South Africa January 12, 2007

Hook, line and stinker

Pakistan's attempt at measured aggression was a sensible approach in the first innings but half the team perishing to hook or pull shots was a display of misplaced ambition. Australian batsmen showed admirably how it is wise to eschew this exhilarating stroke in favour of longevity, even on home bouncy wickets that they are familiar with.

Pakistan may have done enough in the first innings to dominate from here on--and Mohammad Asif helped spare the blushes of his batting colleagues--but this obsessive compulsion with the hook shot cost Pakistan a hundred runs or more.

Such sins have often cost players their international careers and the younger batsmen need to rein in their impulses. At least, for them, you might put it down to experience. But from Younis Khan and Inzamam it was almost criminal. No wonder South Africa laughed every time they fell for it hook, line and stinker.

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here