Pakistan v England 2011-12 January 20, 2012

Defeat could herald new era for England

England's coach Andy Flower has backed his team's ability to bounce back from severe setbacks to help them recover in the UAE
  shares 87

As wake-up calls go, England's thrashing at the hands of Pakistan was more a bucket of cold water thrown in the face than a gentle hand on the shoulder and a warm cup of tea. England weren't just beaten, they were overwhelmed.

It's happened before of course. In Perth in December 2010, Johannesburg in January 2010, and Leeds in August 2009, England were dealt equally emphatic defeats. And each time they bounced back with admirable resilience.

This time feels different. On each of the other occasions that England have suffered a heavy defeat since Andy Flower was appointed permanent coach, it has been quite reasonable to dismiss it as an aberration. England had played well previously and there was no reason to think that anything had fundamentally changed. Perhaps it will turn out to be the same this time. Perhaps, in a few weeks, we will look back on this Test as nothing more than a blip.

But there are key differences. This time England are playing in Asian conditions. This time England have no track record upon which to draw comfort. This time could mark the start of a new era.

Flower knows all this. He knows England are in unchartered territory and he knows they cannot live on former glories. He knows, too, that this is the first of three Asian tours within 12 months. But he also knows that outward signs of panic or concern are not going to help and he does feel his team can take comfort from the success with which they have negotiated previous hurdles.

"Beating Australia in Australia was a big test," Flower said. "I'm not sure this is a bigger test, but it is a real test. We've got this tour then Sri Lanka, then India, so we'd better get up to speed very quickly. This team has done great things in the recent past but you have to move on. This result is a very good indication that you have to live in the present. Pakistan outplayed us by a long margin in this Test. We underperformed but we can come back from this."

It was the batting that let England down in Dubai. Most shocking was the shot selection of some senior players with Kevin Pietersen, in particular, succumbing to an especially poor shot: guiding his pull down the throat of the fielder positioned for the stroke at deep square leg. But rather than singling out individuals, Flower was keen for the batting unit to take collective responsibility.

"I don't think we were under prepared. It might be fair to say that the lay-off we've had probably means people aren't quite up to speed as we usually are. However, we needed that break."
Andy Flower on England's preparation

"All batsmen are under pressure to make good decisions and it's unfair to single out one batsman," Flower said. "In a number of instances in both innings there were soft dismissals and poor decisions. If you make poor decisions in Test cricket, you get severely punished for it. Our batsmen have a record of making very good decisions and that's part of the reason why we've done so well recently. We've made some incredible first innings scores to put us into position to put the opposition under pressure. On this occasion we weren't good enough to do that.

"Our batsmen have a pretty good record against spin. I don't think it's a matter of reinventing the wheel. They all have their individual strengths and they have to focus on those. Most of our batsmen will recognise they underperformed. We will try to learn from it. One of our principles is to continually improve and we can certainly improve on this performance."

Flower also defended the form of Andrew Strauss. England's captain has recorded just one century in his last 26 Tests and didn't manage one in 2011. His double failure in Dubai meant the whispers about his position are beginning to grow in volume.

"He's a pretty calm bloke and I wouldn't say he's in poor form at all," Flower said. "He looks very composed and compact at the crease. He got out in the first innings to a shot he wouldn't want to repeat and he was unlucky in the second innings. That's how it goes sometimes. He will come back."

Flower dismissed the suggestion that the selection of Monty Panesar would have made any difference. "We all know it was the batting that let us down," Flower said. "Our bowlers did a superb job to bring us back into the game and if we'd batted better in the second innings, we might have been able to put them under some pressure.

"If we'd taken the game into the fourth or even fifth day, it would have been a really interesting game of cricket. The pitch was excellent, really fair for quick bowlers, spinners and batsmen, and there was certainly no blame on that front. But let's have a look at the conditions in Abu Dhabi and we'll make decisions based on what will give us the best chance of winning."

As officials at Dubai Sports City arranged to give spectators with tickets for the fourth and fifth days their money back, Flower elected to give the team a day-off on Friday. The days of "naughty boy nets" are over. England will train on Saturday before travelling to Abu Dhabi on Sunday. But Flower did suggest, after a long break following the ODI tour of India, that some players were not quite "up to speed".

"I don't think we were underprepared or lacking in application," Flower said. "Our preparation in the two first-class games was good and the facilities were excellent. It might be fair to say that the lay-off we've had probably means people aren't quite up to speed as we usually are. However, we needed that break. The players needed a mental and physical break and you can't have it all ways. Our challenge now is to get up to speed for the second Test.

"One of the exciting things is that there are two Tests left so we can still win the series. I'd much rather be 1-0 up but that's not the case. It's going to take a lot of great cricket to ensure firstly that we get level."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY shikari_pk on | January 23, 2012, 17:47 GMT

    I'm a Pakistani fan. Let me just say that we have waited a long time for this ... for Pakistan to play to their full potential, its finally happening and it feels great. I'm just looking forward to the next game, to see two great teams go at it ... so lets enjoy the game and let the game decide for who stands where. Cricket first!

