England v Pakistan, 3rd npower Test, The Oval, 4th day August 21, 2010

One collapse too many catches England cold

After being caught cold at The Oval, England's batsmen have no option but to front up for their gross negligence
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With an inevitability that comes only with Pakistani run-chases, England came tantalisingly close to achieving the impossible on Saturday afternoon. A searing late spell of swing bowling from James Anderson gave them fresh belief after Graeme Swann's habitual trickery had contributed three wickets and a run-out to the cause, but in the end, like a pair of cheque-book-chasing lawyers, they were always trying to defend the indefensible. The fact that they failed was a triumph for justice, because it left England's batsmen with no option but to front up for their gross negligence.

In consecutive Tests at Trent Bridge, Edgbaston and now The Oval, England have suffered tail-end collapses of six for 17, seven for 46, and now seven for 28. In addition, they've managed to lose their top six for 98 in the second innings at Trent Bridge, and their top seven for 94 in the first innings at The Oval. Only in the run-chase at Edgbaston, where Andrew Strauss and Jonathan Trott added 111 unbeaten runs to secure a nine-wicket victory, have England avoided a dose of the skids, and even then they lost Alastair Cook in the third over of the innings.

It has been a bowler's series, of that there is no question. Salman Butt, in his press conference on the penultimate evening, went so far as to suggest that the conditions his team had encountered were unplayable - a provocative statement that rather slipped under the radar amid all the excitement of that day's final session. Given the choice between tracks that serve up drama such as we've seen in Pakistan's two wins at Headingley and now The Oval, and the bat-dominated stodge that passes for Test cricket in too much of the world, there is no choice. More of this sort of thing, please.

But Butt has a point, up to a point, because if a team lacks enough batsmen with the requisite experience or application to cope with bowler-friendly conditions, even collapses such as we've been witnessing all summer start to become a bit passé. Until the peerless Mohammad Yousuf arrived to provide some much-needed knowhow, Pakistan's rookie top-order simply lacked the tools for survival. But even so, despite the traumas of two double-digit totals, they've still scraped together two of the three highest totals of the series to date, with Azhar Ali providing a brilliant example of how to learn from experience with his unbeaten 92 on Thursday.

England's batsmen, on the other hand, cannot pretend they've never played under leaden skies before, and therefore - even allowing for the majesty of Pakistan's seam attack - something has clearly been amiss in their collective performances. Despite starting with some aplomb with 354 in their first outing at Trent Bridge, their totals been heading in the wrong direction ever since, with scores of 262 for 9, 251, 233 and 222 in consecutive fully-formed innings. Those last two, at The Oval, came on the most batsman-friendly track so far, and the upshot was an almighty hurry-up today.

"None of us like losing, I certainly don't, so it's a bit of a kick in the teeth every time you lose a Test match," said Strauss. "We were outplayed. We lost five wickets in the first session of the game and then yesterday afternoon we lost more than five wickets. That cost us dearly and we need to make sure it doesn't happen again, and that we learn the lessons, because if you keep doing that then you're putting yourself under pressure unnecessarily, especially when it's the top order."

The puzzlement about England's performance this summer is that they've invariably found someone in each innings to front up as a proper Test batsman should - Eoin Morgan and Paul Collingwood managed a double-century stand in the first innings at Trent Bridge; Matt Prior has bulked out the lower-order on two crucial occasions, Cook made his seminal century before everything went wrong on Friday, and if Kevin Pietersen's 80 at Edgbaston owed far too much to good luck, then Trott's twin fifties in the same game were temperamentally superb.

In between whiles, however, England have not been at the races - conceivably they've been lulled by the expectation that Pakistan will invariably fare worse when their own turn comes to bat, but the more invidious charge is that they simply don't need to push themselves right now. Yesterday was the four-year anniversary of the abandoned Test at The Oval, and no fewer than four of the top six remain from that game - and but for Ian Bell's foot injury, that would doubtless be five.

The players who needed to prove points in this series have done so - Morgan at the first time of asking, Cook at the last - and every one of the seven candidates for the top order will be on that flight to Australia. In that respect, it's job done, which in hindsight has proven to be an unfortunate state of affairs, given that the job in hand is further from being wrapped up than it might have seemed at 2-0 up with two to play.

Nobody questions that England's batsmen have the bottle to succeed when required - least of all Strauss. "If you're asking: 'Are we bad players?' then I don't think that's true," he said. "We just haven't batted well in this game." But there is plenty reason to doubt their current drive, not least that of Pietersen, whose quest for his next Test century now stretching to 25 innings and counting.

One wonders what it will take for KP's career to reach the sort of make-or-break moment that Cook experienced in this game, and that Collingwood and Strauss have themselves experienced in the past, at Edgbaston and Napier in 2008 respectively. The threat of the axe concentrates the mind like nothing else, but given that Pietersen doesn't even have a county to fall back on in a bid to regain his form, it's a tactic that the ECB would not dare countenance.

It could of course be that Pakistan's bowlers are simply too good. "It's not my business to talk up the opposition," said Strauss when asked his opinion about his opponents, and it's certainly true that Saeed Ajmal's invisible doosra burrowed deep into England's psyche in this game. But are they really that much better than the Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel combo that England thwarted so gutsily in South Africa last winter? It's a moot point. The conditions may have been tougher in this series, but the collective pressure hasn't come close. Maybe, with a series decider looming, it will click back up a notch.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on August 24, 2010, 23:25 GMT

    Pakistan can now equal the series .. they have a very good chance!

  • Angel-from-Outside on August 24, 2010, 4:44 GMT

    @Punter23: Well, ups and downs are the part of Pakistan cricket history as far as the political influence is counted but...but you shouldn't be that sort of thinking of Charity..lol...how can you grade that to charity? its even humilation to Eng...Pakistan did well in all departments, at last, and they out played England in every aspect of the game. So be broad minded and take the things as they are building up.

  • on August 23, 2010, 21:06 GMT

    Life is like an inning of Pakistani batsmen, to predict it would be next to impossible.

  • on August 23, 2010, 17:42 GMT

    Congratulation to Pakistan on a big win. Now Pakistan needs a mental coach also. Who tell the players that if a partner is near to his 100 , how can you sport him. Especially to asif, that you are not a player, whole of your life you can not make a big score, just support to your partner. Let him complete his century. Make your through proper; whole of the stadium was laughing on asif his stupid type of through. When some one drop a catch no need to laugh on it. Bring some shame on your face. Specially Kamran Akmal to shut his mouth for some time.

