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  1. #1
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    Understanding the conditions where Pakistan plays its Tests in Australia

    I have noticed recently that a number of people - unfortunately including Misbah-ul-Haq - seem to have a limited grasp of the conditions where Pakistan is about to play two Tests in Australia.

    So here, in reverse order, is an explanation.

    SECOND TEST - ADELAIDE OVAL (Day/Night)
    Pakistan seem to think that having played a Day/Night Test against Australia at Brisbane that they understand the conditions which will await them at Adelaide.

    They don't.

    Adelaide is much further south than Brisbane, and it has Daylight Saving Time in summer. This means that the sun sets over an hour later (in spite of it being west of Brisbane) and that the evenings are around 10 degrees cooler.

    In addition, whereas the Brisbane curator tends to remove all the grass from the pitch, which lifts the innings scores, the Adelaide curator leaves a dense covering of grass which guarantees exciting, low-scoring matches.

    The late sunset means that whereas the Brisbane Day/Night Test saw Asad Shafiq, Wahab Riaz and Yasir Shah make easy runs after dark, at Adelaide the last session is played in fading light, and the First Hour after dinner is a batsman's nightmare as the ball darts around both in the cool air and off the grassy surface.

    Compare the scores:

    Brisbane's Day/Night Test in which Misbah played:
    429 and 202-5d
    142 and 450

    Adelaide's three Day/Night Tests
    202 and 208
    224 and 187-7

    259-9d and 250
    383 and 127-3

    442-8d and 138
    227 and 233

    Brisbane's Day/Night Test against Pakistan had 2 innings over 400 and 1 completed innings under 400.

    Adelaide's 3 Day/Night Tests have produced 1 score over 400 and 7 completed innings under 300.

    The message is clear, at Adelaide:

    1. You need to be bowling straight after dinner. FAF's mistake was to declare in full darkness at 259-9 - he should have declared at Dinner at 165-7.

    2. Adelaide is all about fast-medium bowlers bowling a nagging line and length, with the conditions doing the rest.

    3. If you bat straight after dinner in failing light you may well find yourself 20-4 or even 30-6. Don't assume that your batsmen can do all the run-scoring, because they probably can't. There need to be runs in your tail, because the next day there will be 50 easy overs of batting in daylight against an old pink ball.

    4. You need to have fast runs in your middle-order. If you bat first you need to be 100-2 at Tea (the first interval) but you need to declare no later than Dinner. So you treat the second session like the last 30 overs of an ODI. If you can reach 260-5 at Dinner and declare, you should.

    FIRST TEST - THE GABBA

    Brisbane is the complete opposite.

    The Brisbane Test is a Day Test. At a steamy ground where there will be no grass on the pitch, and the only bowlers to succeed are those who are tall and fast and get lift from a full length.

    There will be no success for short, skiddy bowlers. They just get cut and pulled to oblivion at the Gabba. Waqar Younis was hopeless there.

    The rule of thumb at the Gabba is that fast bowlers over 145K can succeed if they are at least 6'2 tall.

    But fast bowlers under 145K need to be at least 6'4 in height to succeed at the Gabba.

    The good news is that you can score fast against the old Kookaburra ball. If your numbers 4-7 batsmen are good enough.

    The bad news is that this is another rof those grounds where Yasir Shah has a terrible record - 3-174 to be precise.

  2. #2
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    Very interesting read.

  3. #3
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    Adelaide has been a nightmare in the third session under lights. It will be difficult to choose whether to bat or bowl first. You obviously want to be the team bowling during the third session of day 1 when there is the most live grass. You can choose to bat first and score quickly, which can backfire, then declare at dinner. This quite risky.

    The best option for Pakistan will be to bat first. This is because Australia have David Warner and in Australia he can easily get them to a good total and declare at dinner.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danyaalr01 View Post
    Adelaide has been a nightmare in the third session under lights. It will be difficult to choose whether to bat or bowl first. You obviously want to be the team bowling during the third session of day 1 when there is the most live grass. You can choose to bat first and score quickly, which can backfire, then declare at dinner. This quite risky.