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | January 23, 2012, 11:13 GMT

    @tiger11 on (January 21 2012, 12:46 PM GMT) - To be honest , I'm not sure we (Eng) will come back but I am hoping. What a refreshingly honest and decent post from you though. Full respect sir

  • POSTED BY theozvinster on | January 22, 2012, 6:36 GMT

    Sri Lanka and India should make turning tracks where the ball turns from tea on day1 and then see how good the English really are,considering they are no1 they should be able to play spin.It would be good to see them skipping around on Asian tracks and see if they have the mettle to be no 1

  • POSTED BY on | January 22, 2012, 1:56 GMT

    @Sandeep1978: totally agree: there's been as much whingeing about slow, low, spinning tracks by non-subcontinental fans as there has been by subcontinental fans about seaming greentops. *Every* team in world cricket prepares pitches to suit their own bowling attacks: they'd be insane not to. It requires a different skill set to perform as successfully in the subcontinent as a batsman might do on pitches with pace & movement, but it *is*, nevertheless, a skill set that takes years of hard graft to maximise. It's ridiculous to dismiss successful subcontinental batsmen as flat track bullies when so many non-subcontinental batsmen fail so dismally on exactly the same pitches. If the 'flat' pitches of the subcontinent are so easy to play on, how come so many non-subcontinental teams keep coming a cropper on them?

  • POSTED BY Naikan on | January 21, 2012, 21:58 GMT

    I can see that some people are doubting Pakistan's results or ability to win more. Please note that while their batting may not be mighty they have always had very good bowlers to draw from - especially for test cricket. I call them wicket taking bowlers and their aim is to snatch the batsmen's wicket and not just contain. I feel Misbah has one of the best appreciation of tactics needed in a test. How many times in the past have teams thrown away the advantage after bowling the opposition for a small score. Misbah made sure that they kept out the oppostion bowling at bay to get the lead he wanted. Please also note that he won a test in England recently and would have probably won the series there if not for the spot fixing scandal. By the way, if he manages to win the next two tests, he will equal Jardine for the top test winning captain of all time (in ratio for captains with 15 or more tests). Pakistan do have a chance of becoming No.1 in tests under him.

  • POSTED BY binojpeter on | January 21, 2012, 18:02 GMT

    @jmcilhinney I am an Indian fan. Personally I don't care much if my team is #1 or #5 as long as they play to their potential. But same people like you were questioning the legitimacy of India's #1 status till last year. We too went through same thoughts and emotions since we knew that we were #1 not because we were invincible but that we played better than rest of the teams till the disastrous England tour. Good to know that you appreciate that feeling now.

  • POSTED BY Optic on | January 21, 2012, 18:01 GMT

    @srivatsan There's nothing like making stuff up is there bud and if I remember rightly Strauss himself scored 158 against india in the WC in India but hat ODi's have to do with anything I don't know.

    @CricketFundas You do realise in England teams play sinners don't you and the wickets spin, that's why Swann averages 24 or whatever it is at home, they've played Ajmal in England and a host of others, so what you've put makes zero sense at all, especially when they play it well at home.

  • POSTED BY Optic on | January 21, 2012, 17:50 GMT

    @Mani Chandru LoL so Indians have in the last 3 years have only beat NZ and WI two team that England haven't played away but more than likely would win but England also beat NZ away in 2008, drew with SA in 2009/10, beat Australia away 3-1. More pertinent is the embarrassing hammerings india have been on the end of the past year, why don't you go over to the India v Aus board instead of bleating just because England lost a test, something the rest of the test world has done for quite some time, so no one can do it. otherwise they'll look a bit of a mug. How stupid is everyone going to look if England come back and win the series.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | January 21, 2012, 15:34 GMT

    I'm getting rather sick of people saying that England have to win in the subcontinent to be considered #1. That's complete twaddle. They certainly do not. Any team would have to perform consistently well everywhere to be considered "great", but you don't have to be great to be #1. You just have to have played better overall than everyone else recently and England have done that, therefore they are #1. There's no team at the moment who can claim to be great so does that mean that there's no #1? Any ranking system will be subjective to a degree but the ICC rankings were not created with a bias to any specific team in mind. The #1 ranking will quite possibly change hands a number of times for a while and whichever team holds it will have the best recent record and therefore will deserve it.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | January 21, 2012, 15:11 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas, you and many others keep saying that the England batsmen have a poor record against spin. During the telecast of the first test, they showed the England batsmen's averages against both pace and spin and every one of them was better against spin; some by a big margin. How do you explain that? Could it be that the opinion that England batsmen are poor against spin is based purely on impression and not on any actual objective analysis? If that's not the case, how about you provide some actual evidence?

  • POSTED BY shikari_pk on | January 23, 2012, 17:47 GMT

    I'm a Pakistani fan. Let me just say that we have waited a long time for this ... for Pakistan to play to their full potential, its finally happening and it feels great. I'm just looking forward to the next game, to see two great teams go at it ... so lets enjoy the game and let the game decide for who stands where. Cricket first!

