Pakistan v England, 1st Test, Dubai, 3rd day January 19, 2012

England have no answer to spin, again

England showed, for all the bluster about their improvement against spin, that it remains their Achilles heel
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So, were Pakistan wonderful or England wretched? The answer, as ever, is a bit of both. But, at the risk of incurring the wrath of a nation, there may be more truth in the latter than the former.

Let's be clear: Pakistan utterly outplayed England. They have, despite losing several top players to the spot-fixing debacle, quickly redeveloped a solid side that should prove highly competitive in any conditions.

They have a solid opening partnership - neither India or Australia ever neutralised England's seamers so effectively - a strong pace attack leader in Umar Gul, two wise old middle-order batsmen, a sparky keeper who produced a key innings in this game and a very good spin partnership. Most of all, they have a leader in Misbah-ul-Haq who pervades calm authority. Who inspires and unites. Who provides solidity and security. After years of superstar individuals, Pakistan have a team.

It would be a gross injustice if any of the gloss were to be taken off this result by mealy-mouthed slurs of Saeed Ajmal's action. It has been cleared by the ICC and drawn no complaints from other opposition. Indeed, none of the current England team have complained, either. England, surely, would do better to learn from Ajmal than moan about him.

But Ajmal will bowl better and take far fewer wickets. England, with all the pre-series talk of teesras and doosras ringing in their ears, looked paralysed with fear against him. They showed, for all the bluster about their improvement against spin, that it remains their Achilles heel. The ball hardly turned in this match but Ajmal, with his wonderfully subtle variations of pace and ability to move the ball just a little both ways, panicked the tourists like a dog running through sheep. Heaven help England when they are confronted by a track that turns square.

Some sense of perspective is required. England haven't lost a Test since December 2010 and, even during their ascent to the No. 1 Test ranking, there were moments - Perth, for example - when they imploded spectacularly. It is not wise to read too much into one result. As ever, the real test of a side is how they respond to adversity.

The alarm bells are ringing loud and clear, however. Since December 2001, England have played 22 Tests in Asia and won just five. Even that modest record flatters them, however. Four of those Tests - and four of those wins - came against Bangladesh. Remove them from the equation and England record is quite gruesome: just one win in 18 and eight losses. That is not No. 1 form, is it?

England's success has come on surfaces quite different from this and, in the next year, be it in the UAE, Sri Lanka or India, they will play on plenty of pitches that favour spinners far more. The track in Dubai hardly turned and they had first use of a blameless pitch.

Were they unfortunate? Not really. While it's true they lost three top-order wickets to what might be termed leg side strangles, each of those was lost to a poor shot. They would be deluding themselves if they hid behind such trifles.

Forget about the Monty Panesar debate, too. It was not England's bowling that let them down here. Quite the opposite, actually. It was their batting. Monty's inclusion would not have made not a jot of difference.

The real damage was inflicted - or self-inflicted - on the first day. England froze in the spotlight and handed Pakistan an initiative that was never returned.

Yet their batting in the second innings was no better. To lose two men - Kevin Pietersen and Stuart Broad - to catches on the boundary in these circumstances was remarkably irresponsible. Broad's shot, with his side seven wickets down and 11 runs behind, was breathtakingly poor. And Pietersen's was worse.

But what is more of a concern: men who throw their wickets away, or men who are rendered hapless in these conditions? For while the former should be easily mended, the second might not be. Ian Bell's complete bafflement against Ajmal's doosra in both innings should be of particular worry. Andy Flower has a great deal to ponder in the coming days.

Pakistan's only concern is that many of their key players are not young men. Ajmal and Younis Khan are 34, Misbah is 37, Mohammad Hafeez, Taufeeq Umar, Aizaz Cheema and Abdul Rehman are all the wrong side of 30.

But such concerns can wait. For now, Pakistan deserve all the praise coming their way and can look to the next couple of years with great confidence. It will now take a monumental effort by England to deny them in this series.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on January 22, 2012, 10:34 GMT

    I think England is headed for a 3-0 whitewash...

  • on January 21, 2012, 20:09 GMT

    well to England i must say as a Pakistani dat u must not forget that u arn't playing the best fast bowling attack yet.. thers more to come in face of junaid khan/Talha. most probably in the next match, so get ready, and an advice that on these pitches variation is the key and u ppl knw dat u havnt got dat, plz develop that (u Fast Track Bullies). And stop blaming pitches, develop ur skills so u can adopt conditions.

  • JG2704 on January 21, 2012, 13:09 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas on (January 20 2012, 14:55 PM GMT) - Would you not consider Cook at least up there with the other 3 batsmen you mentioned?

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 21, 2012, 1:20 GMT

    @Karthik Raja, cheers for trying to clarify my stand. Much much appreciated! As always you Rock! Your explanation was quite hilarious, oozing impatience and even more aggressive than mine..Loll... SRT_GENIUS also explained my post, but he was very gentle in his explanation with all the patience in the world. Loll..Thanks guys to both of you and others as well who will try or tried to make Mr.JMCILHINNEY see what my objection was. BTW, my TOEFL score was 291/300 and GRE Verbal was 700. Those were more than a decade ago. So, Mr.JM could be right. Staying in USA, my English must have gone bad ;)....Not every country has excellent standards in English. India Rocks :).....always, for all Desis. Happy New Year to all you mates...

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 21, 2012, 0:36 GMT

    @SRT_GENIUS: that's exactly what I thought the author was saying about a turning pitch - turning pitch deserves blame as in faulty pitches or improper cricket wickets. But jm seems to take objection to what I understood and he says I'm misconstruing the author. Well, if I misconstrued, then no problem - I'll sincerely apologise to the author and many thanks to jm for clarifying the author's intentions. If the author has no problem with turning pitches I have no problem with the author. But I have seen enough on cricinfo and I know what the author(s) mean here - a track that turns is dodgy or underprepared or dustbowl or not a proper cricket track and deserves blame whereas a pace friendly wicket is not dodgy or not underprepared or not a grassbowl or is a proper cricket track and so doesn't deserve blame. Nuff said and heard boss. Isn't it? Thanks for speaking on my behalf and interpreting my intentions correctly. Very much appreciated. Cheers....!

  • on January 21, 2012, 0:33 GMT

    bring bak umar akmal,he is supposed be the next sachin tendulkar

  • JG2704 on January 20, 2012, 23:26 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas on (January 20 2012, 14:55 PM GMT) - Would you not consider Cook at least up there with the other 3 batsmen you mentioned?

  • on January 20, 2012, 22:44 GMT

    @All, really respect all your opinion. But i dont think pakistan is as good team as they seemed in this test. I think Eng will come back strongly. They are the number one team and I have seen how they demolished the opponents last two years. For pakistan they are always a mystery team to predict, but still i think over confident will make them loose 2nd Test. I am sure Eng bats man will score more runs in next matches and then you will see how BAD pakistan Batting Line-up is!

