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July 30, 2010

2010: Summer of Pakistan

Bowlers need a break

Kamran Abbasi
Mohammad Amir stemmed Pakistan's collapse with some stubborn resistance down the order, England v Pakistan, 1st Test, Trent Bridge, 2nd day, July 30, 2010
Mohammad Aamer had work to do with the bat because his colleagues at the top failed  © Getty Images
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For the first hour and a quarter of Friday's play, Pakistan relived the euphoria of Headingley. In ideal conditions, Mohammad Asif produced a beautiful spell of swing bowling to wrap up England's innings unexpectedly quickly.

The fear for Pakistan was that ideal conditions for their bowlers would equate to undesirable conditions for their rookie batsmen. And so it transpired. England, especially James Anderson, bowled almost flawlessly, a performance befitting their growing status in world cricket. But there is no substitute for batting experience in English conditions, and Pakistan's top order simply doesn't have enough of it.

It is a rum do for the bowlers, especially the youngster Mohammad Aamer. You spend just over a day bowling your heart out. You believe you have earned a well-deserved rest, and within a couple of hours you are back at the crease expected to save the team with your batting. In fairness, Aamer and Umar Gul made a decent fist of supporting Shoaib Malik. But Pakistan's bowlers require a mental break as well as a physical one.

That's why the batsmen need to step up. This will be a long and arduous tour. There will be better days for Pakistan's batsmen when the sun shines and the wicket is placid. But it is days of gloom and swing that Pakistan's batsmen will learn most from. Let's hope they have learnt something more about footwork and defence against a moving ball.

Pakistan hang tantalisingly short of the follow on target. Ironically, in the context of this match, an enforced follow on might be Pakistan's best chance. The fourth innings in this match, if there is one, will be a difficult one to negotiate even chasing a smallish total. Hence, all hope isn't lost yet but Pakistan must now show that they will not go down without a fight. A defeat with dignity will still leave them with some optimism for future battles.

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Posted by Saiful Ansari on (August 2, 2010, 17:14 GMT)

At this stage it is not a blunder to bring back Yousuf for the 2nd Test? Yousuf has not played any competetive Cricket for months Can he be expected to perform miracles? Younis is playing County Cricket in England & is better suited to serve Pakistan. Even with both Y's playing in top form Pakistan can't expect favorable outcome, unless the rest of team can raise the level of their game against a very good English side. Salman Butt's statement that his Trio of pace bowlers was the best in the world was over blown. Though boastful his statement was meant to fire up his pace battery. The trio is good, but certainly not the best. Without the support of batsmen, bowlers can't single handedly win matches. I reckon Pakistan will play most of the same team for the 2nd Test & the last two tests. This will give an opportunity for young batsmen like Azhar, Umar Amin, & Umar Akmal to gain valuable education in stumbling against swing bowling & facing defeat. Wake up Pakistan!

Posted by Muhammad on (August 2, 2010, 15:39 GMT)

It was really sad Butt and waqar is defending the defeat. The rubbish they are talking about the performances of Y's is illogical. If we had the current bowling attack with Y's in the past many test matches results were totally different. Butt when you came to open up the defeat is written on your face and your shot also confirmed. If that what a captain and senior do what we expect from the youngsters. Again the trio of Akmal brothers and Malik who disreputed Pakistan with their politics are in the full swing. So if anybody thinks current PCB destroying cricket they are wrong it is already destroyed. If as a nation we don't cried when Hockey and Squash were destroyed why so much cry for cricket only. Shame on all of us because we allow it to happen.

Posted by Mohammad Asad on (August 2, 2010, 15:20 GMT)

No doubt England have played much more better than Pak in all dept. I do not know how long Pak will carry this burden of Akmal (WK); infact, they (2 brothers) have started playing dirty games....

I think Pak management should take necessary steps by giving them OFF atleast from the current test series & upcoming series with SA.

Also give U.Amin OFF and bring Y.Hameed & Fawad Alam and a specialist WK....

Posted by aqeel on (August 2, 2010, 15:20 GMT)

I dont know what crime Younus has committed. The board constantly ignoring and detroying his career.

We were among top few side in the Champion tropy and then what happened to the team because of irrespnsible statment by politician and Ex crictker

Bring Younus back ,he is a real team man and let he serve our nation....