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | January 23, 2012, 11:13 GMT

    @tiger11 on (January 21 2012, 12:46 PM GMT) - To be honest , I'm not sure we (Eng) will come back but I am hoping. What a refreshingly honest and decent post from you though. Full respect sir

  • POSTED BY theozvinster on | January 22, 2012, 6:36 GMT

    Sri Lanka and India should make turning tracks where the ball turns from tea on day1 and then see how good the English really are,considering they are no1 they should be able to play spin.It would be good to see them skipping around on Asian tracks and see if they have the mettle to be no 1

  • POSTED BY on | January 22, 2012, 1:56 GMT

    @Sandeep1978: totally agree: there's been as much whingeing about slow, low, spinning tracks by non-subcontinental fans as there has been by subcontinental fans about seaming greentops. *Every* team in world cricket prepares pitches to suit their own bowling attacks: they'd be insane not to. It requires a different skill set to perform as successfully in the subcontinent as a batsman might do on pitches with pace & movement, but it *is*, nevertheless, a skill set that takes years of hard graft to maximise. It's ridiculous to dismiss successful subcontinental batsmen as flat track bullies when so many non-subcontinental batsmen fail so dismally on exactly the same pitches. If the 'flat' pitches of the subcontinent are so easy to play on, how come so many non-subcontinental teams keep coming a cropper on them?

  • POSTED BY Naikan on | January 21, 2012, 21:58 GMT

    I can see that some people are doubting Pakistan's results or ability to win more. Please note that while their batting may not be mighty they have always had very good bowlers to draw from - especially for test cricket. I call them wicket taking bowlers and their aim is to snatch the batsmen's wicket and not just contain. I feel Misbah has one of the best appreciation of tactics needed in a test. How many times in the past have teams thrown away the advantage after bowling the opposition for a small score. Misbah made sure that they kept out the oppostion bowling at bay to get the lead he wanted. Please also note that he won a test in England recently and would have probably won the series there if not for the spot fixing scandal. By the way, if he manages to win the next two tests, he will equal Jardine for the top test winning captain of all time (in ratio for captains with 15 or more tests). Pakistan do have a chance of becoming No.1 in tests under him.

  • POSTED BY binojpeter on | January 21, 2012, 18:02 GMT

    @jmcilhinney I am an Indian fan. Personally I don't care much if my team is #1 or #5 as long as they play to their potential. But same people like you were questioning the legitimacy of India's #1 status till last year. We too went through same thoughts and emotions since we knew that we were #1 not because we were invincible but that we played better than rest of the teams till the disastrous England tour. Good to know that you appreciate that feeling now.

  • POSTED BY Optic on | January 21, 2012, 18:01 GMT

    @srivatsan There's nothing like making stuff up is there bud and if I remember rightly Strauss himself scored 158 against india in the WC in India but hat ODi's have to do with anything I don't know.

    @CricketFundas You do realise in England teams play sinners don't you and the wickets spin, that's why Swann averages 24 or whatever it is at home, they've played Ajmal in England and a host of others, so what you've put makes zero sense at all, especially when they play it well at home.

  • POSTED BY Optic on | January 21, 2012, 17:50 GMT

    @Mani Chandru LoL so Indians have in the last 3 years have only beat NZ and WI two team that England haven't played away but more than likely would win but England also beat NZ away in 2008, drew with SA in 2009/10, beat Australia away 3-1. More pertinent is the embarrassing hammerings india have been on the end of the past year, why don't you go over to the India v Aus board instead of bleating just because England lost a test, something the rest of the test world has done for quite some time, so no one can do it. otherwise they'll look a bit of a mug. How stupid is everyone going to look if England come back and win the series.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | January 21, 2012, 15:34 GMT

    I'm getting rather sick of people saying that England have to win in the subcontinent to be considered #1. That's complete twaddle. They certainly do not. Any team would have to perform consistently well everywhere to be considered "great", but you don't have to be great to be #1. You just have to have played better overall than everyone else recently and England have done that, therefore they are #1. There's no team at the moment who can claim to be great so does that mean that there's no #1? Any ranking system will be subjective to a degree but the ICC rankings were not created with a bias to any specific team in mind. The #1 ranking will quite possibly change hands a number of times for a while and whichever team holds it will have the best recent record and therefore will deserve it.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | January 21, 2012, 15:11 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas, you and many others keep saying that the England batsmen have a poor record against spin. During the telecast of the first test, they showed the England batsmen's averages against both pace and spin and every one of them was better against spin; some by a big margin. How do you explain that? Could it be that the opinion that England batsmen are poor against spin is based purely on impression and not on any actual objective analysis? If that's not the case, how about you provide some actual evidence?

  • POSTED BY sandeep1978 on | January 21, 2012, 14:43 GMT

    PAK played well. Eng did not.Thats why they lost.End of story.Does that mean Eng is an awful side? No.They r not as great as their media made them out to be, but they are the best side going around.I am an indian and love my team, but i dont see how gloating abt another team's loss is going to help us.Pak has always had a great bowling and batting side, but the batting lineup in this team seems to be their weakest in memory.That is where they r vulnerable.But good luck to them.Imagine how good they would have been with Aamir and Asif both playing.That would have been awesome.Probably the best attack in the world, and that is saying something, with the rise in quality of pace bowlers everywhere. And I also wish Eng, Aus and Saf fans stop referring disparagingly to our so called 'Dustbowls'.You have every right to prepare seaming tracks and we see no reason to stop making spinning pitches. That is where the real fun lies...

  • POSTED BY shillingsworth on | January 21, 2012, 14:03 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas - grass is 'shaved off' test pitches in England. It is a myth that test or indeed first class cricket in England is played on green wickets. That is the reality to which I and everyone else who actually watches test cricket in England woke up to years ago. Everyone supports wickets which turn as the game progresses. In a dry summer, that is precisely what happens in England.