  • on August 23, 2010, 16:45 GMT

    Yesterday I posted a comment referring to the "cuurent" Pakistan team as "mediocre". It seems many Pakistan fans have taken exception! I still believe them to be "mediocre" andjust because they beat a side who performed very poorly - I can't see why an opinion change is in order? However, if Pakistan manage to repeat their win I'll be WRONG! (It happens....) I'm predicting a thumping win for England, but may the best team win! I can't wait for Lords.....

  • sonjjay on August 23, 2010, 14:52 GMT

    Well its a good victory by Pakistan congratulations to them, their team played well and was in for some heavy criticism, Many times we fans become impatient with our team itss unreasonable and i think cook should go for englands sake. I am pretty sure with the strong domestic conditions they have a good test match opener who can replace him. Well done pakistan from an Indian fan...

  • on August 23, 2010, 13:43 GMT

    Shocking collapse from England. Lessons need to be learned!

  • on August 23, 2010, 12:48 GMT

    Pakistani team is more mercurial. England Mercury levels have been down (read pietersen) and cant match Pakistan mercury in the bowling department and that at the end was the difference.

  • venbas on August 23, 2010, 11:55 GMT

    The Brit press are undoubtedly the best when it comes to hero bashing :). KP just got them the ICC T20 Worldcup with Man of Series performances. Here he had a decent series though not to his high standards(He still has a chance to correct the statistics in the last test). But if I were on a remote island for last couple of seasons and read this article, I would think that KP is the scrouge of the current English team who is there on some personal favors or such!!! KP is the sort of impact player like Sehwag or Gilchrist who can turn things upside down single handedly. Any team would be wary of such fellas who can take apart the opposition in a moment. The Aussies will only be very happy to have KP under such media scrutiny as it would make the Ashes bid easier...

  • 0wais on August 23, 2010, 10:57 GMT

    Well England Staff For The First Time Focused On T20 & ODI Versions........... And Thier Batting Line Is Struggling In Test Cricket Because of That!!!! Pietersen Was In Great Form In The World T20 Which England Won But After that His Form Has Slumped...... Matt Prior Is Playing Only Test Cricket And Look He Is In The Form Of His Life......... Strauss And Cook Are Not In Good Form Either....... If It Remains Like This They Will Struggle In The Ashes!!

  • on August 24, 2010, 23:25 GMT

    Pakistan can now equal the series .. they have a very good chance!

  • Angel-from-Outside on August 24, 2010, 4:44 GMT

    @Punter23: Well, ups and downs are the part of Pakistan cricket history as far as the political influence is counted but...but you shouldn't be that sort of thinking of Charity..lol...how can you grade that to charity? its even humilation to Eng...Pakistan did well in all departments, at last, and they out played England in every aspect of the game. So be broad minded and take the things as they are building up.

  • on August 23, 2010, 21:06 GMT

    Life is like an inning of Pakistani batsmen, to predict it would be next to impossible.

  • on August 23, 2010, 17:42 GMT

    Congratulation to Pakistan on a big win. Now Pakistan needs a mental coach also. Who tell the players that if a partner is near to his 100 , how can you sport him. Especially to asif, that you are not a player, whole of your life you can not make a big score, just support to your partner. Let him complete his century. Make your through proper; whole of the stadium was laughing on asif his stupid type of through. When some one drop a catch no need to laugh on it. Bring some shame on your face. Specially Kamran Akmal to shut his mouth for some time.

  • on August 23, 2010, 16:45 GMT

    Yesterday I posted a comment referring to the "cuurent" Pakistan team as "mediocre". It seems many Pakistan fans have taken exception! I still believe them to be "mediocre" andjust because they beat a side who performed very poorly - I can't see why an opinion change is in order? However, if Pakistan manage to repeat their win I'll be WRONG! (It happens....) I'm predicting a thumping win for England, but may the best team win! I can't wait for Lords.....

  • sonjjay on August 23, 2010, 14:52 GMT

    Well its a good victory by Pakistan congratulations to them, their team played well and was in for some heavy criticism, Many times we fans become impatient with our team itss unreasonable and i think cook should go for englands sake. I am pretty sure with the strong domestic conditions they have a good test match opener who can replace him. Well done pakistan from an Indian fan...

  • on August 23, 2010, 13:43 GMT

    Shocking collapse from England. Lessons need to be learned!

  • on August 23, 2010, 12:48 GMT

    Pakistani team is more mercurial. England Mercury levels have been down (read pietersen) and cant match Pakistan mercury in the bowling department and that at the end was the difference.

  • venbas on August 23, 2010, 11:55 GMT

    The Brit press are undoubtedly the best when it comes to hero bashing :). KP just got them the ICC T20 Worldcup with Man of Series performances. Here he had a decent series though not to his high standards(He still has a chance to correct the statistics in the last test). But if I were on a remote island for last couple of seasons and read this article, I would think that KP is the scrouge of the current English team who is there on some personal favors or such!!! KP is the sort of impact player like Sehwag or Gilchrist who can turn things upside down single handedly. Any team would be wary of such fellas who can take apart the opposition in a moment. The Aussies will only be very happy to have KP under such media scrutiny as it would make the Ashes bid easier...

  • 0wais on August 23, 2010, 10:57 GMT

    Well England Staff For The First Time Focused On T20 & ODI Versions........... And Thier Batting Line Is Struggling In Test Cricket Because of That!!!! Pietersen Was In Great Form In The World T20 Which England Won But After that His Form Has Slumped...... Matt Prior Is Playing Only Test Cricket And Look He Is In The Form Of His Life......... Strauss And Cook Are Not In Good Form Either....... If It Remains Like This They Will Struggle In The Ashes!!

  • soorajiyer on August 23, 2010, 10:57 GMT

    An Indo pak team now would be awesome - my parents keep repeating this to me :) Sehwag, Gambhir, Rahul, Sachin, Yusuf, Laxman, Dhoni, Ajmal/Harbhajan, Asif, Amer and Zaheer - What a team this would have been. Alas we are separated! Happy to see paks win and good to see Amir getting a fiver. Can we have a 2-2 series scoreline please?

  • Guernica on August 23, 2010, 10:01 GMT

    So, who has been saying that England are 'world beaters'? I live in England and I have not heard players, media or fans saying that. Certainly on cricinfo it is much more common to hear other fans talking up their team. 90% of English fans/media would agree they a good side, but not a great one. They are *Capable* of beating other top sides (as they have shown), but not doing so consistently yet. You sense they are going in the right direction though - not sure you could say the same about Australia..

  • hasan.cheema on August 23, 2010, 9:32 GMT

    I am an Pure Pakistani fan, but I always support two teams 1. Pakistan 2. Any team playing against Australia (even INDIA)

    but, now, after seeing the reaction of English media and team after two test and evening after loosing 3rd,

    I support Australia in this Ashes for the first time in my life

    English media should give credit to new Wasim Akram (Aamir) and other pakistani classic bowlers

    Go Australia and Crash England , and repeat the history of 5-0.