Posted by Habibullah on (August 2, 2010, 13:08 GMT)

Just come to read these comments... I think it is all politics destroying Pak cricket. The main culprits are Ijaz Butt (The DON) along with the Akmal brothers. I don't seem to understand the shameless behavior of Kamran Akmal and the pathetic face of Umar Akmal (when he gets out)! They seem to be big actors, trying to pretend 'well-wishers' of the team. Please get rid of this trio and I can assure all my countrymen that Pak cricket will make a quick progress. But there is another point to ponder. Who is backing up this very trio? at the higher level? Reinforcing the team with experienced players won't do unless the stinking politics of some of the players is taken care of. It seems as if the team has at least 5-6 captains and they all pity themselves for not being officially declared so. Can't they just play like a member of the team? Can't they play for their country? It is the Pakistani nation who has given them the status of heroes and they are disappointing the same people.WAKE UP

Posted by Arshad Hussain on (August 2, 2010, 13:02 GMT)

Pakistan does not hv a single batsman who can standout and play a test match inings. Salman Butt is their best batsman with an batting average in low 30's. Umar who is yet to prove his credentials has been already made superstar for nothing. After 9 matches he has got so much of hype which probably Miandad didn't get even after playing 100 test matches. Pakistan should borrow some batsmen from India and play cricket...that is the only solution...rest is all bull-shit

Posted by Waqas Butt on (August 2, 2010, 12:21 GMT)

It was heart breaking to watch the Pakistan Cricket team performance in the 1st Test againast England. Our bowlers, Mohammed Asif, Mohammed Ameer & Umar Gul are Test Match Bowlers as they have shown on numerous occasions giving us fans some hope. However, the same cannot be said about the Batsmen who were not even up to the standard of English Village Cricket.

My summary of the Players:

I Farhat_ Should be given further chance OK S Butt _ New Captain OK give him more time. OK A Ali_ Perofrmed well against Austalia in England.OK U amin_Not a Test Standard Player. Drop. U Akmal_Only a Dead Wicket Batsmen. Drop S. Malik_ Performed OK. K Akmal_Not a Test Standard Wicket Keeper and not scoring any runs. Drop M Ameer_ Good U Gul_ Good M asif_ Brilliant D Kaneria_ Rubbish.

Posted by khalid Asad Waheed butt on (August 2, 2010, 9:57 GMT)

It was very sorry to see that pakistan was bowled out on only 80.Thanks to Umer gul and danaish kaneria who managed to score 65 & 17 as a highest run scorer in the pakistan 1stinning and 2nd inning.Pakistan fielders should set collingwood as role modle who has taken two brilliant catch in match. Pakistan should bring yasir hamid in place of umer amin and also bring younis and yousaf bhai in test squad . In that way pakistan can manage to comeback in series.My probable pakistan eleven for the second Test match would be i.e Salman butt, Imran farhat, Yasir Hameed, Mohammad Yousaf, Shoaib Malik, Omer Akmal, Kamran Akmal, Umer gul, Mohammad Aamir, Abdur rehman, Mohammad Asif

Posted by zari on (August 2, 2010, 9:53 GMT)

Pakistan team is a bunch of hypocrites. I mean what is beyond my imagination is the fact that six players or more taking oat not to perform well under one captain, what nonsense is this and the worst is that PCB TOLERATES it. Akmal brothers, I mean somebody please tell me why are they in team. What is Shoaib Malik doing? if Umer Akmal is the best player then why is he not one down. this team is full of trouble makers, a bunch of ego high narcisstic blokes who do not give a damn about nation but themselves. PCB is PATHETIC. Ijaz BUTT, MY GOD, What a Waste.

Pakistan team, There is no PRIDE, there is no Chrachter and there is no JUSTICE. I am going to stop ranting and I am not gonna waste my time watching them.

where is that girl who is the fastest in south asia, she is a real hero.

I have been a great fan of pakistan team and now its becoming a precursor for depression to watch them play, its just so difficult to watch these hypocrites, narcisstic indviduals

Posted by M Zubair, Rawalpindi on (August 2, 2010, 9:50 GMT)

Assalaamo Alykum What a patheic display from batsmen! They did not bat for 30 overs. What a temperament for Pakistan Test (read T20) batting line!!! Malik playing Anderson Anderson to Malik, out Caught by Collingwood!! What a way to get to his first ever 10 wicket haul in test matches! Full delivery on the stumps, swings away late after pitching, Malik tries to play it to the leg side, gets the outside edge, goes to Colly at third slip who takes a good, low catch, what a match for Anderson and England come closer to sealing victory here. Malik c Collingwood b Anderson 9(26) [4s-2

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kamran Abbasi
Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He was the first Asian columnist for Wisden Cricket Monthly and wisden.com. Kamran is the editor of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. @KamranAbbasi

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