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  1. #1
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    Constructive observations from 1st Test between England and Pakistan

    This thread is not to blame or lay into the players playing for Pakistan (we have separate threads to vent frustrations on this forum). This thread is to identify the areas where every player showed some form of deficiency that needs to be developed or looked into before going into the next test.

    Also before I go into every player one by one it is important to remember that a "team" wins a test match and not an "individual". What I mean by that is that 11 players on the field cumulatively contribute into the success unlike T20s or ODIs where one player can score a 200 and effectively win the match for his team.

    Further, the analysis below is constructive criticism or observations hence only pointing out the flaws in detail below.

    Shan Masood
    1. Playing against spinner - Bess troubled Shan on numerous occasions on first day (when spinner should not be troubling you). Shan should work on a break free shot against spinner and rotate the strike better against them.

    Abid Ali
    1. Technique: Abid naturally plays hard and away from body. Not the best technique against moving ball. He would score plethora of runs against a dead ball in asian conditions though with this technique, but would not work in England against best swing bowlers.
    2. Fielding: Although he did not do anything to point out his fielding flaws it was easy to note that on occasions batsmen ran 2 from his fielding when ideally there should have been only 1.

    Azhar Ali
    1. Age: The way Azhar's head falls over the off side making him lose balance and getting caught on pad in front of stumps is not because of his batting technique its because of his age and diminishing vision/reflexes. Azhar pre-2018 was a strong player of the clip through midwicket but now anything straight and full is causing him trouble. Need to find a way out of this technique else Broad and Woakes would snap him 6/6 times in this series.
    2. Captaincy: Very defense minded approach. This was evident from ball 2 of the test match when Burns nudged Shaheen through cover for couple he immediately took the 3rd slip out to plug that gap. Ever since the captaincy (or lack of it) has been dismal.

    Babar Azam
    1. Nervous starter: Babar needs to work with Younis and leave as much as he can outside offstump for his first half hour at crease. Once he gets couple pinging through middle of his bat he can be more flamboyant.

    Asad Shafiq
    1. Technique: It has been over a decade and over 70 tests that Asad has represented Pakistan in whites, yet he plays/defends with an angled bat. Dig out any thread from early 2010s and this was a glaring batting technique issue for Asad and yet he hasn't worked this out. This is poor progression.

    Rizwan
    1. Footwork: On both of his dismissals he has been caught on the crease, given his footwork for the rest of his innings and his keeping I hope he improves on this in next test. Rizwan should try to get forward or back decisively while batting.

    Shadab Khan
    1. Temperament / impatient: He needs to learn the art of respecting opposition and better cricket. At the moment he walks on the wicket thinking he can own the bowlers, that might work in domestics but not against England in England. I liked his attacking style of play and with that he got starts but threw his start away in first innings.
    2. Flight: The biggest difference in Yasir's and Shadab's bowling were that the former was giving the ball enough air to maximise whatever was there in the wicket. Shadab bowled limited overs length rather than test match bowling requirements.

    Yasir Shah
    1. Consistency: He was too good at times and equally bad at other times. The problem with bad balls especially as a Pakistani player is that the captain is Azhar who would freak out after a boundary and go into a shell. Yasir needs to be more consistent in his lengths.
    2. Field placements: Given Yasir is the senior player in the team, he should take charge of his field placements himself.

    Shaheen Shah
    1. Impatient / temperament: He under utilised bowling over the wicket. He should understand the requirements of patience in test arena. Given the opposition is England who likes to play attacking style of cricket a bit of patience can bring in massive rewards. Stick to over the wicket and get your rhythmic line and length going across the right handers.

    Mohammed Abbas
    1. Old ball / variations: Not much for Abbas to improve upon. He has been very good in this test and did all that was asked of him. He should however develop some sort of an old ball variation that could help him convert his tight middle overs spell into wicket taking spells.

    Naseem Shah
    1. Fitness: It looks like he has put on some weight since Sri Lanka tests. Given he is not a very tall lad any extra weight would mean direct impact on your athleticism. He needs to get into shape for fast bowling, maybe that is why we did not see many 90+ balls in this test.
    2. Technique: This has been pointed out many times previously he is very side on (which is good) but very injury prone. Needs to make some adjustments, need to work with Waqar.