  • POSTED BY KingOwl on | January 21, 2012, 12:50 GMT

    An ERA? A NEW era?? I thought the old era of being fake #1 lasted about 9 months!! About half of that time, they were not even playing any cricket!!

  • POSTED BY din7 on | January 21, 2012, 12:46 GMT

    @Amritpreet Singh and my other indian bros. (cause i m indian) INDIA WERE BEATEN 4-0 in eng and now 3-0 in australia, accept that mates. we were never good enough to beat teams outside subcontinent. Apart from mediocre WI and NZ and mind u india evn haven't won in srilanka ...a big shame! and still some indians feel that we were worthy no1 and get ur mind tested. And for ur kind info eng is going to win next test and hopefully the series or drew it but they aren't going to be thrashed whitewash like indians are being now. Better wait for home series and indians will beat other teams and be happy! So called indian cricket fans

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | January 21, 2012, 12:19 GMT

    @thePakistanian on (January 21 2012, 03:14 AM GMT) - Where are all the comms that are blaming the Pak victory on a long break. I and others have said that it's a combination of both Eng batting poorly and Pak bowling well. If you read one of my other posts I compliment the Pak batting more than the bowling as Eng actually bowled ok at Pak but Pak remained disciplined and posted a fairly decent total. Anyway it's natural for a fan to criticise his own team more than give credit to the other team for winning a match , in whatever team sport you're in. If Pak had been twice bowled out for less than 200 the Pak fans would have been criticising their own batsmen rather than complimenting our bowlers. In truth it's usually a combination of the 2. If you look at England's 2nd inns , some of the Batsmen (Prior for example) were out to very decent deliveries and some (KP) gave their wicket away

  • POSTED BY hhillbumper on | January 21, 2012, 10:37 GMT

    I think a batting line up like Englands was made to look very inadequate. i feel that they will play better and Bell and Pietersen can play spin well.It is no bad thing to go through this as it will prove if they are a good team or not.indeed to be world number 1 they need to prove it worldwide.otherwise they are just as bad as India really.We did win the last series in subcontinent by the way.

  • POSTED BY bobmartin on | January 21, 2012, 10:28 GMT

    @Sreejith "England won't remain no 1 for long .If they have to be really considered as the no;1 test side they have to win in Subcontinent " ..India did not remain no 1 for long .If they had to be really considered as the no;1 test side they had to win outside the subcontinent... Touché

  • POSTED BY 07sanjeewakaru on | January 21, 2012, 10:03 GMT

    England is very poor in facing spin.When they met SL in last ENG summer ODI's they struggled to deal with even very slowly bowled googlies by partytimer Jeewan mendis.Surely their batters will struggle in ASIA.But Don't be overconfidence.As you may know SL beat SA in SA When even someones wildly dream not allowed for that.No team has ever beaten AUS in AUS innings for 3 times in one summer.But this ENG team did.Don't take off the paddle PAK.Ensure not long regime for this commenwelthXI (ENG) it's good for world cricket.

  • POSTED BY MattBlake on | January 21, 2012, 9:09 GMT

    Sorry I stopped reading when I got to "unchartered waters"....

  • POSTED BY on | January 21, 2012, 8:50 GMT

    Firstly, congratulations to Pakistan: you hammered us fair & square. I've always loved the passion, the guts & the sheer exuberance with which you guys - players & fans alike - approach your cricket. Secondly, I hope that other England supporters will join me in deploring the ugly furore kicked up by the trashier sections of the British media over Ajmal's action: it's been deemed fit for purpose by the ICC & that should be the end of the matter. Thirdly, I'm with George re Strauss: he's increasingly prone to alarming lapses of concentration, he seems unable to craft lengthy innings anymore, he plays top-class spin like a befuddled, impatient schoolboy &, like the former Indian 'legends' whose reflexes, timing & co-ordination have been so cruelly exposed over the past six months, he's getting close to his sell-by date. Finally, let's hope Flower & Strauss finally realise that spin is the weapon of choice in this series & play *both* their world-class spinners in Abu Dhabi...

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | January 21, 2012, 8:04 GMT

    Amritpreet Singh on (January 20 2012, 22:26 PM GMT) - ah, once again the history lesson. It's clear that right now there are a billion india fans taking great comfort in the fact that they beat New Zealand 3 years ago. Bravo, well done. And please tell us @Amritpreet Singh, how this helped india in 2011 in England (lost 4-0), and Australia in 2012 - where they are currently losing 3-0. Now, instead of reminding us of just how bad india are - why don't you toddle off back to the Australia V india forums and have a jolly time there with all the other excuse makers?

  • POSTED BY LillianThomson on | January 21, 2012, 7:55 GMT

    Several points here. 1. ENG / SA / AUS / PAK are fairly similar in strength currently - there is no outstanding team in this era. 2. Pakistan only lost 3-1 while fixing away in England in 2010 because the selectors managed to leave Younis, Misbah and Yousaf at home and select novices instead. 3. England will find it much easier in India than the UAE, and not because India are a weaker team, but because DRS makes it much easier for spinners to get lbw decisions. Andy Flower in 2003 scored the following in Test innings in India: 183*, 70, 55 and 232*, using his pad as much as his bat in a pre-DRS era. His England will be praying that India continue to veto DRS.