  • ABRAR-JANJUA on August 23, 2010, 7:43 GMT

    Many people,specially Indians ask about the great Fast bowling talent of Pakistan.In my point of view that how Pakistan is producing superb Fast Bowlers,there is one very simple reason.I think it is just matter of inspiration.Pakistan's cricket history started with great pair of Fazal Mehmood & Khan Mohammed.Fazal Mehmood was extraordinary bowler who used to bowl fantastic leg cutters with great control.After them Sarfraz Nawaz & Imran Khan created history with magnificent fast and reverse bowling.Imran Khan was an ideal cricketer for many people.Then in 90s Wasim & Waqar were astonishing.They both impressed many youngsters,specially Wasim,who was the hero in WC 92.That is the basic reason that ,most of Pakistani young cricketer become fast bowlers after watching Sarfraz,Imran,Wasim,Waqar & Shoaib Akhtar.Although Pakistan got great batsmen like Hanif Mohammed,Zaheer Abbas,Majid Khan,Javed Miandad,Inzamam and Saeed Anwer,but no doubt Fast bowlers's impact was invincible and irrefutable.

  • LeoSaqib on August 23, 2010, 6:46 GMT

    I am really, really surprised that English Media has not concieved a conspiracy theory against Saeed Ajmal yet, like they did against two Ws and S.Akhtar when they brutely thrashed England in their own conditions, not once but many times.Two of them were awarded ball tempering demons and one was handed over title of Chukker. If you look at the history, English team have always been sweet dish for wicket hungry Pakistani bowlers, be it Fazal Mehmood or Imran Khan and Abdul Qadir, Twin Ws or Shoaib Akhtar.Even little known bowlers like Mohsin Kamal,Shaid Nazir and Muhammad Samee have given them strong troncings. The main reason for failure of Pakistani team in this series is lack of experince of test cricket and entirly unfamiliar English conditions plus really bad higher management who prefers its personal ego over national interest, otherwise same time with addistion of two Ys would have sealed the series with 3-0 by now.

  • on August 23, 2010, 6:14 GMT

    @ Woody111: well if you want something to really cheer you up, look at the stats of their bowlers away from home. Anderson averages 26 at home and 43 away. Broad averages 38 away, Finn would have been ripped apart even in these conditions against Pakistan if he wasn't facing a team where the tail started at 4. Facing just a Yousuf inspired team, Finn went for 92 runs taking one wicket. The only bowler who is going to worry the Australians is Swann. The rest are magnificent at home and varying degrees of pie-chuckers abroad. oh how I wish we could have faced Broad and Anderson in Pakistan. The batting shouldn't be the main concern for England, Johnson is no Aamer, Hilfenhaus is no Asif and Hauritz is no Ajmal

  • rovar on August 23, 2010, 5:29 GMT

    Timely reminder for this avg. & medicore England side. Just think what will happen to them in Ashes? I always believed their bowling unit is just a nother avg. bowling unit. When conditions were favouring them they were doing well but conditions became batting friendly suddenly they became toothless. By no mean, Anderson, Bad & Arrogant Broad, Finn & Swann are like Willis, Botham, Mcgrath or Warne. English media should always keep this in mind that 6 wins in a row are against Bangladesh & politically mared Pakistan side (They are good side when they play like a unit) in their own backyard in favourable conditions. So dont be on moon do some introrespect & live in present than future.

  • Woody111 on August 23, 2010, 5:08 GMT

    Gee I hope Pakistan can draw the series and put English supporters back in their box. The funny thing is that the players themselves downplay how well they've been going; knowing that Ashes here in Aus is the big one. But media and supporters endlessly wax lyrically about the state of English cricket and who should be coming out here for the Ashes; that's 3 months away! Cook, KP and co have plenty of time of to get form or show they're out of sorts; and equally others on the County scene have time to prove their worth. Remember how Trott came onto the scene in the first place. While I don't think Cook should be in the 11 for England fact is he has made a ton in the series and so has Morgan. Funny that people look at these two and wonder whether they should they be in the side. Surely you can say that about everyone of England's batsmen then! Go a few innings without a big score and suddenly your head's on the block. Hussey wouldn't be playing for Aus if that was the case here.

  • on August 23, 2010, 4:03 GMT

    Well done Pakistan, every department, batting bowling and even fielding (has never been Pakistani's favorite area). Specially the bowling has been better than any attack in the world, let alone the steyn's and morkel's. There's no comparison of these two with the "AAA (Amir, Asif, Ajmal)". Its true, the fault was England's to collapse, but who made them do so???, Give credit to where its due!!!!

  • reddy_rulz on August 23, 2010, 2:56 GMT

    i beleive kp is the best player all the time ,he looks always a potentially sounded batsman in modren cricket. always i love to see him playing any form of cricket.may be he looks little inconsistent & distrubed.i hope he will comeback with full concentration & consistent play his best.. he is real entertainer not only for english people but for world cricket fans.....

  • taemoorkhan on August 23, 2010, 2:26 GMT

    I have been in London for few years and i could never understand WHY English press undermines every test series England plays other than the ashes. Having said that I dont mean any disrespect to the prestigious Ashes but please take every test match seriously and stop calling Pakistan a mediocre team for heaven's sake. Pakistan destroyed Ashes winner Englad in 2005. Dont forget he mighty collapse of 8 wickets in one hour after lunch in lahore thanx to Shoaib Akhter and Kaneria. similarly don't compare ian botham with Imran Khan lol. Pakistan is a unique test side. You can't compare them with anyone. They can defeat you in your home without the likes of Yunus and Inzi. Even if you are playing with Strauss, cook, morgan, trott, KP, Collingwood, prior, broad, anderson and swann which is pretty much all you got in the whole UK... learn how to appreciate a better opponent when you lose... sledging might not work with pakistan if that's what you think you are gonna do next.. lol

  • Bone101 on August 23, 2010, 1:51 GMT

    The Pakistan bowling attack is really coming along and will make many other nations envious in the near future if they can keep up this sort of performance. Kudos for rebouding from a difficult period - well done Pakistan!

  • on August 23, 2010, 0:01 GMT

    stop talking bout minnows , just once english team has crossed 300 in the 6 innings , now just imagine ,had younus been a part of this team ,wat would have happened to this english side ? .... things is ,try to accept that u guys cant pick up ajmal's doosraz and asif n aamir r better than steyn n morkel( who is jus ordinary street cricketer) ..watch out for lords,u ve already seen what yousf's inclusion had done to dis team,pray for your good sake that pcb didnt send yunus back,else it would have been totally different story ..... keep your fingers crossed for lords , i think i can smell what my team is cooking right now ...