    Misbah-ul-Haq
    1. Tactically inept: The lack of player awareness, field setting, tactics on approach to bowling and batting were on full display in this test. I'm surprised at lack of no specific plans at both bowling and batting. Have a look at today morning when tailenders piled 30odd runs, these are benefits of walking out in the middle with a plan. Misbah is the planner in this team and should take responsibility of planning.

    Waqar Younis
    1. No balls: This was shameful the number of no-balls bowled in this match by bowlers. Waqar should work on it with his bowlers.

    Younus Khan
    1. Temperament: He needs to work with Babar to ensure Babar leaves balls outside off in his first half hour at crease.

    __________________________________________________ ___

    Having said the above, its also fair to point out certain positives from this game:

    1. Shan Masood knowing where your offstump is: This is a remarkable improvement of letting balls go outside off and not be tempted by Broad who is fabulous against left handers. If Younus had anything to do with this then credit where it due.
    2. Running between wickets: Although Asad got run out in 2nd innings this was a very refreshing approach. Good running is critical to play out long innings and make bowlers ineffective.
    3. Yasir's wrong one: Another refreshing thing to see is Yasir bowling more wrong one's, he did not pitch it all that well but it did end up getting Stokes out.
    4. Rizwan keeping: Fair to say he is one of best out there in terms of pure keeping skill.
    5. Abbas is back: He had a quietish series against Australia but fair to say he is back to his best now. He is the dependable guy in this attack.

    Suggestions for next match
    I think Azhar should announce retirement either now or after end of 2nd test match. This will ensure that this series would be his last (which is the case most likely). And given Azhar would have announced retirement he would have full backing of fans and less pressure and hence he might be able to score some runs in the remainder of this series. Just a thought.

  2. #2
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    cons-
    slip fielders seem scared of the ball
    azhar ali is a coward
    players always think the game is won too early
    azhar ali is hopelessly unathletic and a sluggish, oafish bastmen with pads seemingly the size of punchbags

    pros-

    bowling line-up looks good
    rizwan is probably the best wicky in the world
    thats about it. one or two promising batsmen as well maybe


    How odd I can have all this inside me and to you it's just words.

  3. #3
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    Good analysis - but the base fact is that our middle order did not function. We have lived off that area for years in our trips to England.


    For the latest updates on Cricket, follow @PakPassion on Twitter

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    Good analysis - but the base fact is that our middle order did not function. We have lived off that area for years in our trips to England.
    Need an extra Bateman instead of shadab maybe imaam at 3 or down the order

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    Shan Masood is a weak player of spin. That has been his weakness since he started playing cricket. He plays spinners much better when he takes them on like he did in PSL.

    Abid Ali...Like I had predicted before the series even started... will never succeed in English conditions. He will thrive in sub continent conditions...but he will always struggle in England.

    Azhar Ali is finished as a cricketer. If he has any sense of self respect or shame he should just step to the side voluntarily and give the reigns to Shan Masood. But Pakistani players never seem to have the guts to be able to do that. They hang on to captaincy or their place in the playing 11 like leeches and never let go unless they are forced out.

    Asad Shafiq...He will have his moments where he will thrive and look brilliant & at other times he will look like a club cricketer and makes you want to pull your hair out. Unfortunately, he will be playing each & every game so we better get used to it

    Shadab Khan - I'm not a fan. He shouldn't be playing test cricket. I'm a firm believer that as an all rounder, you must be able to make the playing 11 purely as a batsman or bowler. Unfortunately for me, he has not looked convincing at all. I would replace him with Fawad Alam or Sohail Khan.

    Azhar Ali is a sitting duck regardless of where he bats in the team. He needs to man up and just open so we can play an extra batsman like Fawad Alam.

    Also, our tail is way too long. Our coaching staff should be spending hours every day teaching these fools how to bat. The way Shaheen Afridi got out against Ben Stokes, it seemed like the guy has never played a bouncer in his life. It was pathetic to say the least.

    In modern day test cricket you must have some sort of batting capability.

  6. #6
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    A knew we’d lose this match after we were 138/8 on day 3 and I knew Shadab wasn’t going to do anything with the ball. Fact is playing 2 leggies was pointless, I’m not comfortable with have the same style bowlers being used in tandem. I wouldn’t have been mad had we trialled Bhatti instead of Shadab but he’s a bit of “nay user” with the bat in comparison.