  • POSTED BY SaleemSabir on | January 21, 2012, 7:53 GMT

    Another pathatic article, i truly agree with Nvalley, like Hopps , Dobell cant praise the goo dperfromance by Pakistan without a pinch of salt...! i was in the ground that day with my 5 year old Son, we were both wearing pakistan Shirts and weaving a Pkaistan Flag, sitting right in the middle of the Barmy Army, and we had such good responses by the english Supporters were they were all praising the Pakistan teams performance and my son was bing supported by many when he was shanting pakistan Zindabad......! bottomline the English fans are mature enough to accept that they were beaten by a good team, its the English media ex players and the Journalists like Hopps and Dobell who need to grow up .......

  • POSTED BY demon_bowler on | January 21, 2012, 7:17 GMT

    The author of this piece must have trouble sitting down with both his knees jerking like that. Of course it is not a time for wholesale changes after one defeat following a year without a single defeat.

  • POSTED BY me54321 on | January 21, 2012, 5:28 GMT

    I have to agree with big_al_81, these new UK writers cricinfo are using aren't a patch on what we're used to.

  • POSTED BY on | January 21, 2012, 5:27 GMT

    To all those INDIA HATERS, please have a read. INDIA WON A TEST SERIES IN ENGLAND IN 2007. INDIA WON TWO TEST SERIES IN WEST INDIES IN 2006 AND 2011. INDIA ALSO WON A TEST SERIES IN NEWZEALAND IN 2009. THEY DREW A TEST SERIES IN SOUTH AFRICA IN 2011. THATS WHY THEY WERE NO 1. WHAT HAS ENGLAND DONE?? ENGLAND ONLY WON A TEST SERIES IN AUSTRALIA. WHEN DID THEY LAST WIN A SERIES IN SUBCONTINENT?????? CRICINFO PLEASE PUBLISH

  • POSTED BY JB77 on | January 21, 2012, 5:04 GMT

    @ James Gordon; Heh have to laugh at the standard 'you've just lost the Ashes AGAIN' retort whenever an Aussie poster questions English cricket. You're right, we've lost two in a row now, one of those at home and that really sucks....but it's hardly a 16-year drought is it? Funny that we only seem to count Ashes wins post-2007 nowadays. Anyway, I see Strauss as much like Michael Vaughan; an average batsman who enjoyed a great season (or two) and who's tactical/captaincy ability is greatly inflated by the press to some sort of king-like standard (I've seen him described in Cricinfo articles as 'regal' more than once lately. Regal? Really?). He's 34 now and he's no Dravid, Ponting or Tendulkar (i.e. he won't play until his late 30's)....who's to say he'll even be around for the next Ashes? With Cook heir apparent Strauss will be hoping he scores a ton soon.

  • POSTED BY kasyapm on | January 21, 2012, 3:59 GMT

    Mr. Dobell, you were showering praises on England after the 2nd day's play and now you appear to write them off. I feel we should put off such early assessments (positive or negative). England are a fine team and they have done well to well so many matches in 2010/11. I believe they won't go down without a fight. But, is that sufficient to win the series? we have to wait and see. We will know by this year end whether they can improve their record in Asia.

  • POSTED BY Capround on | January 21, 2012, 3:26 GMT

    Another word for "soft" cricket is "gentlemanly" cricket. Appreciating an opponent's delivery or a century does not detract from competitiveness. Lets leave the brawls and snarls for other sports -- though the occasional stare down or wise crack does add the right spice.

  • POSTED BY thePakistanian on | January 21, 2012, 3:14 GMT

    Interestingly, lot of English fans are not accepting Ajmal brilliant bowling & Pakistan general success over England. Rather they are busy telling; it's just cuz of long break & poor batting! I agree that shot selection was poor in 1st innings but in 2 consecutive innings failure on a batting track was mainly due to planned excellent bowling. &thats exactly Swann said in an interview about English bowlers performance against India. When English media started saying that India is losing cuz of abject batting, Swann hit back and said that yes it might be poor batting but u can't take credit away from Anderson Broad Bresnen & Swann from blowing India's huge batting lineup! Same applies here! Unless England comes back hard & makes it 2-1! Which, in Asian conditions, even against average & undisciplined Pakistan was not possible, so its difficult with this Pakistan now! Great job by Hafeez,Gul,Rehman & Akmal. Ajmal & Misbah in particular! Good Luck Pakistan. Better luck next time England!

  • POSTED BY CricketFundas on | January 21, 2012, 2:47 GMT

    @5wombats It's a good thing that England didnt play a 5 test series in India. Then England would have been 0-6 and counting, and probably be 0-8 by the time pakistan is done with this English team.

    And, if you think that this is one bad game for England, you are truly delusional. It's clear to all that the English crickets wet their pants whenever they need to play spin. The wonderful thing about the Pak victory was that both the spinners and the pacers decimated the poor English "batting" line up is!

    Smacking my lips at the next Pakistan victory - Go Pakistan.

  • POSTED BY aracer on | January 21, 2012, 2:21 GMT

    @Amritpreet Singh - no need to shout old chap, cricinfo will publish your comments anyway. If you're asking when England last won a series in the subcontinent, please remind me when India last won a series in Australia (something you dismiss as so unimportant). Meanwhile England have also recently won in NZ, drawn in SA, and not much longer ago won in both SA and WI. We even managed a drawn series in India.