  • 5wombats on January 20, 2012, 21:30 GMT

    @chapathishot on (January 20 2012, 11:39 AM GMT) - we don't care. india are nomarks.

  • on January 20, 2012, 19:48 GMT

    @Nutcutlet love the comments almost poetic lol

  • on January 22, 2012, 10:34 GMT

    I think England is headed for a 3-0 whitewash...

  • on January 21, 2012, 20:09 GMT

    well to England i must say as a Pakistani dat u must not forget that u arn't playing the best fast bowling attack yet.. thers more to come in face of junaid khan/Talha. most probably in the next match, so get ready, and an advice that on these pitches variation is the key and u ppl knw dat u havnt got dat, plz develop that (u Fast Track Bullies). And stop blaming pitches, develop ur skills so u can adopt conditions.

  • JG2704 on January 21, 2012, 13:09 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas on (January 20 2012, 14:55 PM GMT) - Would you not consider Cook at least up there with the other 3 batsmen you mentioned?

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 21, 2012, 1:20 GMT

    @Karthik Raja, cheers for trying to clarify my stand. Much much appreciated! As always you Rock! Your explanation was quite hilarious, oozing impatience and even more aggressive than mine..Loll... SRT_GENIUS also explained my post, but he was very gentle in his explanation with all the patience in the world. Loll..Thanks guys to both of you and others as well who will try or tried to make Mr.JMCILHINNEY see what my objection was. BTW, my TOEFL score was 291/300 and GRE Verbal was 700. Those were more than a decade ago. So, Mr.JM could be right. Staying in USA, my English must have gone bad ;)....Not every country has excellent standards in English. India Rocks :).....always, for all Desis. Happy New Year to all you mates...

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 21, 2012, 0:36 GMT

    @SRT_GENIUS: that's exactly what I thought the author was saying about a turning pitch - turning pitch deserves blame as in faulty pitches or improper cricket wickets. But jm seems to take objection to what I understood and he says I'm misconstruing the author. Well, if I misconstrued, then no problem - I'll sincerely apologise to the author and many thanks to jm for clarifying the author's intentions. If the author has no problem with turning pitches I have no problem with the author. But I have seen enough on cricinfo and I know what the author(s) mean here - a track that turns is dodgy or underprepared or dustbowl or not a proper cricket track and deserves blame whereas a pace friendly wicket is not dodgy or not underprepared or not a grassbowl or is a proper cricket track and so doesn't deserve blame. Nuff said and heard boss. Isn't it? Thanks for speaking on my behalf and interpreting my intentions correctly. Very much appreciated. Cheers....!

  • on January 21, 2012, 0:33 GMT

    bring bak umar akmal,he is supposed be the next sachin tendulkar

  • JG2704 on January 20, 2012, 23:26 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas on (January 20 2012, 14:55 PM GMT) - Would you not consider Cook at least up there with the other 3 batsmen you mentioned?

  • on January 20, 2012, 22:44 GMT

    @All, really respect all your opinion. But i dont think pakistan is as good team as they seemed in this test. I think Eng will come back strongly. They are the number one team and I have seen how they demolished the opponents last two years. For pakistan they are always a mystery team to predict, but still i think over confident will make them loose 2nd Test. I am sure Eng bats man will score more runs in next matches and then you will see how BAD pakistan Batting Line-up is!

  • 5wombats on January 20, 2012, 21:30 GMT

    @chapathishot on (January 20 2012, 11:39 AM GMT) - we don't care. india are nomarks.

  • on January 20, 2012, 19:48 GMT

    @Nutcutlet love the comments almost poetic lol

  • Sports4Youth on January 20, 2012, 19:38 GMT

    Yes Dobell, England had no answers to the willy Ajmal and his partners in crime in the first innings where 9 wickets fell to spine with Trot being the only victim to pace. But the second time around they fell to Gul, and the match was practically over before the spinners started looting their share of the spoils. So you may agree that in the first innings you right they had no answer to spin but in the second essay they had no answer to Gul either.

  • Long-Leg on January 20, 2012, 17:14 GMT

    Let us squash one myth. England are not "green track bullies". Tests in England are nearly always played on flat batting wickets and usually last 4 to 5 days. Ground staff would not prepare green tracks for fear that they would lose revenue if tests were over too quickly. The recent test matches against India in England were all played on good batting tracks (as Dravid proved).

  • on January 20, 2012, 15:26 GMT

    I think one reason they have done well is both Younis and Misbah are quite men..dropping Umar was a good thing...he is way wet and inconsistent...so is his brother the grabber akmal..who was responsible many of their losses...I was surprised Pakistan kept him on for way too long

  • hatmania on January 20, 2012, 15:17 GMT

    Re: Chris Ward; I can take defeat on the chin, and I have no issues to raise regarding the woes of the Indian team right now (painful though as it is - long road to recovery ahead).

    My only issue is to do with the England team being compared to the great Windies and Aussie teams - this result allows everyone to get a bit of perspective. No doubt the next test will be competitive, but by no means the walkover that was predicted earlier. They don't need a change in the balance of the side (it was the batting that failed...), just better application.

    Re: Pakistan - a solid performance, no fireworks, just a solid, reassuring performance... I never thought I'd ever say that! Looks like the team is FINALLY being led properly; if they keep this up they may actually get back to the top tier (where they belong).

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 20, 2012, 14:55 GMT

    @jmcilhinney, mate rabbits don't know how to get out of a car's way. If they know and they still can't get out of a car's way then that is self inflicted. I respect only Trott, KP and Bell in your team as proper batsmen. They are the masters in your team. I said the English batsmen behaved like rabbits because I think barring those three others can't play spin well. I can't keep writing 'barring those three, barring those three' everytime I write a comment on the English batting performance. Even the three masters succumbed pretty badly. So what else should I write? Next, thank you for clarifying about what the author meant about the pitch. Yes, English isn't my mother tongue and it's possible that I didn't understand him or express myself properly. I think, the author has his knickers in a twist here and is just trying hard to say that it is LARGELY self inflicted rather than a deficiency in technique or the subtle variations of Ajmal that they didn't have a clue about.

  • RandyOZ on January 20, 2012, 14:53 GMT

    India probably made Ajmal look better than he is because of how terrible against spin they are. I can't wait for Lyon to rip through these toothless tigers from South Africa!

  • Nampally on January 20, 2012, 14:25 GMT

    Congrats. Pakistan for a well deserved win!.Ajmal totally bamboozled the England batsmen. He is a very accurate off spinner who bowls "Doosras" at a quicker pace and with some bite as well. England team was white washed 5-0 in the recent ODI's in India. It was clear that England seamers cannot dictate terms to the Indian batting on sub continent pitches. Well, the pitch in Dubai is very much like that in the sub continent.Pakistan may whitewash England in the series. Their emphatic 3 day victory showed that England were totally demolished in all departments of the game.It is becoming more & more evident that the England team cannot play spinners whilst their own spinners are ineffective on the Indian, Dubai or SL pitches. England seamers are not effective on these pitches either. "Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown". It looks like it will be a very short reign for England at the #1 spot in the Test Cricket, unless the whitewash is amazingly prevented. Good Luck Guys !