    The best option for Pakistan will be to bat first. This is because Australia have David Warner and in Australia he can easily get them to a good total and declare at dinner.
    I've attended all three of Adelaide's Day/Night Tests and I largely agree with your points.

    It's a totally different game. There are concerns about the durability of the Pink Ball, and whereas at Brisbane the curator has decided to let it become a bat-fest, at Adelaide the curator has gone the other way, preparing greentops to preserve the pink ball. The outfield is lush and green too for the same reason, which means that there is no reverse swing at all unless the ball is tampered with.

    The way to win is quite clear:

    DAY ONE
    Bat first, and declare at dinner, preferably with 200+ on the scoreboard.
    Combine the new ball with the changing light conditions in the first hour of the third session, and try to remove the entire top order of the opposition - aim to have them 60-8 at the close.

    DAY TWO
    Knock over the last couple of wickets, then repeat the Day 1 strategy and try to declare at Dinner with around 200 on the scoreboard for a lead of around 320.

    Bowl the opposition's top order out after dinner.

    DAY THREE
    Remove any remining wickets.
    ………………………………………..

    It literally is all about bowling for those 20 overs immediately after Dinner.

    The problem that both New Zealand had in 2015 and South Africa in 2016 was that in the fourth innings the Aussies were able to score the runs before Dinner.

    New Zealand were all out in their second innings for 208, leaving the Aussies 187 to win. And by Dinner they had scored 113-3 on the greentop in good light, only to then lose 4-74 after Dinner.

    I honestly think that if New Zealand had scored an extra 20 runs they would have won in the last session.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    I've attended all three of Adelaide's Day/Night Tests and I largely agree with your points.

    It's a totally different game. There are concerns about the durability of the Pink Ball, and whereas at Brisbane the curator has decided to let it become a bat-fest, at Adelaide the curator has gone the other way, preparing greentops to preserve the pink ball. The outfield is lush and green too for the same reason, which means that there is no reverse swing at all unless the ball is tampered with.

    The way to win is quite clear:

    DAY ONE
    Bat first, and declare at dinner, preferably with 200+ on the scoreboard.
    Combine the new ball with the changing light conditions in the first hour of the third session, and try to remove the entire top order of the opposition - aim to have them 60-8 at the close.

    DAY TWO
    Knock over the last couple of wickets, then repeat the Day 1 strategy and try to declare at Dinner with around 200 on the scoreboard for a lead of around 320.

    Bowl the opposition's top order out after dinner.

    DAY THREE
    Remove any remining wickets.
    ………………………………………..

    It literally is all about bowling for those 20 overs immediately after Dinner.

    The problem that both New Zealand had in 2015 and South Africa in 2016 was that in the fourth innings the Aussies were able to score the runs before Dinner.

    New Zealand were all out in their second innings for 208, leaving the Aussies 187 to win. And by Dinner they had scored 113-3 on the greentop in good light, only to then lose 4-74 after Dinner.

    I honestly think that if New Zealand had scored an extra 20 runs they would have won in the last session.
    The concern for Pakistan is that they don't they don't have the batsmen to score quickly in the first 2 sessions. Azhar Ali will likely slow us down. If we bat first we should have Azhar and Shan opening, Haris or Babar at 3, depending on the situation. Babar can score quickly. Rizwan can also score at a good rate. Losing wickets shouldn't really be a problem in the first 2 sessions, so they can afford to attack.

    I believe Rizwan can do well there, he rotates strike really well and is decent against the short ball.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danyaalr01 View Post
    The concern for Pakistan is that they don't they don't have the batsmen to score quickly in the first 2 sessions. Azhar Ali will likely slow us down. If we bat first we should have Azhar and Shan opening, Haris or Babar at 3, depending on the situation. Babar can score quickly. Rizwan can also score at a good rate. Losing wickets shouldn't really be a problem in the first 2 sessions, so they can afford to attack.