  • on August 22, 2010, 23:16 GMT

    What? Suddenly England's batting line up, filled with 40+ averages, becomes useless? Learn to give credit where it is due. Pakistan bowled very very well in the series. All apart from Kaneria, who gave easy boundaries. This isn't the first time its happened either. Pakistani bowlers, apart from the injured mess that was 05, have always bowled brilliantly in English conditions.

  • imran786c on August 22, 2010, 22:09 GMT

    A simplistic way to evaluate this:

    England batting overall much better than the young pakistani batting;

    Pakistani bowling much better than english bowling (with the exception of James Anderson - which other seamer can displace Amir / Asif from the combined team ?)

    English can catch the ball much much better than Pakistanis - and thats why they are winning the series 2-1.

    Imagine - if paksitanis have held half the catches, england will benver have passed 200 even once in the series. A fact most English seem to overlook ! If we had Yousaf / Younis Khan in the team then this will be 3-0 to Pakistan by now. If this Pakistani team can stayed united - they will be world beaters not minnows as most of the english public / media think they are.

    Bring on Lords !!

  • Mr.RAGHU on August 22, 2010, 20:24 GMT

    KP is thinking too much on his batting ! oh, no no he is thinking about Champions league(Modi effect).let him play for RCB.ECB understand : money hai to honey hai

  • Mr.RAGHU on August 22, 2010, 20:09 GMT

    I don't think England 's top order can bring back Ashes.Pakistan again showed it is truly a unpredictable team.

  • Punter23 on August 22, 2010, 19:40 GMT

    thanks england for loosing the match and gave it to pakistan in charity, no way pakistan could have won this test match or any.it's all favours.oh well

  • LoveTheGame on August 22, 2010, 19:39 GMT

    It is strange to see that some fans are calling Pakistan a mediocre team. They have won two out of five tests in foreign conditions and have not allowed the opponents to cross three hundred in not more than three out of ten innings. Have trounced the two world bests for less than 125. Yes the way they treated opponent batting line up their own batting had done the same and more than teh opponents but they were in very different conditions than home and I guess also traumatised by the situation back home. Well done Pakistan.

  • klobania on August 22, 2010, 19:37 GMT

    @steve peterson if u still think that pak team is second string or minnow then better stop day dreaming this wasnt first time english team collapsed against quality bowling attack even ozs (ur opponents who r ready to crash english men 5-0) appreciate pak bowling attack. n im pretty sure pak will level the series at lords.

  • sidzy on August 22, 2010, 18:55 GMT

    i think england hav got all right handers in middle order when bell returns so prepare morgan for ashes or suffer from oz

  • on August 22, 2010, 18:33 GMT

    England played (batted) poorly and perhaps this loss has done them a pre-Ashes favour? Even playing a second rate team such as this Pakistan side, you can't field a team with 50% of your batting line up OUT OF FORM! If the selectors persist with the likes of an out of form Pieterson, Collingwood and Morgan (Cooke gets a temporary reprieve) then there is no point in even going to Australia. Let's concide a 5-0 drubbing and find some county that will give KP some batting practice and maybe even some basic coaching? The trouble with unorthdox ego players like KP is that when their óut of nick'they are terrible! They don't have technique to fall back on and the big ego sees them making excuses. England MUST pick in form batsmen where possible.... maybe you can afford to persist will Collingwood - he's almost worth his place for his fielding ability. Morgan and KP - great players though they might be- need to be dropped 'til they can prove some form. The Aussies will take no prisoners......

  • SunnGazzer on August 22, 2010, 16:57 GMT

    In this match.. England's performance were dismal, close to being called RUBBISH. In first innings they dropped catches (which no one is commenting on, seems biased at cric info) between 8-9 and then 3-4 catches in 2nd innings. England is not only poor in batting but they are lacking some serious fielding issues with alot of dropped catches. If Ashes is to conquer then Catches and Batting is to be good other wise I am sure we are looking a total WHITE WASH OF ENGLAND at ASHES.. (God Forbid).

  • syedahmed91 on August 22, 2010, 16:52 GMT

    Pakistan brings life to test match cricket. England conditions + Pak attack woooo ROCK ON

    good job pakistan shout out to salman butt and waqar younus the team is slowly but surely getting together and everyone is finding their role iin the squad, just dont get complacent and lose your focus.

  • on August 22, 2010, 15:59 GMT

    lankan_neutral fully agreed wel pak still need younus.

  • on August 22, 2010, 15:18 GMT

    It is nice to see Alastir cook back in form Cheers for pak bowlers saeed ,wahab & amir made der way

  • cricket_for_all on August 22, 2010, 12:53 GMT

    Sorry to say this, England is very overrated team at the moment. England won last two tests not coz of their telnet It is due to Pak's inability to hold the CATCHES. It is very obvious to see the result in 3rd test once Pak held catches and include a class batsman in the squad. If ENG plays against any of good team now (ie: SA, India and SL) they will get thrashed. Since AUS (at the moment) is also ordinary team Ashes is going to be tight contest. BTW don't forget that AUS always bounce back, so AUS will definitely have a edge in Ashes.

  • on August 22, 2010, 12:40 GMT

    Neutral Fan you are excatly right, Ian Chappell's article was just what I was thinking. Australia trounce Pakistan in the first test only to get skittled for 88, same here with England. It was always on the cards though frankly. Bowler friendly condition and two great bowlers in Amir and Asif, then back that up with Ajmal and Pakistan have a very good bowling attack. We all knew this and have been saying it since they toured Australia. All they need was some calmer batting and some better fielding and they look so much better. Get in Younis get him in at threeand drop one of the openers. Englands batting just hasn't got better whereas Pakistans has improved every time. It does set up an exicting finale at Lords now, should be a higher scoring game but please please please give it some life. If there is a draw at Lords and it's not down to the weather there will be a lot of disappointed people round the world and it's not the end this fantastic series deserves.