  • on January 20, 2012, 14:07 GMT

    @jmcilhinney.. "If the rabbit doesn't just get off the road".. Wt do u mean by getting off the road..?? Get out of the way of ball.?? or pack and return to Eng..?? lol.. Rabbit should stay on the road wtever happens.. Either it shud knw the technique of avoiding headlights r bravely deal thm and move forward.. Whn it doesn't hv right technique, it will caught in headlights stranded.. Exactly, wt English batsmen r displaying in UAE now.. Dont make fun of others knowledge widout understanding.. Btw.. I accept with a part of ur comment.. "English is not as good as it seems".. No.. I am not saying abt Dravid_Gravitas's english.. Hope u understand.. :)) ROFL..

  • Guernica on January 20, 2012, 14:04 GMT

    As predicted, some ridiculous comments from Indian fans desperate to focus on another 'big gun' doing badly. England have put in several awful performances on their way to number one (since the infamous 51 all out). Cardiff 2009 (got away with a draw), Headingly 2010 (awful), Jo'Burg 2010, Perth 2011. But saying that, their record in that period is still far better than any other team, hence they deserve to be number one until a more worthy team deposes them. Who is that team? India, with 7 defeats in a row and counting? South Africa, who have only just managed their first home series win since 2008? Australia? Not judging by lasts winter, but granted they are improving. Pakistan? On this evidence, the have the potential but they have to prove it over a longer period.

  • shishirji on January 20, 2012, 13:25 GMT

    "ian bell plays spin well" said someone in one of the comments.......but he forgot mention "only on english wickets"!!!!!..........just as easily like ind,pak,sl players play pace on home tracks.......ian bell looked like his earlier self, when he had a torrid time facing warnie in 05-06!!!!

  • on January 20, 2012, 12:59 GMT

    One thing that can save ENG is that the wicket is not as LOW and SLOW as of this test, to me that would be big mistake on PAK part... Why would Pakistan make such a mistake :-) We have not done much yet, it's just first test, 2 are remaining, we got be focused and bring the battle to our strength...

  • ihaq1 on January 20, 2012, 12:44 GMT

    pakistan too has some depth and even when they lose key bowlers they can make up the strength quickly...but pakistan has not been teh same side since inzamam and mohd yusuf..having to develop bowlers and batsmen quickly they now seem an adequate side with good fast bowlers and spinners and a steady batting lineup...england could do well to play both spinners and Finn with either broad or anderson...older players are better at test cricket but pakistans young cricketers have not thrownup that many quality batsmen...england too should try the short stuff and aggressive bowling techniques since they dont have teh News of The World here...spinners would have tobe played with confidence

  • on January 20, 2012, 12:44 GMT

    People or keep saying this is a flat track, I think experts are missing a point here Flat track is not same as LOW and SLOW... LOW and SLOW is as hard as seam and bounce if the bowlers are bowling at a relentless line and length.... England batsman had hard time picking up the length. Mainly because both Ajmal and Rehman varies the trajectory and pace on the ball, at the same time vary the length by (2-3 feet). All these variation if done right (and from both sides) on a low and slow wicket drys up the runs (and cause wickets in cluster, specially for Western team that are not used to the conditions and displined bowling), even if you are on the wicket for a long time... You never feel like scoring fluently... Run rate is always checked... Most of the modern batsmen are not used to continuous defense... Ajmal and Rehman are told to bowl (with above variation) even if they don't get the wicket in a whole session... Add to that Doorsa and DRS… How that translates to Flat???

  • PACERONE on January 20, 2012, 11:46 GMT

    When England beat Australia it was England playing good cricket not Australia playing bad cricket.Australia has turned their team around with aggressive and sound playing.If Pakistan fast bowler are aggressive and bowl good bouncers you will see the English falter.Not follow up a good bouncer with a half tracker.Bell and others can play poor spin bowling.If the bowler has the ability to bowl doorsa or googly they are lost.Pakistan spin was just accurate and they faltered badly.

  • chapathishot on January 20, 2012, 11:39 GMT

    After the first day English media and the supporters as well as some of the team members were saying that a very good team had one of its off days and nothing wrong can happen now and comparison made to Brisbane by some.The score of 500 in second innings predicted by some.So finally what happened on day three an even worst day than day one.Now the comments are that one bad test will get better only and the team is rusty blah blah blah.I feel that the second test will be better that first like day 3 and day 1.So called greatest team of all time losing test in three days .No 1 rank is gone for sure .Not even defended for one series.Now the slip will be consistent and the greats will be in the middle of the rankings by the end of the year.Hey 5WOMBATS I am watching closely.

  • Viky_Robin on January 20, 2012, 11:22 GMT

    @cricket_lover777 Wait and see my friend in Nov 2012 you can hear our SPIN music

  • nagarjunsl on January 20, 2012, 11:04 GMT

    All said and done, I feel cricket(Test Cricket in particular) is entering an exciting new phase. Once the rankings was introduced, the Aussies had dominated for the majority of the decade. India did pretty well to have for 2 yrs and England have done well to claim it from India(Thanks to their Victory in the Ashes and against India). Given the present scenario, the no 1 ranking will surely change in the near future. It still remains to be seen who will take it. Test Cricket is presently in such a state where it is getting difficult to predict a dominating force like the "Invincible Aussies" of 2000's... The teams from the Sub-continent continue to struggle in Eng, Aus and SA whereas Eng, Aus and SA struggle in the sub-continent. Given the quality and form of all the teams, it is getting really tricky in predicting a team that can dominate like the Aussies. Perhaps, Test Cricket needed this phase particularly with the advent of T20

  • JG2704 on January 20, 2012, 10:56 GMT

    @jmcilhinney on (January 20 2012, 01:22 AM GMT) - Spot on comments. DG has usually written decent posts but it's almost like he's starting to debate with himself now.