  • POSTED BY dinosaurus on | January 21, 2012, 1:09 GMT

    @Naveed Khan

    You may be the person with low IQ! Steve Davis did what the "rules" say he should do. Don't insult other people because of your own ignorance!!

  • POSTED BY Shongololo on | January 21, 2012, 0:57 GMT

    I'm sorry, George Dobell, but to suggest that prior to the loss in Johannesburg in January 2010 "England had played well" stretches the truth somewhat. England hung on in the first Test at Centurion, being nine wickets down, buckets of runs behind and largely outplayed over the five days. South Africa's Durban meltdown continued in this series but England were again on the ropes in Cape Town, again hanging in with nine wckets down and many runs in arrears. South Africa should have won that series 3-1, so comprehensively outplayed were England.

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | January 21, 2012, 0:54 GMT

    @clark501, ECB can certainly shave the grass on the pitch if they don't have the technology to control their climate ;). If I'm living in a dinosaur era by supporting spinning tracks then that means pacy wickets are a new phenomenon ( O _ O )??? Lol...Clarky! Just getting bitter doesn't help mate. Wake up and get the reality. Will you? England is getting slaughtered and the pitch isn't even a rank turner. Imagine if it was a rank turner ( O _ O )! Whatever you want to say, this English team is full of talent and ECB has to move forward instead of living in a dinosaur era. If they change, they'll help. If they don't change, they are not helping the talented English players to grow. @5wombats, yes mate I'm sure having a laugh after a long while 0-7 and counting...aren't you happy for me ;)?

  • POSTED BY HatsforBats on | January 21, 2012, 0:31 GMT

    @ James Gordon, what exactly does Engalnd's very poor asian record, and the very ordinary form of their tactically-bland captain, have to do with beating Australia? As for our revolving door of fast bowlers, I guess England are far too superior for their fast bowlers to get injuries right?

  • POSTED BY on | January 21, 2012, 0:13 GMT

    Grace in victory and defeat is the way. England were outplayed in this match and with proper attitude the tables could be turned. Number 1 spot does not mean much on a day when your preparation is lacking and nerves take complete control. India had they day in the sun too and suddenly now are in a free fall. Just get on with the game. Schopenhauer the German philosopher said - journalists are like dogs ... they keep quite until something moves ... and then they start barking. Let them bark.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | January 21, 2012, 0:00 GMT

    @Amritpreet Singh on (January 20 2012, 22:26 PM GMT) - If we did hate India , why would their past achievements suddenly make us like them? Is there really any point in listing all the past achievements and including the win in NZ? I've done all the stats stuff before and can't be bothered to go through it again. I could say when did you last win a series in Australia etc - it's pointless. If we fail dismally in Pak and SL after the series then it will mean something because we will likely have lost our number 1 ranking but to SA - NOT India.

  • POSTED BY on | January 20, 2012, 23:54 GMT

    It' an error to include Jo'burg because it was the last game of a series where England was completely outplayed... they gave up a 1-0 lead and allowed the Proteas to level the series... a bit of spine might have allowed them to bat till the rains appeared that might have washed out 1.5 days and given them a draw...

  • POSTED BY Nvalley on | January 20, 2012, 22:49 GMT

    @big-al-81 -You didn't mind Hopps and Debell when they wrote such one sided accounts of the second days play that I almost forgot there were two team on the ground and one had just taken a 96 run lead. Now that they are writing critical pieces you don't appear to like it very much.

    I know however why you don't like columns critical of England, because journalists have have got it wrong after all- the real reason is not because they were "undercooked", rusty etc. They were up against a quality bowling unit, the likes which they had not faced in recent times (Including Australia). Sure enough it helped Pakistan's cause with a few irresponsible shots- but that is not the sole reason. It is the brilliance of Pakistan's bowlers that should be stressed more- may be that will get England to focus on the real issue.

  • POSTED BY on | January 20, 2012, 22:43 GMT

    @foursandsixes remember this time last winter i believe you had lost The Ashes AGAIN and i think you should keep quiet till you play them there too as we still have 2 tests left like Flower said and we can easily win them if the right team is put out remember u beating us at Perth and what happened boxing day Aus all out 98 and Eng 158-0 so dont put us down just yet. and the aussies with there revolvoing door of a fast bowling dept. eng to draw the series

  • POSTED BY on | January 20, 2012, 22:26 GMT

    To all those INDIA HATERS, please have a read. INDIA WON A TEST SERIES IN ENGLAND IN 2007. INDIA WON TWO TEST SERIES IN WEST INDIES IN 2006 AND 2011. INDIA ALSO WON A TEST SERIES IN NEWZEALAND IN 2009. THEY DREW A TEST SERIES IN SOUTH AFRICA IN 2011. THATS WHY THEY WERE NO 1. WHAT HAS ENGLAND DONE?? ENGLAND ONLY WON A TEST SERIES IN AUSTRALIA. WHEN DID THEY LAST WIN A SERIES IN SUBCONTINENT?????? CRICINFO PLEASE PUBLISH

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | January 20, 2012, 22:15 GMT

    I like Flower. He's a cool , calm man who doesn't get too carried away when we are performing and doesn't get too down when we are not. Indian fans notice - no excuses from Flower whatsoever as this is something we are so often accused of. It does look very tough for us and we do have to give Pakistan credit and I'm not so much talking about their bowlers. It could be argued that Eng were bowled out cheaply twice because of how bad the batsmen were - probably a combination of bad batting and decent bowling - but I was more impressed with how they did with the bat , because our bowling was good. In the past Pakistan might have been a bit eratic but were very disciplined in this test. A sign that they value their wickets more.

