Abhijit Chowdhury

The ever-unpredictable Pakistan lost to England after a cool-headed Chris Woakes along with Jos Buttler took the English over the line. Pakistan in this test match not only showed glimpses but also promised their fans the glory they dared to see. But on the final front, they could not deliver. However, there are some takeaways for the Azhar Ali led tea as they came second in the first encounter. And these learning points might as well help them win in the next two tests that are to take place. 

Former cricketers like Shahid Afridi, Michael Vaughn are in a justified manner, not pleased with Pakistan‘s effort in the last innings where they could not restrict England after setting a challenging target. Pak bowlers did tighten the grip but loosened it during crunch moments. And former Pakistani captain Wasim Akram was not pleased with Azhar Ali’s captaincy. Akram said that Ali “missed a trick” several times during the Manchester test.

Pakistan failed to show consistency against England

And Akram’s disappointment was justified as it was the same team who had bowled out England for 219 in the first innings. The bowling department of Pakistan was lauded from the very beginning, and it was their batting department which was under the scanner. But the batsmen in a collective manner did succeed, but the bowling failed to deliver in the second innings. Or it actually could be the killer instinct of the captain which led the team down.

Naseem Shah and Shaheen Afridi collectively bowled just 28.1 overs in the second innings, which was a bit of surprise. Also, the fact that Chris Woakes who came to the crease at 117/5 was not tested with many bouncers. The Woakes-Buttler partnership was mostly due to the laziness in the Pakistan team that is often talked about. 

But there also many positives for Pakistan from this game. They did outplay England on most parts of this Test match. But the finishing punch did not come in and Buttler-Woakes duo counter-attacked, and Azhar though had the arsenals, did not have the answers. 

But to look forward to the series, Pakistan must be positive with their batting as they were in the first innings. And the rawness of Pak bowling needs to explode at the right times. Pakistan captain Azhar Ali maintained that the series is not over as he looks forward to the next Test match in Southampton. But for that, he needs to be at his toe with the game reading as well.

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