  • JG2704 on January 20, 2012, 10:56 GMT

    @Ryan_H on (January 19 2012, 17:32 PM GMT) - England are still number 1 and even if they lose 3-0 they will remain number 1 until SA play again regardless of anything else. The fact that you say England have no fighting spirit shows your intense lack of knowledge about the current England test team

  • JG2704 on January 20, 2012, 10:56 GMT

    @TheBengalTiger on (January 19 2012, 17:13 PM GMT) - Yeah because India are playing superb cricket at the moment aren't they? What is it , 7 away tests in a row , 4 of the last 5 by whitewash? Maybe when we've equalled that record your sniping words might have some significance - please publish this time

  • on January 20, 2012, 10:55 GMT

    When the English bowlers get Pakistan out for 338 "their perseverance overcomes the conditions" and when the Pakistani bowlers bowl them out for under 200 in two consecutive innings the English batsmen play wretchedly. Its not just Ajmal who troubled England here but all the bowlers "persevered" and were extremely accurate hence the sub-3 runs per overs run rates for England. The likes of Cook and Pietersen didn't just randomly play wretched shots they were choked. Pietersen got 2 from 30 balls in the first innings and did not want a repeat of that in the second, hence his aggressive shot. Whereas Cook made 4 from 50 balls in the second innings. And Cook got a hundred and plenty of runs in the practice games so no one can make an excuse that he was "rusty"

  • on January 20, 2012, 10:38 GMT

    @jmcilhinney.. U r right.. The pitch was definitely good for batting.. And No.. ppl aren't trying to say that Eng batted well.. They were saying that Eng's world class batsmen were made to bat poorly by Pak bowlers and their captain.. Simple as that.. Btw, I think u don't mean to say that Eng cant bat in helpful flat conditions.. May b, them being world class batsmen, they will prove their worth only in difficult conditions.. and consider scoring runs in flat wickets as an insult to their gr8ness.. Is it so..??

  • dicky_boy on January 20, 2012, 10:29 GMT

    Cricket lover 77 , it's a huge misunderstanding , pitches in India are not flat, they offer turn And we have four five spinners who in India can crush any team

  • BigDataIsAHoax on January 20, 2012, 9:11 GMT

    @jmcilhinney: Mate let's get into causal analysis. England batted poorly. The "cause" for that was Pakistan were "AWESOME". Full credit to Pakistan. AS SIMPLE AS THAT. Get it?

  • SRT_GENIUS on January 20, 2012, 7:03 GMT

    @jmcilhinney: Allow me to help with deciphering @dravid_Gravitas post.... Point 1 ("self inflicting" vs "rabbit") : What he is trying to say is that it wasn't a cavalier attitude that undid the batting line (hence not "self inflicted") but an inherent inability to play spin (like a rabbit's genetic makeup)..... Point 2 ("blameless pitch"): By calling the pitch "blameless" author suggests that if the pitch was a _turner_ the collapse would have been the pitch's fault. This line (in the article) implies that turning pitches are "faulty". Hence the question: are green/bouncy pitches "faulty" too ?.......... (Disclaimer: I don't know gravitas or even agree with all his posts but I thought your criticism was probably due to lack of proper interpretation. I do agree that s/he seems to convey his/her points too strongly)

  • Kavum on January 20, 2012, 6:56 GMT

    Am of one mind with dan_loves_cricket. As a South Asian and SL supporter, I rejoice when our region's teams do well against Eng, SA and Aus, except for one arrogant outfit whose fans think they have a right to comment on all cricket. Of course did not enjoy the battering the Pakistan team gave SL recently. Hope you move from strength to strength and beat all comers (except maybe Sri Lanka). Well done! Pakistan Zindabad!

  • StarsnStumps on January 20, 2012, 6:53 GMT

    I think England will bounce back in the 2nd test and put up a better show ... they didn't get to No. 1 by folding on the first signs of pressure. Pakistan have to stay focused.

  • on January 20, 2012, 6:12 GMT

    Total baised and rubbish article. The author should admit that the cornered tigers just owned the poms. Big up to Pakistan. Their bowling unit deserves all the praise. One last thing, it's not just poms bad shot selection but if u see in match context it was all that build up to each falling wicket. Trott was on 49 for some time and Kevin was on duck 4 seven balls. Bravo Pakistan, way to go.

  • SRT_GENIUS on January 20, 2012, 6:07 GMT

    So the pitch was "blameless". Awesome, just awesome... a rank turner is a "culprit" then ? Surely you jest - No ?

  • Team-Ahmed on January 20, 2012, 5:54 GMT

    I don't think it's an aging side. Misbah might have 1 to 2 years of cricket. Younis is there for another 3, 4 years. Meanwhile the likes of Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq and Umar Akmal can develop into world class batters. As far as fast bowling is concerned the bench strength has already got Junaid Khan and Wahab Riaz extremely good bowlers with Mohammad Talha and other waiting to get in and who knows Amir might make a comeback in 3 years. Ajmal and Rehman have a long time to play as spinners play upto the ages of 40. Other spinners like Yasir Shah are eager to get into the team.

  • DESIELEVEN on January 20, 2012, 4:25 GMT

    Was'nt that on expected lines. Guess Still the jury is out on who is the world's best team. Heroes at home, Zero's abroad is the order of the day !!!!!!!!!!!!

  • on January 20, 2012, 4:13 GMT

    Lots of Indians coming out to criticise. When we've lost seven overseas tests in a row played in similar conditions, plus some warm ups, you can start criticising. England haven't played a test for nearly six months. India have had plenty of practice at losing and don't show any signs of stopping. I imagine the second test will be much more of a contest.

  • Wajahatt on January 20, 2012, 4:10 GMT

    Please Cricinfo, bring back likes of Osman and Andrew. Thank you!

  • Blal on January 20, 2012, 3:45 GMT

    And to think that this English side has been designated as one of the five best teams by CricInfo for their sweepstake doesn't make ant sense!

  • dan_loves_cricket on January 20, 2012, 2:34 GMT

    well done pakistan!!!! you guys rock...best wishes from Sri Lanka.but be aware,England team is not a bad one at all...keep it going!!!!

  • jmcilhinney on January 20, 2012, 1:22 GMT

    There are a lot of people around here who seem very eager to criticise anyone who doesn't share their point of view. @Dravid_Gravitas is one of them. He asks "what self-inflicted damage" and then says that the English batsman "behaved like rabbits caught in the headlights" so he just answered his own obtuse question. If the rabbit doesn't just get off the road then it is obviously in large part responsible for its own demise. He also asks about the "blameless pitch". Maybe his English is not as good as it seems but that is obviously a reference to the fact that the pitch in this match did not make batting difficult for the Englishmen but rather they made it hard for themselves. If you try to misconstrue the authors words then you just make yourself look foolish. Some try to imply that saying that England batted poorly is trying to take credit from Pakistan. Are those people trying to say that England batted well?

  • cricket_lover777 on January 20, 2012, 0:50 GMT

    You guys may agree or disagree but I believe that this English side can beat India on such flat pitches, as Indias bowling is not as good as Englands. To win a test match you need bowlers who can pick up 20 wickets. And in my opinion, the attack India have right now is not capable enough to do so.

  • clarky1958 on January 20, 2012, 0:27 GMT

    @Pratul Sanwal & Waqqas Maalik Wattoo & Prash Smith - On the basis of winning with home pitch advantage and then losing away series, NO ONE "deserves" the #1 ranking - This includes India who were the previous #1. Face it, #1 ranking just means you have rounded up enough points to head the table: it doesn't mean that you are head and shoulders above all the other sides.

