innings, and on other pitches throughout the series. When you combine the relentlessness of the bowlers disciplines and couple it with the added extra of spin..........

Doubts start to rise over the ability of the English batting to rise...........

3. *********Yawns**********- Another Chucking claim
After Saeed Ajmal dismembered the English batting with 55/7 in the 1st innings. It was expected that he would be lavished with praise for his efforts. Instead this was the comments he received:

 “The off-spinner is fairly orthodox,” said Willis. “The delivery that I have a problem with is the doosra. The ICC have accommodated this delivery - they changed the rules to allow these bowlers to bend their elbow 15 degrees, which is what makes it so difficult for the batsmen.”

The key point in this virtual claim of chucking is the ICC, and their sit on their hands mannerisms.

So the debate over legalities of bowlers is irrelevant with the only thing that should be stated whenever there is an issue in the game like this is a statement like this.

'When will the PISS WEAK ICC be less PISS WEAK in their governing of the game?'

4. Pakistan Needs Umar Akmal in its Top 6

Pakistan had a perfect chance to bury the English after dismissing them for 192 on what is a very good batting pitch.

This looked a reality with the proactive play of Hafees and Taufeeq at the top of the order, but once they went the Teams batting went into neutral with a combined strike rate of 38.38. Despite the benefit of a perfect opening platform of 114. Duly the professional English bowling and fielding unit dried the scoring up like the epitome of a sponge meaning when wickets fell they were still in the game with Pakistan's opportunity to bury them gone.

The Pakistan batting badly needs a more attack minded option in its Team to break up the glut of defensive stonewallers, and they have a perfect option in Umar Akmal. Who has proven his attacking pedigree before, and after being dropped from the Team he will be determined to succeed.

He needs to replace Asad Shafique at 5 to add that threat to the batting
5. Forget Dav Whatmore Pakistan! Give Mohsin Khan the Coaching Role!
I have watched the game nearly 60 years and struggle to think of a more settled and content Pakistan line up. Which is a remarkable achievement for a Nation so symbolised by its frequent descent into chaos.

Keeping this in mind, and with the success of the Team.

Why would you want to change anything in the set up and back room staff of the Team?

Meaning Pakistan should resist the temptation to appoint Dav Whatmore as their Coach, and instead give the full time role to Interim Coach Mohsin Khan

6. The Game could depend on 3 Crucial Pakistani Wickets.....

The current lead is 96 with three wickets left, but with the absence of a noted batsman.

Meaning the game could be decided on the output of the Pakistani tail. 

The lead being kept under 120 would be a huge psychological fillip for an English team that were fearing the worse after a toilet of a batting effort, but if the lead can be stretched out to 150+. Then the game is distinctly in Pakistan's favour.

Making for a compelling first session that will resemble a tug of war........


  1. Good work Tim, it's great to see bowlers dominating the game around the world at the moment.

    1. thank you for your kind words my friend