    Recommendations for this series
    -Azhar Ali to be stripped and relieved of the captaincy or retire.
    -Shan Masood to be given the captaincy
    -Give Abid the next test match and if he fails again then give Imam the last test, however I won’t be upset if Imam comes in for the 2nd test.
    -Fawad in for Shadab who will provide part time bowling along with Azhar and Shan. I know people will not be too keen on Fawad given the performances in the practice games but that’s what it was a practice game. What you need is someone who will occupy the crease for a long time and not just give away his wicket playing a rash shot a-la Abid Ali in the 2nd innings.

    Bowling-no issues with it just need to give Shaheen and Naseem longer bowling spells especially naseem who is a young man. The no balls were no good but again need to give the lads the backing.

  7. #7
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    Azhar and Asad are finished, they need to retire after this series. We need to invest in some young batsman to take the mantle.

    My preferred top 5 would be

    1. Shan
    2. Sami
    3. Babar
    4. Haris
    5. Replacement of Asad - Can’t think of anyone off the top of my head but we need to invest in some young players to take over.


    IN PAKISTAN LIES OUR DELIVERANCE,DEFENCE, AND HONOUR.
    -Muhammad Ali Jinnah

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    I will say, as a fan of another team, that the Pakistan bowling stocks look both extensive and superb, and the Pakistan fielding has improved a great deal compared with their past teams as well. Their out-cricket on the second evening built genuine pressure (with no crowd) and was absolutely brilliant.

    The problems are with the fragile batting and the weak, reactive leadership. It seems clear to me personally that both Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq are not Test-class batsmen any longer and need to be shipped out of the team as soon as possible, and moreover a change of captain will subsequently be needed.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    Good analysis - but the base fact is that our middle order did not function. We have lived off that area for years in our trips to England.
    We had Misbah and Younus and now Azhar and Asad, big difference!

  10. #10
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    Another point I failed to highlight for Azhar Ali was taking reviews. Azhar (not trying to be mean on him) is scared when an appeal goes up and he doesn't go for a review instead he goes for a dua that hopefully it will be out. He needs to be more decisive about taking such reviews a number of them were quite wasteful.

    Lastly, since we have time till our next test series and also given the fact that IPL will be happening in Sep-Nov. It gives PCB sufficient time to organise a QEA type tournament if not QEA itself. With limited teams of 6 participating the competition would be tough and wickets should equally be supportive. The purpose of this tournament should be very clear, by the end of the tournament the following should be identified and given a chance in test cricket:
    1. Opener (x1) - to replace Abid
    2. Middle order (x2) - to replace Azhar and Asad
    3. All rounder (x1) - to fill number 7 spot (preferably seam allrounder)
    4. Spinner (x1) - to replace Yasir when time comes, the new spinner should slowly be drafted into XI along Yasir so its not alien territory when the time actually comes.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by QalandarFan View Post
    Azhar and Asad are finished, they need to retire after this series. We need to invest in some young batsman to take the mantle.

    My preferred top 5 would be

    1. Shan
    2. Sami
    3. Babar
    4. Haris
    5. Replacement of Asad - Can’t think of anyone off the top of my head but we need to invest in some young players to take over.
    Harris Is not that good in sena conditions in asian condition hes good we should into the future with
    Osama bin yousuf,usman salahauddin,saad ali,hauser ali

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by shamaan View Post
    Harris Is not that good in sena conditions in asian condition hes good we should into the future with
    Osama bin yousuf,usman salahauddin,saad ali,hauser ali
    Who are they?

  13. #13
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    Future is actually haider Ali and Abdullah shafique

  14. #14
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    Another way to look at things is if we go with the assumption that a test batsman scoring a 100 is equivalent to a bowler taking 5-wickets , a 50 with the bat is approx 3 wickets with the ball? And a double century with the bat is equivalent to a 10-fer by a bowler.

    Ok so using these parameters , it would be fair to say the following Pak batsmen delivered something by scoring 50 or more in the 1st test:

    - Shan Masood
    - Babar Azam

    And bowlers who took 3 wicket haul :-
    - Yasir Shah (twice)

    Is this a fair analogy to use , why do we accept bowlers who only take 1 or 2 wickets per innings regularly but are always critical of batsmen who fail to get a 50?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaddy View Post
    Who are they?
    Watch domestic cricket you will know

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nfc120 View Post
    Future is actually haider Ali and Abdullah shafique
    Forgot to mention abdullah shafique

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    I will say, as a fan of another team, that the Pakistan bowling stocks look both extensive and superb, and the Pakistan fielding has improved a great deal compared with their past teams as well. Their out-cricket on the second evening built genuine pressure (with no crowd) and was absolutely brilliant.