  • drlimpel on January 20, 2012, 0:26 GMT

    Fine article. I agree that age may be catching up with some of the Pakistani players, but I think ppl should make a very important distinction here. Its one thing to be a 30 year old cricketer and an entirely different proposition to be a 30+ superstar legend with 70 odd tests in his repertoire. Most of the Pakistan players belong in the former group and while ideally, you would want a really young successful team, it is also a fact that maturity and hence consistent success also comes only with age. The latter group on the other hand is one that constituted Pakistan teams in the last decade and was a constant source of problems for them courtesy their enormous egos and declining motivation and performances. India are a very good recent example of a team blighted by such a group as well.

  • on January 19, 2012, 23:52 GMT

    Congrats PAK you deserve this victory. What is impressive of this side is their consistency. I wonder what English commentators and media has got to say about DRS??? They were so critical of India's stance? What have you got to say now???

  • KashifMuneer on January 19, 2012, 23:00 GMT

    George how about mentioning that before England start the next series Strauss will be 35, Swann 32, Pietersen 31, Trott 30, Prior 30, Tremlett 30. Everyone except Cook, Morgan and Broad is over 29 in the England playing XI. In contrast 4 Pakistani players are under 29.

  • JB77 on January 19, 2012, 22:45 GMT

    Interesting match. For me it supports my belief that this English team will not enjoy an extended period of dominance like the great Australian and West Indian teams of the past. Yes it's just one match, but the same old problems are there. Strauss struggling again (will he even be there to defend the next Ashes?), KP showing zero match awareness again (how much longer can he get away with the 'Oh well that's just how he plays' excuse?), Bell showing once again that he is not worthy of the hype English fans pour upon him (One of the best batsmen in the World?! It seems Bell needs one his mates to score big before he'll do the same)....it's a lack of mental strength that will prevent this English team from dominating long-term. The only English player with heart I've seen in the past few days is Collingwood....playing T20....in Australia.

  • wrenx on January 19, 2012, 22:34 GMT

    Congratulations to Pakistan, for playing the way we all know you are capable of. To those that follow the Pakistan cricket team, a comprehensive victory like this is no surprise, it's just what happens when outrageous talent is backed up by hard work and a fighting spirit. In the last decade, moments where all three elements have clicked at once have been too rare. It's time for them to prove that this was no fluke by coming hard at the #1 side in the next 2 games. About the ageing players, Pakistan would do well to have a 4-year plan - don't want to end up like India. As long as their fitness remains, there's no reason why most of those 30+ cannot be around until 2015, but perhaps they should invest more in a Pakistan A side, like England do with the Lions, so there will be opportunities for players to rise up once our current stalwarts decide to move aside.

  • KashifMuneer on January 19, 2012, 22:33 GMT

    Great win for Pakistan. I predict the series to be a 2-0 Pakistan win. Article is well written but should give a bit more credit to Pakistan team for defeating the number 1 team by almost by an innings. Pleasantly surprised to see Indian supporters support Pakistan for the first time in their life but all of the articles for the series seem to be 50% taken over by India/England comments. Best thing to do is to wait for India/England test series for that war.

  • HawksEyeFocused on January 19, 2012, 21:48 GMT

    WOW!!! Hats off to Sir George Dobell !!! Sir, the article you wrote is one of the best articles I have ever read!!! God has blessed you with amazing eloquence and diction!!! You made me happy!!! Proud to be the reader of your Great Article!!! Great respect and honour from a Pakistani English Lecturer!!!

  • swingstowin on January 19, 2012, 21:33 GMT

    George, I am a Pakistani and i totally agree with you that England lost the match coz their batting was wretched!! Pakistan bowled good,but nothing exceptional.... And as much i want Pakistan team to win,i just dont think we will see such abject skills of batting by England again in the test series!! Pakistan must improve their batting...which was decent,but could've been much better!! best of luck TEAM PAKISTAN

  • on January 19, 2012, 20:52 GMT

    @Abhisek Bharadwaj, this is the best comment i have ever read. Give due credit when it is required. Show some more respect to team pak on such brilliant performance. I don't think this is not the best way the success has been discussed, but the defeat of Eng... :)

  • Dilectus on January 19, 2012, 20:29 GMT

    real problem is ... pitch didn't even take any turn, just plain as a road it was. I bet in SriLanka and later in India they will surely find themselves playing on square turners, dustbowls and what chances do Englishmen have on those tracks? Signs are ominous

  • Nutcutlet on January 19, 2012, 20:11 GMT

    Defeat (from my point of view) always generates a more interesting discussion than victory. To those who believed that England had got complacent after emphatic series' wins over Oz and India, let me assure you that has not been the case. Andy Flower and Strauss knew that this series was of the utmost importance and Pakistan is always a team to be taken seriously. I have thought for some time that Saeed Ajmal is a very special bowler and to see him conduct his master class was a privilege. With very few exceptions, England looked about as clueless against him as when a previous generation faced Warne. It wasn't just spin, it was variation in flight and speed of delivery that did for the English batsmen. Bell does play spinners well; that's true. Ajmal, however, is not a spinner: he's an slow bowling artist - the best international slow bowler around. Make no mistake - Swann is good, a good craftsman, but a craftsman is not an artist and England, it would seem, is Ajmal's blank canvas.

  • Lallubhai on January 19, 2012, 19:48 GMT

    Well done Pakistan . Make it 3-0 plz

  • on January 19, 2012, 19:39 GMT

    There goes the No 1 Test team! England's stay at No 1 will be much shorter than India's.

  • Big_Chikka on January 19, 2012, 19:38 GMT

    just the first exchange, what happens from here on is important for both teams. that said, CONGRATULATIONS to the pakistani people and followers of the game, about time. well done to the team. no lets see if you can do it again.

  • Fury on January 19, 2012, 19:29 GMT

    Pakistan have been playing at this venue for quite a while now.Most of the England team are rusty after 3 months off in some cases. Pakistan understood the conditions completely and have had plenty of time to discover what the perfect length is, among the quicks and exactly how to vary line and length and pace variations among the spinners. If England had had any sense they would apprehended those facts and taken a leaf out of Pakistan's book and played 2 spinners. The batting was reprehensible, of course, but at least it cannot possibly get any worse. Morgan has to go. A lightweight one- dater who doesn't have a clue about sticking around and rebuilding an innings in the middle order. suddenly we realise what a core player Bresnan is in this side. well done Pakistan but tomorrow is another day ......

  • on January 19, 2012, 19:03 GMT

    I knew that! Indian bowlers and fielding allowed Ian Bell and such to regain form by letting them score 150+ and 200's. In Aus they gave Clark and Hussey a chance to score big runs as well. Dhoni might look aggressive in the first 2 or 3 overs. After that, he lets them score and the bowlers get wayward. Tight bowling and fielding, these same batsmen succumb easy. Just like the Indian batsmen.

  • Dazzzlerz on January 19, 2012, 19:01 GMT

    agree with Abhisek Bharadwaj. where is Osman Samiuddin or Kamran Abbasi? need to see some Pro-Pakistani Articles for the 'home' team please..