  • RANAROYALS on August 22, 2010, 11:54 GMT

    england team management dont want to loose kp instead they want to loose ashes to australia.great thinking guys.keep it up.after 4 or 5 years kp may think of retirement and at that time he may score a century and england management will say this is what he is capable of.all the best for ashes

  • on August 22, 2010, 10:44 GMT

    If we have a look at all the 3 test matches we will analyze that England in all six innings have not put up a total which has batted Pakistan Out of the game. It has been Pakistan who has been succumbing to lower total which have been double digit ones in the 2 innings which I can remember. This time around Pakistan made 308 and improved on their double digit totals whereby England showed consistency in making the same nature of totals ranging from low to middle 200s. That in my opinion was the difference that England didnt improve but Pakistan did

  • Bobby_Talyarkhan on August 22, 2010, 10:27 GMT

    As an Indian supporter second and a cricket lover first, I must say it has been absolutely enthralling to see the pakistani bowlers operate. what is amazing about the pakistanis is how they find new players - if gul is injured they find a riaz, if kaneria is out of form they find an ajmal. pakistan have shown the value of good attacking fast bowling which is only a distant folk memory in india. perhaps india could invite waqar or wasim to try and nurture fast bowling talent as successfully as they do in pakistan?

  • vinsignia on August 22, 2010, 10:24 GMT

    Great job Pakistan. I really admired the way they played and won this test and shown the critics that they are really the team to beat. Just one change required Mr. Younis khan needs to be in the side and the team looks rock solid. I am indian and love this pakistani side, they play with so much passion and its jus fantastic. England were totally outplayed in this match and bravo...Mr. Wahab and Amir. Would request this guys to come to india and give training to our bowlers. HOw do you generate so much pace guys!!!

  • on August 22, 2010, 9:52 GMT

    Great great victory, remember in the end they were not playing only 11 eng players, they were also facing 20000+ crowd crying at them, under this pressure it is a great great achievement. played 5 test with a young team n won 2 test out of 5 is a goo result with this young team. Im telling again n again, let them play for 6 more months,,dnt criticize them,, im sure that we will find results, n surely we r seeing ,

  • on August 22, 2010, 9:07 GMT

    I think Pakistan's pace bowling standards have dropped since they played against Australia. C'mon guys, Amir can do a lot better than this above-ordinary bowling (including his 2nd innings bowling at Oval)... the way he bowled Hussey, Johnson and Steve Smith (which made commentators compare him, with the legendary Akram), even if he shows a fraction of that bit of pace/swing/bounce bowling against England, they would have been bowled out easily for 80 odd runs. I think England have found out a way to counter play Asif by standing out of the crease. Riaz should fill in the gap and up his tempo in the coming test. Overall, I think Pakistan have a lot of work to do in getting their bowling standards up if they are to win in Lords. Remember, I am only saying this because I believe they have the capability to do it. England are not what they think they are.... Maybe, had Pakistan had this belief in the second test and grabbed all the chances, they might have had the lead 2-1 by now.

  • on August 22, 2010, 8:34 GMT

    IM NOT SUPPORTING THE COMMENT OF MR. DENNY ABR. ITS SHAME TO SAY MEDIOCRE THE TEAM (PAKISTAN) WHO HAD DESTROYED THE WHOLE ENGLAND TEAM WITH THE EXPENSE OF ONLY 27RUNS AND MAIN DESTROYERS ARE THE FAST AND SWING BOWLER MOHAMMAD AAMIR AND OFF SPINNER SAEED AJMAL. HOW CAN YOU SAY ENGLAND ARE WORLD BEATERS. THEY HAVE NOT HAD THOSE QUALITIES WHICH WAS POSSESSED BY THE AUSTRALIANS SOMETIMES AGO. WHOLE WORLD KNOWS, ENGLAND'S MAIN WEAKNESS IS SPIN BOWLING AND FEROCIOUS SWING BOWLING WITH THE ADDITION OF REVERSE SWING BOWLING IN WHICH WE STILL THE MASTERS. BE THE TRUE SPORTSMAN, DON'T BE BIASED IN YOUR VIEWS AGAINST THE TEAM WHICH IS CALLED BY THE WORLD'S BEST COMMENTATORS, THE MOST TALENTED AND MOST UNPREDICTABLE IN THE WORLD WHICH ROAR WITH THEIR OWN WILL. THEY ARE CORNERED TIGERS. IF YOU DON'T REMEMBER THE 1992 WORLD CUP, ENGLAND HAD THRASHED BY PAKISTAN SINGLE HANDED BY THE WEAPON REVERSE SWING. WATCH THE TWO IMPORTANT DISMISSALS OF IAN LAMB AND CHRIS LEWIS, YOU WILL THEN REMEMBER.

  • popcorn on August 22, 2010, 8:29 GMT

    I am delighted that Pakistan has punctured the bloated egos of the Pommies. The bitterness in Michael Atherton's voice was so obvious - I thought he would break out in tears! He told Andrew Stauss that this defeat was a jolt to the system,and that this is not the first timeEngland have had a batting collapse this summer. Sour grapes,Athers? The England selectors STILL SLEEPING? You got no one else to replace the stale Kevin Pietersen who acts like he can bat or field, but is totally undependable?

  • SachinIsTheGreatest on August 22, 2010, 8:08 GMT

    "the bat-dominated stodge that passes for Test cricket in too much of the world, there is no choice. More of this sort of thing, please. "

    Oh really? Maybe Cricinfo will remember this line next time England or South Africa or Australia are 40/4 in the first session of a test match in India with the spinners taking all instead of whinging about "dustbowls" and "wickets unsuitable for a test match".

  • smalishah84 on August 22, 2010, 7:59 GMT

    @ Rahul kaushal.........I totally agree. The credit should be given to the pakistani bowling for performing so well. AFter all they have troubled Australia and England all summer. And yes even i would like to watch Pakistani bowling bowl against the indian batsman on good lively pitches such as these in England

  • SarmadQureshi on August 22, 2010, 7:45 GMT

    I agree with what mostly has been written here. However as far as Australia vs England series is concerned, its not the english batting, but bowling which concerns me. If we look at the bowling, Finn and Broad would not be posing too much of a threat to a strong Aussie batting and Jimmy Anderson would not be the same in hard and bouncy Aussie tracks. Only Swann would pose real threat to the aussie batting there. The failure of english batting in England is only because, incidentally Pakistan's bowling attack too is very much suited to english conditions and this summer the conditions were too hostile for batting. The same Pakistani bowling line struggled in Australia early this year, but beat them at headingly fair and square. So instead of focussing on batting line up in Australia, the selectors need to pick up strong bowlers for Ashes tour and I think that would serve England better.

  • sharprider on August 22, 2010, 7:43 GMT

    It is not at all surprising to see that neither the writer nor the English skipper are giving the credit where it's due, Pakistanis. We all know that this arrogant attitude on the part of the Englishmen will hardly make any difference to the Pakistani players, but it is certainly most disconcerting for the fans of this game around the world that the Pakistani bowlers are not being rated as some of the best, if not the best, in the cricketing world. Moreover, their batsmen are being so badly rated that the entire credit for the Oval victory is being attributed to the underperformance of the England team, which is being described as a FLUKE. They tend to forget that the bowlers grabbed 20 wickets at a cost of 455 runs, and the batsmen notched up the required runs at the cost of 16 wickets of their own.....and that too on foreign soil under un-homely conditions and against all odds.