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | January 20, 2012, 22:07 GMT

    @jackiethepen on (January 20 2012, 13:19 PM GMT) - agreed. Talk of Strauss having to go is just so much rubbish. You don't dump an England Captain who has won an Ashes series in Australia with 3 Innings victories, thrashed the "world number one team" to become number one (with 2 Innings victories) - just because of one defeat. Pakistan played well and deserved the win - can't blame it on anything except good play by Pakistan. Simples. @Dravid_Gravitas - you are having a laugh; "the dinosaur era of grassbowls and grazing fields". Yeah, right. Maybe this comment is here because it is proved that india dinosaurs are incapable of playing on such surfaces. 7-0 and counting......

  • POSTED BY shillingsworth on | January 20, 2012, 22:07 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas - it is you who is living in a dinosaur era if you believe that English pitches are 'one dimensional grassbowls'. These days are long gone. The English climate certainly tends to produce helpful conditions for seam bowlers and rarely favours the spinners but I don't see what the ECB can do about that.

  • POSTED BY Sreejith.... on | January 20, 2012, 22:07 GMT

    England won't remain no 1 for long .If they have to be really considered as the no;1 test side they have to win in Subcontinent .England's spin misery will remain with them for ever .The moment they are unable to read the spin they try to sweep the spinners.England cannot win a ODI in India let alone a test .

  • POSTED BY Rahulbose on | January 20, 2012, 22:04 GMT

    Flower is a great coach, but he has a big challenge ahead of him. Surprising fact is that even he (easily one of the best players against spin during his hey days) cannot teach English batsmen how to handle spin. As for the series I am reminded of the Ind -Srl series were none of the Indian top order could read Mendis and got thumped in the first test. Eng are too good a team not to bounce back.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | January 20, 2012, 21:54 GMT

    It was the lack of application by the England players that was dispiriting. All the resolve that they showed in getting to #1 seemed to have disappeared. They are perfectly capable of playing spin (David Gravitas: Mishra 0-170, Swann 9-208 at The Oval last year- I guess that slipped your mind?) and in the second innings the top 4 went down to Umar Gul, a hard-working but not particularly gifted seamer. Pakistan played as though they had something to prove, England didn't. That had better change for the next two tests or they'll be going home with their tail between their legs. I do think the balance of the team was wrong; if Panesar had been playing, Pakistan wouldn't have got 300 and if England are to win on the subcontinent they must have 2 spinners in the second innings. Mistakes must be fixed and denying the problem isn't the way to do it.

  • POSTED BY Toescrusher on | January 20, 2012, 21:52 GMT

    It is not about England has lost; rather it is about how England has lost? The alarming thing from England's point of view is they have exposed their weakness against the spin to their opponent and their opponent(s) will take full advantage of it not only in this series but series against India and Sri Lanka as well. Andy Flower is trying his best to sell his explanations but writing is on the wall that England will be on the receiving end in the Subcontinent; any one can easily conclude this by watching England's desire less approach in the first test against Pakistan at Dubai. Bottom line is if home works are not done properly a small mistake can have dominos effect on the whole team and the entire team gets into the panic mode. Playing spin, googlies, doosra, and teesra on turning track requires a lot more attention than what Andy Flower is explaining.

  • POSTED BY wrenx on | January 20, 2012, 21:18 GMT

    @spence1324 Really disappointing to hear that... we all suspect that England pride themselves more on their unpleasant behaviour than their cricketing talent, so it's not good to have it confirmed by their supporters. Leave the childish nonsense of "getting in their faces and sledging them" behind - it's about playing good cricket.

  • POSTED BY da_man_ on | January 20, 2012, 21:13 GMT

    @Lee Gray; that is the most ridiculous piece of self involved garbage I have ever heard. You think a margin of 15 runs between an innings defeat and a 10 wicket defeat means they were not overwhelmed? Give me a break, you really are clutching at straws and hurting more than we thought! As for your comments about Saeed Ajmal, yeah well my dad's been scoring daddy hundreds in our back garden for 15 years, by your logic he's better than Alistair Cook right? England are the best team in the world still, one loss doesn't change that. However a section of the fans have a long way to go when it comes to acknowledging a worthy adversary it seems.