  • Rahulbose on January 19, 2012, 18:55 GMT

    Eng have never been good travelers, specially to Asian countries. Fact is for 2 years Eng batsmen have been playing well beyond their career averages, the whole top order was averaging over 60. For all sensible cricket fans that was obviously something that would not last. But for folks like Dobell the crash is going to be a nasty surprise.

  • on January 19, 2012, 18:39 GMT

    Dubai was not even the dreaded "subcontinent" wicket. It was a flat-track with moderate bounce. England's performance reflects more on their mental problems about being in "foreign" conditions rather than ability. On a true turner, which I am sure they will get in SL and India, they will be really exposed and humiliated, unless things change.

  • tradetekbiz on January 19, 2012, 18:34 GMT

    All of the comments and any idea that states that just because England lost to a very talented and professional Pakistani side will also result in them losing to the Indian side isn't just a flawed assumption but almost flat out wrong. I still believe and we shall all see that certainly the England team will humiliate India in India as they humiliated them in England. Even if that doesn't happen, no one should make any assumptions on how they will do in India until it actually happens.

  • Fawwad_Siddiqui on January 19, 2012, 18:18 GMT

    Yeah...Gul proved that its not just about a quality spinner england cant face....its just that their batting lineup proved to be fragile against a balanced bowling attack

  • on January 19, 2012, 18:12 GMT

    Abhisek Bharadwaj: Brilliant comment! For the last three days i've been reading how the english batsmen got spooked by teesra talk, how their bowling is 'exceptional, fantastic, brilliant...' and how the english batsmen weren't prepared for spin and played atrocious shots. Pietersen's shot was bad but credit for that dismissal should also be given to Misbah and his captaincy. He had a plan for Pietersen (actually for all batsmen) and this plan was based on his meticulous preparation. Much is made about his weakness against left arm spin but Pietersen has been in the past vulnerable when hooking early in the innings. Perhaps an article about that would have been more interesting instead of this boring article which reads just like your article after Day 1.

  • on January 19, 2012, 18:12 GMT

    wt about mr so called hussain and botham and boycot

  • risky on January 19, 2012, 18:10 GMT

    The real number 1 team of the world was the Team West Indies of 1970-80s & Team Australia of 1990-2000s. Being a number 1 you have to prove it in every condition & on every wicket.

  • conwayss on January 19, 2012, 18:01 GMT

    As usual an excellent Article George. The difference between the two sides was purely Ajmal. England seeemed mesmerised by him. Prior in the first innings and Trott in the second innings played him ok so lessons can be learnt there. Whilst I agree it was the batsmen that let England down I still think it was te wrong decisionnot to pick a second spinner. The last time we beat a top test nation in asia was with two spinners and we need to show more flexibilty.

    All credit to Pakistan, no real superstars in their side but they were well lead by Misbah and came very well prepared and stuck to their plans.

  • risky on January 19, 2012, 17:53 GMT

    With due respect to every one, I want to clear all of you that it is OK, every team is good in home conditions at the time, but.... UAE wickets have no resemblance to Pakistani wickets. Pakistani wickets are different than these. They have plenty of support for the spinners & in the morning hours they support the seamers. So it is an away series & Pakistan do not have home ground advantage. It is just Pakistan have played a lot on these wickets so they understand them better. Team Pakistan have played equally good in India, SL, NZ, WI and in Eng also. SA & AUS are there real concerns.

  • on January 19, 2012, 17:52 GMT

    England are number one? so what this is just a number written on a piece of paper. Win,loose or draw they are not true number ones. Looking at the facts, they beat Australia, India and Sri lanka. The latter two were played at home and we all know Sri lanka were without Murali and Vaas and they were led by a clueless and uninspiring captain. India had numerous injuries and were probably still on a high from the world cup. As for Australia well england did beat them in Australia...but lets look at the facts again as I remember that the Aussies had just started rebuilding process and they had a couple of key players out of form. So afterall that...the facts!! can anyone safely say England are true number ones? short answer=they were in the right place at the right time.

  • kabe_ag7 on January 19, 2012, 17:51 GMT

    "Broad's shot was breathtakingly poor"? Well that's how he scored runs against India and Australia - swinging away and getting lucky. It's bound to fail someday.

  • Ahwarraich on January 19, 2012, 17:50 GMT

    nicely written article, the age of key players is a concern but we are glad for the unprecedented consistency they are providing right now, lets hope that they can carry on for like this atleast one more year

  • on January 19, 2012, 17:45 GMT

    This result comes as no real surprise. Anyone who has been keeping their eye on Pakistan's performances and results in the Emirates recently would know how well they have been doing. The composition of their side - with three impressive spinners if you include Hafeez, which I do - meant they were always going to trouble an England side that is renowned for playing quality spin poorly. England undoubtedly underperformed with the bat, but I'm expecting a 2-0 Pakistan series win, at least. One-dayers should be a bit more competitive.

  • cricket_fan_1980 on January 19, 2012, 17:45 GMT

    I would have preferred more praise of the victors in this article, as opposed to reading about how shoddy England were. Let's face it, other than Broad's wicket of Taufeeq Umar, England were completely outclassed, outplayed, outwitted, and overwhelmed by a far superior Pakistan side. Pakistan had them in every department, every session, ever parameter to be measured. We outbatted them on a batting pitch where they had two opportunities to shine. Their best batsman against spin was completely bamboozled, twice! Magnificent performance by Pakistan. All praise due to them. Tired of hearing lame excuses by English media and pundits, not enough time to prepare, dubai doesn't have booze, flat track. Well if its a flat track, shouldn't you bat better on it!!??

  • jagmagh on January 19, 2012, 17:41 GMT

    Awesome work by the Pakistani team to a man. The bowlers, batsmen and wicketkeeper all played their part in the win and the catching was very good. Best of all, they never really let the game drift or England really get the upper hand once they had taken the initiative in the 1st session on day 1.I expect the remaining matches to probably be tougher but this Pakistan team looks to have the right attitude and team spirit to take on anyone. Best of luck for the remaining 2 tests.

  • rahulcricket007 on January 19, 2012, 17:39 GMT

    YEAH THIS IS TRUE . THIS PITCH WAS HARDLY PRODUCING ANY TURN . WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO ENGLAND WHEN THEY WILL PLAY ON TURNING TRACKS IN GALLE , COLOMBO , CHENNAI , KOLKATA LATER THIS YEAR.INTERSTING TIMES AHEAD FOR ENGLAND .