  • amit1807kuwait on August 22, 2010, 7:04 GMT

    Sometimes too much is made of batting collapses. One must remember that every team has struggled this summer in England. And one must also not forget that Pakistan has a first rate seam attack, and a fine, fine spinner in Ajmal. Most batsmen will struggle under bowler-friendly conditions against such an attack. That said, England should still have won the series on a canter, and since they have not done that, they leave a bit to be desired. Right now, all one can say is, WELL DONE PAKISTAN! To beat Australia and England, and that too with a team as inexperienced as the one they have, it has been a commendable performance.

  • denny.abr on August 22, 2010, 5:53 GMT

    So much for the new 'world beaters' england!! .... this result puts the things in the right perspective.....shows that even against a mediocre team Eng ain't consistent....but they may still end up beating Ausies cause they're equally pathetic....if i am right of Eng's 6 consecutive wins, three came against bangladesh and 2 against pakistan....lucky for Eng pak were generous with their catching in the first n second test!!.....

  • cricpolitics on August 22, 2010, 5:50 GMT

    Pakistan has always been tagged as an inconsistent and unpredictable side but they are consistently dangerous side and can beat any team in the world on a day. Even with so many weaknesses in their fielding, batting, and off the field troubles they have not only given trouble to both Australia and England but they have been able to beat them as well. It is fair to say now that not only Australia and England but all the top teams have been perfoming inconsistenlty, you just need to look at the recent records.

  • Ammar_pak on August 22, 2010, 5:14 GMT

    Great article. England is a great team. Swann has been the best find for england in recent years. Pakistan could have easily won the match by 6 wickets or more. Its just the pressure put up by the crowd that let them stutter. As far as english batting is concerned, they are a great side. Its just that pakistan has found their best bowling combination since the great Wasim and Waqar and it is really delightful to watch them Bowl.

    I appreciate the fact that the english people posting their comments on this article accept that pakistan's bowling is really good and that's the reason pakistan managed to win the match

  • ARJa on August 22, 2010, 5:10 GMT

    The top test teams i.e. Australia, South Africa, India and England are not invisible. The aussies were great 5 years ago, but not anymore, and India lost the first test in Sri Lanka far too comfortably to be considered the world's best. So, unless you are playing against West Indies or Bangladesh who are made up of brainless cricketers that will self destruct every game, no game is a warm up. In light of the current state of Pakistan cricket with internal battles and teams not traveling to Pakistan, this win and the win against Australia becomes an even bigger achievement, because I am pretty certain neither Australia nor England would have done as well as Pakistan if there were in Pakistan's shoes with all the pressure beyond the boundary line. As for English batsmen, surely they are feeling the pressure. A clear example was Strauss who even though knowing the DRS would go against him, stood his ground after edging to the keeper twice in this series, hoping "Hotspot" would not see it

  • on August 22, 2010, 4:56 GMT

    No, our bowling is better than SA's... We r the best, only if we get support 4rom our fielders...

  • nataraajds on August 22, 2010, 3:39 GMT

    congrats to pakistan for the thrilling win... i mension thrilling because had england put another 50-60 more runs,(200+ target)..pakistan would have strugle. full credit to pak bowlers who win this match- riaz, amir, asif and ajmal all did excellent job to put pak on winning tract by some excellent bowling in both innings. Still pak batting problem still unsolved without Younis khan. opening pair fail yet again. England batted poorly in both the innings. tail enders save them in the first innings from 97/7 to 233 and middle order collapse in the second innings cost them the match. bowlers did splendid job.

  • Jim1207 on August 22, 2010, 2:49 GMT

    I was bemused when KP was selected by jury or people in England's all time XI in cricinfo. The guy is a pure talent but to select him ahead of so many wonderful English players in past 150 years was utter foolishness and people would come to see why that is true. Mainly, media should reduce the hype and England players would really play well. Yes, selectors need to experiment and decide a proper batting lineup before Ashes. They should sack Cook or KP and bring Bell and some solidity. At least they should try something to send a message to current batting lineup to bat responsibly. Batsmen really play playfully saying Pakistan bowlers are very well or believing that Pak batsmen would never touch their score. Hope they learned a lesson, but selectors seem to be experimenting the batting lineup only during Ashes after a loss in first match to Aussies, just because of one or some of these over-hyped batsmen.

  • Turrab on August 22, 2010, 2:42 GMT

    Mr. Andrew Miller, I have been reading your articles on Cricinfo for a long time now and they are always fair however this time I have to disagree. Indian batting line up first in the world but Aussies and English are not far behind with various really good players technique and experience wise. Don Bradman once said Wasim Akram is the greatest left arm pace bowler he has EVER seen and few months ago Wasim said that Amir is far superior than he was at the age of 18. Asif is currently world No. 2 in world and regarded by many experts as the best opening bowler in test cricket. Umar Gul has express pace along with being the world leading T20 bowler and he is very good with old ball and reverse swing. Ajmal has one of the best economies in all 3 formats of the game with wicket taking ability and you have seen Wahab on his debut. Ponting is 2000s best bastman by a mile and led 3 world cup winner teams but his head started rolling each time he faced Amir. Please give credit when it's due.

  • UriGagarin on August 22, 2010, 2:35 GMT

    I have to say its great the that Pakistan managed to come back so well in this Test . The wobble towards the end was tense but shouldn't have been. The series really should have been a 5 match series - its obvious that Pakistan have needed a bit of a run up to get back into Test cricket so an extra Test would have given them some time (failing that a bit more of a break between Tests). as for England's batting - sooner or later KP is going to have to be considered for dropping. Yes he can be a match winner - but if you think back its been a long time since he did that . No County to play for, technical problems with spinners , and a bit of a current mental problem getting moving . He needs time out of International cricket to correct his defence and footwork. Dropping him for Lords and getting another No4 (Carberry or Jimmy Adams or someone a bit more stolid I dunno ) needs to be done, we need options for the Ashes. And I haven't got on to the Bowlers...

  • Humanoids on August 22, 2010, 2:34 GMT

    Well England has good batting but its not what it is projected as. Mere presence of Yousaf sent chills through England. It was not that England were too good, it was that Pakistan were too mediocre in their batting in the tests. Now that sanity has prevailed with the recall of Yousaf, team looks in better shape. Pak grabbed catches, bowled well in all tests and in this test the only difference was their batting in the middle order especially first innings! With Younis coming in and Farhat going out from opening( Butt to open) this middle order will look formidable with the bowling Paki's have! Series has become interesting, morale boosting win might bring sanity in the batsmen to imitate Yousaf especially Azhar,Umar and Akmal! Bowling they don't need anything they are doing great!