    The problems are with the fragile batting and the weak, reactive leadership. It seems clear to me personally that both Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq are not Test-class batsmen any longer and need to be shipped out of the team as soon as possible, and moreover a change of captain will subsequently be needed.
    Agreed let's see if things change now that thier is less teams

  18. #18
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    I watched the whole game. Here are some observations

    The Batting:
    Abid Ali is mentally weak, in both innings he was got out by the previous ball, the bouncer in the 1st and the spinning ball in the 2nd. Really disappointed with him
    AA, as others have also said is past it. He is approaching late 30s and it showed.
    Babar was classy, and batted well in the 1st but hitting on the up is too risky and Jimmy set him up beautifully.
    Shafiq looked decent in the 2nd but overall, has not repaid the investment in him over a decade.
    Rizwan is OK but is not in the top WK/Bat as bat. He is guy that that will average somewhere in the 27-30 range. As WK he was decent but stood too far back.
    Shadab looks to be a decent 8 but should not be seen as a Batsman.

    Bowling
    Afridis inexperience showed. He bowled well at times but going around the wicket with new ball was pointless. On the plus side, he has the seam angle right for movement into the right handers.
    Abbas is a double edged sword, good in the 1st 15 overs but absolutely useless with the old ball. His wobble seam works with new ball but makes movement with the old ball very difficult.
    Naseem bowled well, but pace alone at this level won't get people out. Seam was OK, but needs to work getting even more upright.
    Yasir spun the ball which he hasn't for the last 2/3 years, looked better than he was for a while but still too many 4 balls.
    Shadab the bowler is going backwards, leg spinner is not spinning at all. Back to basics to get it spinning

    Captaincy. AA lost control too easily especially when they counterattacked.
    I can't see how they will come back.

  19. #19
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    The team selection was right. Azhar had to play as captain, and Asad had to start tbh his last three innings he scored consecutive 50s.

    The selection of shadab was the right one, turned out there was something for spinners and shadab performed with the bat. Misbah got this one right, I would have played an extra batsman, but I was wrong.

    Batting was terrible. Even Masood he could have got out early on and game would have been over. He got better after the start, taking nothing from his innings it was incredible, I can't honestly remember the last time an opener scored a century in England by a Pakistani. But the only Babar really looked comfortable right at the start and while he scored, I kind of expected more from him considering just how good he looked out there. I did like how there was an increased focus on taking singles which is a bit ironic considering how Misbah played.

    Bowling was good, especially spin. Even fielding was alright. The bowlers bowled well the entire test except the Butler-Woakes partnership. I think that's down to inexperience of bowlers/getting used to playing cricket again and inexperienced/poor captaincy. They took the attack to the bowlers and we faltered.

    It was a very frustrating loss really. Pakistan were better for nearly the entire test match. 1 or 2 sessions that didn't go our way on the last day and we lost it. A 150 partnership with 7th and 8th batsmen in second innings to win a test match, it hardly ever happens. People are going to bash me, but I think we kind of got a bit unlucky. Still though we could have put the test to bed if we'd actually batted half decently in the 2nd innings, so we have to blame ourselves.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ads101 View Post
    The team selection was right. Azhar had to play as captain, and Asad had to start tbh his last three innings he scored consecutive 50s.

    The selection of shadab was the right one, turned out there was something for spinners and shadab performed with the bat. Misbah got this one right, I would have played an extra batsman, but I was wrong.

    Batting was terrible. Even Masood he could have got out early on and game would have been over. He got better after the start, taking nothing from his innings it was incredible, I can't honestly remember the last time an opener scored a century in England by a Pakistani. But the only Babar really looked comfortable right at the start and while he scored, I kind of expected more from him considering just how good he looked out there. I did like how there was an increased focus on taking singles which is a bit ironic considering how Misbah played.

    Bowling was good, especially spin. Even fielding was alright. The bowlers bowled well the entire test except the Butler-Woakes partnership. I think that's down to inexperience of bowlers/getting used to playing cricket again and inexperienced/poor captaincy. They took the attack to the bowlers and we faltered.