  • on January 19, 2012, 17:39 GMT

    World no 1 test team .... very good

  • on January 19, 2012, 17:37 GMT

    Welcome to the subcontinent England! Mind you England had first use of the wicket and squandered it. I think England are a good side , even close to a great one at home, in Australia and perhaps even in South Africa. Sadly England is were Australlia was pre- Steve Waugh. England learn to accept the sub continent and start understanding and even relishing it and things will start to turn. Mind you this was a good wicket. When they come to India and even Sri lanka and realize what a raging runer can be. I think England needs to win in the sub-continent. The final frontier is here, not in Lords. If India can be ridiculed for losing seven in a row, I will not be surprised if England is not far worse. Clearly the best teams have to win in different conditions against different bowlers. England has to deliver if has to remain no 1. Significantly Australia beat Sri Lanka on spinning wickets. sridhar

  • Ryan_H on January 19, 2012, 17:32 GMT

    This was a foregone conclusion. England was never capable of being a world champion test team. It lacks the talent and fighting spirit to be workd champion material although they have world class strategies - like plotting how to beat other teams in their backyard. The strongest part about the english team is their media which overhypes them. Their plays and talens are average at best. We are living in an era where there is no single world champion and evety team can beat the others in their own backyard. The only team I admire and for their fighting spirit is australia but their talent is lacking. its a multipolar world now when it comes to dominating test cricket.

  • bhaiyagi on January 19, 2012, 17:26 GMT

    I somehow feel that instead of praising Pakistan's brillaint effort and professionalism..... George is still trying to say England did it to themselves...... what a pity that credit is not given when it is due. Imagine what George would say if it was Pakistan who lost the test by 10 wickets on the third day.........

  • KarachiKid on January 19, 2012, 17:25 GMT

    Excellent analysis. Cant disagree with a single word written in the article.

  • gfgffhhfh on January 19, 2012, 17:23 GMT

    Since December 2001, England have played 22 Tests in Asia and won just five. Even that modest record flatters them, however. Four of those Tests - and four of those wins - came against Bangladesh. Remove them from the equation and England record is quite gruesome: just one win in 18 and eight losses. That is not No. 1 form, is it?

  • mustufa on January 19, 2012, 17:22 GMT

    I only agree on one point, england lost, the rest is conjecture, sour grapes, and a lot of english whining. Once is a fluke, twice sit and look up, if it happens again, then you need to stop talking and just drink some more english whine.

  • on January 19, 2012, 17:22 GMT

    There was barely any spin to begin with. lol.

  • TheBengalTiger on January 19, 2012, 17:13 GMT

    Cannot wait for England to tour India. will be embarrasing

  • tahir989 on January 19, 2012, 17:13 GMT

    hats off......... splendid article. worth mentioning and highlighting the true facts. well use of the words and nicely punt. Eng will come back firing all the cylinders and Pak would be require to keep their cool and staying focus. The battle has just begin and from here onwards I expect a tough battle and will see how the cookie will crumble.

  • Jack_India on January 19, 2012, 17:11 GMT

    India can't play in English or Australian conditions but it suits them of course. And England can't play spin in India or Pak (Dubai). All teams are strong in their own backyard. Sachin and Sehwag can score double hundreds in India but it is difficult for the whole team put together to score a double hundred in Australia.

  • on January 19, 2012, 17:11 GMT

    The greens crushed the batting lineup !

  • on January 19, 2012, 17:11 GMT

    Every team now is good in its backyard or others' backyards that has the same qualities. The Aussie team of the 1970's were good everywhere. They beat India in India.

  • Snick_To_Backward_Point on January 19, 2012, 17:10 GMT

    Bell is and has always been a superb player of spin - he got out to an absolute corker in the first innings that would have got most top order batsmen. Agree about Pietersen, I can;t stand a batsmen who gives off an air of "that;s the way I play" especially in situations crying out for fortitude and controled agression. Sure, his average is top notch and skills incredible but it;s been a long time since he's pulled a crucuial innings out of the bag when it;s been desperately needed. As for 'England deluding themselves' if there's one thing you can bet your house on, it;s the honesty with which Flower et al will analyse performances. One thing this team will never do is delude themseves.

  • AbdullahShaikh on January 19, 2012, 17:10 GMT

    The so called good players of spin crumbled like a pack of cards.

  • tahir989 on January 19, 2012, 17:09 GMT

    hats off......... splendid article. worth mentioning and highlighting the true facts. well use of the words and nicely punt. Eng will come back firing all the cylinders and Pak would be require to keep their cool and staying focus. The battle has just begin and from here onwards I expect a tough battle and will see how the cookie will crumble.

  • Tanvir110 on January 19, 2012, 17:09 GMT

    England should work hard to play spinner... they have remaining two test to come back and also in near future they will tour to srilanka and srilankan wicket are more helpful for spinners..

  • on January 19, 2012, 17:05 GMT

    Please Cricinfo, we want to read about the Victor and not the Vanished. Please stop reading too much into Eng's ranking which is a poor reflection of the ICC ranking system and nothing else. English players cn't play a decent off-spinner on a flat track and gets beaten by 10 wickets (narrowly avoiding innings defeat) and all we read is how unfortunate they have been. Spare some thought for the wonderful Pakistanis who are steadily climbing up the ladder

  • on January 19, 2012, 17:04 GMT

    Broad got out to a slog. However, if not for slogs England would have lost by an innings. And for the famed battery of pace bowlers, they didnt trouble the Pakistani openers much. Can you say the same when Cheema was unplayable for Strauss. Gul took (almost) 5. So, it wasnt just spin or England's incompetence. Pakistan, just this once were....far superior. England will come hard in the second mathc though.

  • Omarrz on January 19, 2012, 17:04 GMT

    Nice article. Not biased and truly given the due credit to Pakistan.

  • mohsinkazmi on January 19, 2012, 17:03 GMT

    George - I am not sure if your observations and style of writing are ready for Test cricket coverage. Perhaps, you should cover County cricket for another few years before graduating to the big leagues.

  • DrAtharAbbas on January 19, 2012, 17:02 GMT

    Did England lose or Pakistan won? This is not a valid question as both are two aspects of the same fact. A match is a comparison, as the word "match" itself says. Pakistan played better and WON and England played worse than Pakistan [in the comparison] and LOST. Saying one happened and not the other is mathematically/logically outright wrong. "A" can only be bigger than "B" IF B is smaller than A. It is not possible for A to be bigger without B being smaller and vice versa. WHY IS THIS WRITER naively trying to prove B (England) was smaller and A (Pakistan) was not bigger? ... ..... ...... ...... ....... A simple fact is Pakistan Beat England.[ period ] ....... ....... ....... ..........

  • SunnyD on January 19, 2012, 17:02 GMT

    "England have no answer to spin". How about Umar Gul?

  • SunnyD on January 19, 2012, 16:57 GMT

    Hello Die hard English supporters! The conditions were bad, right? All non-high bouncing pitches should be banned, right?

  • on January 19, 2012, 16:57 GMT

    pakistan shudn't relax....can go celebrate this victory but get better prepared for crucial 2nd test......gud luck pakistan...