    I believe Rizwan can do well there, he rotates strike really well and is decent against the short ball.
    It's academic now, but for Adelaide my team would have been:

    1. Imam-ul-Haq
    2. Mohammad Rizwan (wk)
    3. Shan Masood (c)
    4. Babar Azam
    5. Haris Sohail
    6. Umar Akmal
    7. Shadab Khan
    8. Faheem Ashraf
    9. Mohammad Amir
    10. Ehsan Adil
    11. Mohammad Abbas

    I'd have brought in Shaheen Shah Afridi for the Brisbane Test in place of Abbas, and probably Sameen Gul in place of Amir.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    It's academic now, but for Adelaide my team would have been:

    1. Imam-ul-Haq
    2. Mohammad Rizwan (wk)
    3. Shan Masood (c)
    4. Babar Azam
    5. Haris Sohail
    6. Umar Akmal
    7. Shadab Khan
    8. Faheem Ashraf

    9. Mohammad Amir
    10. Ehsan Adil
    11. Mohammad Abbas

    I'd have brought in Shaheen Shah Afridi for the Brisbane Test in place of Abbas, and probably Sameen Gul in place of Amir.




    Great, so you definitely wanted us to lose. Faheem? Ehsan Adil? Shadab?

    Good luck getting 5 wickets with that kind of an attack.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkeye View Post


    Great, so you definitely wanted us to lose. Faheem? Ehsan Adil? Shadab?

    Good luck getting 5 wickets with that kind of an attack.
    For Adelaide test I would have gone with (not necessarily from this squad, but Azhar has to stay as captain even though I don't want him to):

    1. Azhar (C)
    2. Shan
    3. Haris
    4. Babar
    5. Asad
    6. Rizwan (WK)
    7. Shadab - for his batting, and as a fifth bowling option he can't do worse thatn Yasir in these conditions.
    8. Naseem Shah - apparently can bat
    9. Shaheen
    10. Sameen Gul
    11. Mohammad Abbas

    In fact this is the side I would want for the Gabba, although Abbas won't be effective there. But then we don't have another option as Musa didn't really merit selection yet.
    Last edited by Danyaalr01; 28th October 2019 at 13:49.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkeye View Post


    Great, so you definitely wanted us to lose. Faheem? Ehsan Adil? Shadab?

    Good luck getting 5 wickets with that kind of an attack.
    In the last Test Pakistan played - in South Africa, where conditions are identical to Australia:

    - Faheem Ashraf took 6-99.
    - Shadab Khan took 4-80 and scored a fifty.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    In the last Test Pakistan played - in South Africa, where conditions are identical to Australia:

    - Faheem Ashraf took 6-99.
    - Shadab Khan took 4-80 and scored a fifty.
    Actually they are not identical. They might have very similar pace and bounce, but South African pitches do provide a lot more lateral movement and much more inconsistent bounce.

    But I agree Shadab should have gone as a number 7 batter and 5th bowling option, with 4 quicks at 8-11.

  11. #11
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    I don't think Pakistan should look to bowl first in either of the test. Batting last that too on away test for Pakistan. Oh boy


    If you Can Believe In Something, Than why not believe In Yourself.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    In the last Test Pakistan played - in South Africa, where conditions are identical to Australia:

    - Faheem Ashraf took 6-99.
    - Shadab Khan took 4-80 and scored a fifty.
    The wickets are wildly different. Much more bowler friendly in SA.

    Quote Originally Posted by Danyaalr01 View Post
    Actually they are not identical. They might have very similar pace and bounce, but South African pitches do provide a lot more lateral movement and much more inconsistent bounce.

    But I agree Shadab should have gone as a number 7 batter and 5th bowling option, with 4 quicks at 8-11.
    Shadab isn't going to be any better but can be tried as an option. Don't have it in him for Tests though.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkeye View Post
    Shadab isn't going to be any better but can be tried as an option. Don't have it in him for Tests though.
    Yasir had an average of 84 and economy of 4.53 in the last tour, in South Africa he averaged 123 and in NZ he went wicketless at an economy of 4.51. Shadab can't possibly do worse than this. Plus Shadab is actually a pretty solid batsman at number 7. He has made 4 50s in quite tough conditions and would have added more depth to the batting.

    In Asia Shadab might not be a great option, but outside Asia he should be our spinner. I'm sure he will be a much better spinner in a couple of years.


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