    It was a very frustrating loss really. Pakistan were better for nearly the entire test match. 1 or 2 sessions that didn't go our way on the last day and we lost it. A 150 partnership with 7th and 8th batsmen in second innings to win a test match, it hardly ever happens. People are going to bash me, but I think we kind of got a bit unlucky. Still though we could have put the test to bed if we'd actually batted half decently in the 2nd innings, so we have to blame ourselves.
    Mate shadab did ok that's about it I blame azhar for not using him more tbh


  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by shamaan View Post
    Mate shadab did ok that's about it I blame azhar for not using him more tbh
    Shadab was toothless. No leg spin at all and control was variable at best. He has some serious work to do

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bewal Express View Post
    Shadab was toothless. No leg spin at all and control was variable at best. He has some serious work to do
    Shadab bowled well in first inning. How can his performance be judged when you bowl toward the end of the match and probably with instructions not to give away runs as that time Yasir and Afridi hadjuatgiven away 50 quick runs.
    I needa lo long spell to settle in and make a mark. Shadab swlection was good but let down by captaincy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PakPremi View Post
    Shadab bowled well in first inning. How can his performance be judged when you bowl toward the end of the match and probably with instructions not to give away runs as that time Yasir and Afridi hadjuatgiven away 50 quick runs.
    I needa lo long spell to settle in and make a mark. Shadab swlection was good but let down by captaincy.
    He bowled well to tailenders and got Broad out with a googly. His problem in the 2nd Inn was that he couldn't turn the ball. He didn't get his leg spinner off the straight, he doesn't spin it sideways. He didn't need a long spell to spin the ball on a hot day, you need long spells for rhythm. Shadabs career is in serious trouble unless he gets the leg spinner spinning again.

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    Replace Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq

    They are not the same batsmen anymore. They may score some runs here and there, but you need more consistent batsmen. Newcomers won't be consistent, but it's better to give them a chance than keeping batsmen after past by dates.


    "If this happens I will swim across the Charles River! In winter!" -- OZGOD on NZ batting 6 sessions

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buffet View Post
    Replace Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq

    They are not the same batsmen anymore. They may score some runs here and there, but you need more consistent batsmen. Newcomers won't be consistent, but it's better to give them a chance than keeping batsmen after past by dates.
    Usman salahuddin should be given a chance he played 1 game against south africa and then was never given a chance shafiq should be replaced by Haider ali down the order

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bewal Express View Post
    Shadab was toothless. No leg spin at all and control was variable at best. He has some serious work to do
    Yes but is he thier as a bowler or a batter or a all rounder

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    Quote Originally Posted by shamaan View Post
    Yes but is he thier as a bowler or a batter or a all rounder
    From watching in the test, he isn't a Test bowler and not was he treated like one. You can't have a bowler waiting for 9, 10 and 11 to come in before he is brought on. His batting good for a 8,he would average around 27 over a career. Shadab must go back to basics and learn to spin his leg break and get his control back.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bewal Express View Post
    From watching in the test, he isn't a Test bowler and not was he treated like one. You can't have a bowler waiting for 9, 10 and 11 to come in before he is brought on. His batting good for a 8,he would average around 27 over a career. Shadab must go back to basics and learn to spin his leg break and get his control back.
    Agreed but surely that's more captains fault for not giving him more overs but I do agree he needs to work on his bowling hence why I wouldnt play shadab if he isnt going to bowl many overs

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    On Day 3 after getting England out for 219 of which last 70 odd runs brought 5 wickets to Pakistan the game was literally done and dusted except that we wanted to gift them the match. When you get a 107 runs lead on an okayish wicket, you pretty much know that the opposing team is under pressure and will look for early wickets but if you hit some runs they will have to be defensive. When Pakistan batted in the 2nd innings, it seemed as if we were trailing England by 100 runs. The batsmen played for survival whereas in the situation they could have attacked and dominated England. Even if they had got out hitting some shots, the batsmen would have scored 30 runs each which would have taken us to 200+ in the second innings and England would have been mentally rattled. Instead, we gave them the hope and they made that hope into a victory. Whilst it is true that Pakistan should have defended 276 especially since England were 117-5 yet it has to be remembered that our play in the 3rd innings brought England back to the game and made the match a close game.
    We might not get the same chances again to dominate England in this series but even if we do the players and the fans both will have doubts on whether Pakistan will be able to finish off the match or not.
    Last edited by DandyFellow; 11th August 2020 at 23:41. Reason: Spelling Mistake


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