  • ArtPakistan on August 22, 2010, 2:17 GMT

    Congrats everyone on Pakistan's great victory. Team Pakistan kept their nerves before a partisan crowd, showed them how not to give up fight till the end...and silenced them. Keep up the spirit Team Pakistan, Lords is yours.

  • on August 22, 2010, 2:16 GMT

    i think english batsmen are not good aganist spin. they got the starts but not captalised onto it middler order is not look good KP has to take responsitbilty to stay at wicket and collingwood also. B4 ashes these players needs runs under his belt.

  • TheDoctor394 on August 22, 2010, 1:27 GMT

    Nigel Moreau says: "The worst part is, you listen to the commentators and people like Holding, Nasser and company would make you believe and think that England is the best thing in cricket and when they fail there are a million reasons, except the fact that they are not as good as these commentators make everyone think!"

    This is a ridiculous comment. The commentators certainly praise England when they're good, but they are ready as much as anyone to offer critism when it's necessary.

  • Zahidsaltin on August 21, 2010, 23:56 GMT

    It doesn't matter much if Pakistan batting collapsed time and again because you couldn't expect much from Umar Amin, Azhar Ali and umar Akmal who were just new in this trade and had never experienced swing of this magnitude. But the way English batting has suffered in all the 3 matches, tell a lot about their weeknesses and brillience of Pakistani attack.

  • on August 21, 2010, 23:54 GMT

    As an Indian supporter I congratulate pakistan..But the entire English season all the conditions were bowlers paradise and Pakistan has a great tradition of developing fast bowling talent. I still doubt the ability of their batsman very much, This victory is for the bowlers of Pakistan...Hats off to them..its a previlege to watch them bowl...especially after seeing the run fest recently in Sri Lanka test matches. Test cricket will be well alive if we have Indian batsman Vs Pakistan bowlers. What would I wont pay to watch Amir, Rihaz or Asif to have a crack at Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman, Sehwag. ( Please notice I am not including any of the younger Indian flat track bullies)

  • bobmartin on August 21, 2010, 23:11 GMT

    Personally I don't mind England being taken down peg or two.. it shows they are not quite as good as they think they are and the media would have us believe. Listening to all the hype surrounding the Eng v Pak series, it was meant to be a nice warm-up for the Ashes.. Hasn't quite turned out that way has it ? Unless England raise their game by some considerable margin, the Aussies WILL win the Ashes back. If we can't beat (with due respects) a young inexperienced Pak side on home turf, we stand little chance against Australia down under.

  • on August 21, 2010, 23:08 GMT

    With ashes around the corner England's batting looking very worrying and woeful. Previous test match if pakistanis held on to their catches they would have scored abour 135-140 on the first innings. Terrible batting on First day augmented by awful catching allowed England to get away with a win. When Pakistan held on to catches and their batting bolstwered by presence of Mohammed Yusuf England lost the plot.English selectors should look at overhyped primmadonnas of England batting line up wield the axe now.... Especially KP who has not scored a century for a long time ( ignore 80 against Pakistan which was sheer bloody luck) has no right to be in the team on merit (or look at South African nursery). Sri Lankan

  • on August 21, 2010, 22:48 GMT

    I think Pakistani bowling is being under-rated here..........Asif and co did a fantastic job.....not to forget Ajmal.......agreed England did not bat very well........but the chances have to be created and taken and Pakistan did just tat......I think its great to see batsmen struggling every now and then after the run marathon which goes around in the sub-continent.......and i m sure when this Pak team plays in the subcontinent......they wud also post 400+ totals easily.....

  • BillyCC on August 21, 2010, 22:47 GMT

    Does anyone else think England had the wrong tactics by batting first? Having followed Pakistan this summer, I believe that any team should bowl first at them on any pitch that offers at least something to the bowlers because their batting lineup seems incapable of putting together decent partnerships. And having followed them, I believe their bowling lineup is one of the most potent in the world, able to keep them in with a fighting chance in most games. Not sure whether they are the most potent because it's early stages still.

  • TheDoctor394 on August 21, 2010, 22:14 GMT

    Dare I say England are missing the solidity of Ian Bell?

  • rocket123 on August 21, 2010, 22:13 GMT

    Well done, Pakistan. PCB should also bring back Younas Khan and the world shall witness the strong batting line up with awesome bowling, both working in tandem to defalte the opposition on the ground. Azhar Ali will surely be a better batsmen if he plays more and more around 2 M's. Yousuf has proved again his worth. Without him, Pakistan could have been in doldrums at the Oval. Had Pakistan not dropped so many catches in previous matches, it is quite possible that they would have been winning the series with a full fist grounded in England's face. Salman Butt should remain the captain though he needs to bat better and notch his avg close to 40 so he remains out of murky waters for his position in the team. But again like Nasir Hussain, a good captain is better than a very good player when it comes to Pakistan. I am sure, Butt will mature into his captaincy and be a much better batsman. Please bring back Younas Khan.

  • on August 21, 2010, 21:37 GMT

    You have nailed it right on!! The worst part is, you listen to the commentators and people like Holding, Nasser and company would make you believe and think that England is the best thing in cricket and when they fail there are a million reasons, except the fact that they are not as good as these commentators make everyone think!! Well played Pakistan, you guys have now beaten both Australia and England and prove that they are beatable, best of luck and hope this is the stepping stone to better thing.

  • shakkw on August 21, 2010, 21:36 GMT

    English players had reality check this time. Pakistan brought in a decent batsman, managed to hold on catches and they beat England with ease. It shows england performances in first two test were hugely overblown.

  • 2.14istherunrate on August 21, 2010, 21:34 GMT

    Great article. England have great bowlers in Swann and Anderson and a keeper-batsman in Prior who keep performing, plus a junior bowler who is still learning and therefore forgivable. For the rest the batsman seem to perform according to the safety of their position in the side- inevitably as soon as the axe has been hovering for a few games they will pull the rabbit out of the hat. Right on cue. Standard performance is one and a half batsmen per innings plus a tailender. From the rest it is judicious mediocrity. One has to ask whether the in-dressing room entertainments are such that they are unmissable beside time in the middle. Are they playing a game of Monopoly to which they must return hurriedly from the task of going out and getting out in order to take their next turn?Or perhaps it's an enticing video which they can't miss. In any case short and sweet seem to be their visits to the crease. And the remaining bowler seems still to be a rookie after 30 tests.Why? It's appalling.