  • on January 19, 2012, 16:54 GMT

    Geroge, a much more balanced report. Your analysis are mostly correct, however, in previous reports you always looked at it from the English Periscope. Pakistan does not have super stars but now have team players. Pakistan will defeat England 3-0. What makes anyone think that doubts in their mind about doosra has cleared. One huge factor that George probably deliberately avoided is the haughtiness of the English. They thought by beating Australia and India they have become invincible.

  • Tanvir110 on January 19, 2012, 16:54 GMT

    great article by author... well played team Pakistan.... bet of luck to England for remaining matches.. Pakistan team played as a unit they have plane but i think England team haven't showed any plan in this match.. in first inn their batsmen haven't any answer of Ajmal's dosra and in 2nd inn they forget how to play fast bowler....

  • on January 19, 2012, 16:51 GMT

    well done team Pakistan. The no 1 test team in the world couldn't resist for 3 days in a match supposed to be played for 5 days. Dose England deserve to be the no. 1 team?

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 19, 2012, 16:48 GMT

    Still in denial? What self-inflicted damage you are talking about? English batsmen behaved like rabbits caught in the headlights on a highway. They were simply clueless. What's this blameless pitch talk? You mean if it turns, then the pitch deserves blame? So what about grassbowls that pacers feed on? Oh those are sporting tracks and all of that tripe and the grassbowls are blameless because they don't turn (except wrist spinners)! Unless, I repeat, unless the commentators, authors and the powers that be change their attitude and prepare sportier tracks in England that test their players' skills and provide the team to develop multidimensionally, England will continue its historical tag of a poor to average team. There's a reason why this is called Test Cricket. You can't just keep eating grass and think that's the only food. England have excellent personnel now. This is the right time to accept that a change is needed in your unidimensional pitches that are creating euphoria. Think!

  • on January 19, 2012, 16:46 GMT

    A job well done by this pakistani team. Defeating the no. 1 ranked team in test cricket in this fashion is not a joke !

  • jackiethepen on January 19, 2012, 16:46 GMT

    Cook didn't have to worry about Ajmal because he didn't stay in long enough. What the openers benefit from usually is that they can get runs and get in before the spinners strike. If they fail then the middle order arrives without runs on the board and have to face the spinners. This was going to be a spin attack although Gul seems to have blown away our openers in the second innings. It is often easier for batsmen to play a turning ball than to play a ball with very subtle changes to brush the edge. Ajmal actually found it more difficult later on when the ball was turning more sharply. He was missing lbws. Bell's bafflement is partly due to his not paying Ajmal before unlike the rest of the batting lineup. Bell is much better playing spin on turning wickets. This is a new challenge.

  • AMUSMANI on January 19, 2012, 16:44 GMT

    Well Deserve Victory for Pakistan. Pakistani Team outclass England team in every departement. By this effort pakistani team shut the mouth of all critics

  • on January 19, 2012, 16:41 GMT

    England were outplayed in every department and should give the deserved credit to Pakistan.If they adjust to the conditions better,and read the bowlers well, they could display a better performance .Otherwise it will be sorry stories in next two matches.

  • on January 19, 2012, 16:39 GMT

    well done pakistan u can beat any team of the world

  • on January 19, 2012, 16:38 GMT

    lol..England have always been a minnow.They are havnt won a single match in Sri Lanka or India for last 10 yrs. ! their no 1 position is the biggest joke in cricket

  • on January 19, 2012, 16:34 GMT

    It has been proven yet again that England are just "Green Track Bullies". They DO NOT deserve the #1 ranking. Let the English cry babies whining begin!! rofl

  • Khan1983 on January 19, 2012, 16:27 GMT

    Well done dobell, clearly I see a shift in your writing and a less biased article than what you wrote yesterday,May be even pen cannot wash away the writing on the wall,it's simple - a united Pakistan free of any cheats is no match to the rest of the world! The number ones going down in three days to the number fives! And I rest my case

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  • Khan1983 on January 19, 2012, 16:27 GMT

    Well done dobell, clearly I see a shift in your writing and a less biased article than what you wrote yesterday,May be even pen cannot wash away the writing on the wall,it's simple - a united Pakistan free of any cheats is no match to the rest of the world! The number ones going down in three days to the number fives! And I rest my case

  • on January 19, 2012, 16:34 GMT

    It has been proven yet again that England are just "Green Track Bullies". They DO NOT deserve the #1 ranking. Let the English cry babies whining begin!! rofl

  • on January 19, 2012, 16:38 GMT

    lol..England have always been a minnow.They are havnt won a single match in Sri Lanka or India for last 10 yrs. ! their no 1 position is the biggest joke in cricket

  • on January 19, 2012, 16:39 GMT

    well done pakistan u can beat any team of the world

  • on January 19, 2012, 16:41 GMT

    England were outplayed in every department and should give the deserved credit to Pakistan.If they adjust to the conditions better,and read the bowlers well, they could display a better performance .Otherwise it will be sorry stories in next two matches.

  • AMUSMANI on January 19, 2012, 16:44 GMT

    Well Deserve Victory for Pakistan. Pakistani Team outclass England team in every departement. By this effort pakistani team shut the mouth of all critics

  • jackiethepen on January 19, 2012, 16:46 GMT

    Cook didn't have to worry about Ajmal because he didn't stay in long enough. What the openers benefit from usually is that they can get runs and get in before the spinners strike. If they fail then the middle order arrives without runs on the board and have to face the spinners. This was going to be a spin attack although Gul seems to have blown away our openers in the second innings. It is often easier for batsmen to play a turning ball than to play a ball with very subtle changes to brush the edge. Ajmal actually found it more difficult later on when the ball was turning more sharply. He was missing lbws. Bell's bafflement is partly due to his not paying Ajmal before unlike the rest of the batting lineup. Bell is much better playing spin on turning wickets. This is a new challenge.

  • on January 19, 2012, 16:46 GMT

    A job well done by this pakistani team. Defeating the no. 1 ranked team in test cricket in this fashion is not a joke !

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 19, 2012, 16:48 GMT

    Still in denial? What self-inflicted damage you are talking about? English batsmen behaved like rabbits caught in the headlights on a highway. They were simply clueless. What's this blameless pitch talk? You mean if it turns, then the pitch deserves blame? So what about grassbowls that pacers feed on? Oh those are sporting tracks and all of that tripe and the grassbowls are blameless because they don't turn (except wrist spinners)! Unless, I repeat, unless the commentators, authors and the powers that be change their attitude and prepare sportier tracks in England that test their players' skills and provide the team to develop multidimensionally, England will continue its historical tag of a poor to average team. There's a reason why this is called Test Cricket. You can't just keep eating grass and think that's the only food. England have excellent personnel now. This is the right time to accept that a change is needed in your unidimensional pitches that are creating euphoria. Think!

  • on January 19, 2012, 16:51 GMT

    well done team Pakistan. The no 1 test team in the world couldn't resist for 3 days in a match supposed to be played for 5 days. Dose England deserve to be the no. 1 team?