  • on August 21, 2010, 21:23 GMT

    Well English players r great players, i mean the way they play against Australia is notable. Theyy lost to Pakistan due to some good bowling!

  • on August 21, 2010, 20:45 GMT

    Over hyped, over rated and definitely over paid. That's England. A bunch of prima donnas who need a good reality check. Sadly, poor suckers still pay huge sums of money to go and watch them.

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on August 21, 2010, 20:28 GMT

    Just highlights exactly what Ian Chappel was trying to say. Of the 3-5 teams equally matched and fighting for supremacy, all have their moments of being extremely poor or rather performing below their capacity and Eng has found that out. The name of the game is consistency and with all the early talks of Ashes (as usual) Pak (as I thought) showed that Aus and Eng are both pretty evenly matched and equally capable of playing very well at times and very poorly at times when under genuine pressure. Best news is that Pak, despite their off-field drama seem here to stay as a competitive and entertaining test team. I am personally glad that they have not played in the subcontinent for a bit. Conditions there are an injustice to their bowling talent.

  • Jim1207 on August 21, 2010, 20:12 GMT

    Many times, we hear that Indians hype a lot. But English players especially have to forget the world-beater tag the media is bestowing on them, for their goodness' sake. England played gustily in SA, agreed. But, they have won against WI and Bangladesh and Pakistan after that, and the media was giving a hype that they won 6 matches in sequence, which amounts to nothing when compared to the oppositions. It should have been 8 at the end of the series, if not for the hype, but in normal circumstance seeing their performance in SA. But, England has been playing to less of their potential, getting all out less than 300 citing the reason that Pakistan bowl well. In fact, They have got all out because of Ajmal in 2 or 3 innings. It shows that they need to improve their technique against spin bowling very much, forget the pace bowlers of Pak. English didn't mind about Spin weakness and they thought Pak would never beat them even as they had beaten Aussies just now. They need to work hard NOW.

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  • Jim1207 on August 21, 2010, 20:12 GMT

    Many times, we hear that Indians hype a lot. But English players especially have to forget the world-beater tag the media is bestowing on them, for their goodness' sake. England played gustily in SA, agreed. But, they have won against WI and Bangladesh and Pakistan after that, and the media was giving a hype that they won 6 matches in sequence, which amounts to nothing when compared to the oppositions. It should have been 8 at the end of the series, if not for the hype, but in normal circumstance seeing their performance in SA. But, England has been playing to less of their potential, getting all out less than 300 citing the reason that Pakistan bowl well. In fact, They have got all out because of Ajmal in 2 or 3 innings. It shows that they need to improve their technique against spin bowling very much, forget the pace bowlers of Pak. English didn't mind about Spin weakness and they thought Pak would never beat them even as they had beaten Aussies just now. They need to work hard NOW.

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on August 21, 2010, 20:28 GMT

    Just highlights exactly what Ian Chappel was trying to say. Of the 3-5 teams equally matched and fighting for supremacy, all have their moments of being extremely poor or rather performing below their capacity and Eng has found that out. The name of the game is consistency and with all the early talks of Ashes (as usual) Pak (as I thought) showed that Aus and Eng are both pretty evenly matched and equally capable of playing very well at times and very poorly at times when under genuine pressure. Best news is that Pak, despite their off-field drama seem here to stay as a competitive and entertaining test team. I am personally glad that they have not played in the subcontinent for a bit. Conditions there are an injustice to their bowling talent.

  • on August 21, 2010, 20:45 GMT

    Over hyped, over rated and definitely over paid. That's England. A bunch of prima donnas who need a good reality check. Sadly, poor suckers still pay huge sums of money to go and watch them.

  • on August 21, 2010, 21:23 GMT

    Well English players r great players, i mean the way they play against Australia is notable. Theyy lost to Pakistan due to some good bowling!

  • 2.14istherunrate on August 21, 2010, 21:34 GMT

    Great article. England have great bowlers in Swann and Anderson and a keeper-batsman in Prior who keep performing, plus a junior bowler who is still learning and therefore forgivable. For the rest the batsman seem to perform according to the safety of their position in the side- inevitably as soon as the axe has been hovering for a few games they will pull the rabbit out of the hat. Right on cue. Standard performance is one and a half batsmen per innings plus a tailender. From the rest it is judicious mediocrity. One has to ask whether the in-dressing room entertainments are such that they are unmissable beside time in the middle. Are they playing a game of Monopoly to which they must return hurriedly from the task of going out and getting out in order to take their next turn?Or perhaps it's an enticing video which they can't miss. In any case short and sweet seem to be their visits to the crease. And the remaining bowler seems still to be a rookie after 30 tests.Why? It's appalling.

  • shakkw on August 21, 2010, 21:36 GMT

    English players had reality check this time. Pakistan brought in a decent batsman, managed to hold on catches and they beat England with ease. It shows england performances in first two test were hugely overblown.

  • on August 21, 2010, 21:37 GMT

    You have nailed it right on!! The worst part is, you listen to the commentators and people like Holding, Nasser and company would make you believe and think that England is the best thing in cricket and when they fail there are a million reasons, except the fact that they are not as good as these commentators make everyone think!! Well played Pakistan, you guys have now beaten both Australia and England and prove that they are beatable, best of luck and hope this is the stepping stone to better thing.

  • rocket123 on August 21, 2010, 22:13 GMT

    Well done, Pakistan. PCB should also bring back Younas Khan and the world shall witness the strong batting line up with awesome bowling, both working in tandem to defalte the opposition on the ground. Azhar Ali will surely be a better batsmen if he plays more and more around 2 M's. Yousuf has proved again his worth. Without him, Pakistan could have been in doldrums at the Oval. Had Pakistan not dropped so many catches in previous matches, it is quite possible that they would have been winning the series with a full fist grounded in England's face. Salman Butt should remain the captain though he needs to bat better and notch his avg close to 40 so he remains out of murky waters for his position in the team. But again like Nasir Hussain, a good captain is better than a very good player when it comes to Pakistan. I am sure, Butt will mature into his captaincy and be a much better batsman. Please bring back Younas Khan.

  • TheDoctor394 on August 21, 2010, 22:14 GMT

    Dare I say England are missing the solidity of Ian Bell?

  • BillyCC on August 21, 2010, 22:47 GMT

    Does anyone else think England had the wrong tactics by batting first? Having followed Pakistan this summer, I believe that any team should bowl first at them on any pitch that offers at least something to the bowlers because their batting lineup seems incapable of putting together decent partnerships. And having followed them, I believe their bowling lineup is one of the most potent in the world, able to keep them in with a fighting chance in most games. Not sure whether they are the most potent because it's early stages still.