  • POSTED BY toon118 on | January 20, 2012, 19:56 GMT

    Firstly, well done Pakistan. They played much the better cricket over the (gulp) three days of this test match and really gave England a good hiding. However, now is not the time to panic. England hardly got to number one in the world by a total accident, but clearly the "subcontinental" pitches are a challenge that they have yet to overcome. There is so much class in this England batting line up - Trott and Prior proved it was possible for English (or South African!) players to bat on this pitch, and I would be surprised if the rest failed to cash in at some stage against a good but not great Pakistan attack. As for England preparing home pitches that aren't green - we should do that as soon as India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka stop preparing dust bowls. That's part of the beauty of the game - coping with alien conditions on tour. For England to prepare pitches just like those overseas would not only be extremely silly, it would kill off the variation that makes cricket so challenging

  • POSTED BY Nutcutlet on | January 20, 2012, 19:30 GMT

    This side has been together for quite a while. It's been a side that can come back from defeats, as George Dobell rightly points out. And the old adage about it not being broken applies. I won't say it's broken quite yet, but a poor show in Abu Dhabi will confirm what looks suspiciously like a hairline crack appearing more serious. If this proves the case, then the clamour for changes will certainly start to grow louder. "Managing Change" may well be Flower's next major task. I'm not going to push the claims of A & B because the form of A & B will be known in detail by the England set-up and what can bystanders like me know in comparison? The point is that once a player is identified, expect England to give him a good long run in the side, possibly as many as ten tests. Flower will, I am sure, be beginning to think about who now needs to step aside, as well as who should come forward. Leaving it too late begins to look reactive/ panicky - and the two Andies don't do headless chickens!

  • POSTED BY on | January 20, 2012, 19:29 GMT

    Pakistan played for 120 overs in their 1st innings. A few very dubious umpiring decisions, specially of Saeed Ajmal and Hafeez cut Pakistan Innings short. Whenever a team plays for 120 overs, it is seldom that they loose. All the debate about the weak English Batting is well placed, I am not sure that England has the bowling prowess to bowl out Pakistan twice. Did any body tell this to Fowler? Also, who has made Steve Davis a Test Umpire? He is a person with low IQ. Giving Ajmal out was a Howler. Giving Hafeez out when ball hit him outside the line of off-stump was at best a very poor call. Purpose of DRS was to avoid howler's than if you leave DRS in the hands of Steve Davis, then howlers can not be avoided.

  • POSTED BY on | January 20, 2012, 19:24 GMT

    @spence1324 soft brand of cricket? once pakistan get in the face of the opposition they are a fiery bunch... cant see how anyone would have called pakistan soft lol wasim, waqar, shoiab and co.... i really do hope that england bring on there A game because it will force pakistan to make some changes... winning like that has painted over the cracks... they havent really been tested even by SA here... ofcourse i want pakistan to win but would be good to see how pakistan handle the pressure under the cosh and learn from it.... @Paul rone-clarke panesar should play even instead of swan... but why isnt peterson bowling more?

  • POSTED BY BasharatRehman on | January 20, 2012, 18:44 GMT

    Mr. Lee Grey writes "One of my clubs oldest members has been bowling 'The Third One' or Teesra for years and he's 72 and still spins the ball twice as much as Ajmal does." Please PUT HIM ON FIRST FLIGHT TO DUBAI. England needs this talented cricketer desperately ( even if he is 72 ) Andy Flower or WHOLE ENGLISH team will be there at the air port to receive him. England has tried hard but failed to copy Ajmal and Qadir but failed miserably, and here you are...HIDING THIS TALENT FOR 72 YEARS, who according to you is better than Ajmal. He will definitely make England win 2nd Test & you will receive VICTORIA CROSS for your contributions.

  • POSTED BY hatmania on | January 20, 2012, 18:32 GMT

    @ Spence1234; "soft" brand of cricket??? I suggest you read up on Miandad and Ganguly, and the legacies they left behind for their respective countries. Anyway, as Andy Roberts said once, "Let your cricket do the talking".

  • POSTED BY cricketlover92 on | January 20, 2012, 17:47 GMT

    lolzz luk at andys mandy :P

  • POSTED BY rahulcricket007 on | January 20, 2012, 17:42 GMT

    WELL , WELL . THIS WAS FIRST TEST . WE CAN BOUNCE BACK & WIN NEXT GAME . IT SOUNDS LIKE DHONI IS TALKING TO MEDIA NOT ANDY FLOWER .

  • POSTED BY big_al_81 on | January 20, 2012, 17:31 GMT

    I'm really surprised by the apparent relish that some writers officially used by Cricinfo seem to be displaying about one Test defeat. When did David Hopps suddenly start writing major pieces for Cricinfo? I've seen him in the print media for years but suddenly he's on here delighting in England's demise with every break in play. Now here's George Dobell loving it too. There are far too many cynics and hacks who can write copy and absolutely LOVE it when an opportunity comes along to shoot down a team or individual in British sport who is doing well. It's no wonder we see so many sportsmen and women struggling with stress and depression - they don't just have to take on the sporting opposition - there's a genuinely hostile enemy - the media. It stinks frankly. We were thrashed in this one. It's not difficult to see why, rusty, stupid batting in one match. Now get over it, stop the idle speculation the No1 rank. Well done Pakistan, good to see you back.

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | January 20, 2012, 17:29 GMT

    Andy says their batsmen have a pretty good record against spin. If this is the way Andy wants to live in denial, then that doesn't augur well for England. Their record is anything but good against spin. As an outsider, I see the one dimensional English pitches as one major problem area. There may be some other problems that we may not know. ECB should realise that this is the most talented English team they have in ages, and so they should realise that this is the right time for them to move forward and prepare sporting tracks in their country instead of continuing to live in the dinosaur era of grassbowls and grazing fields.

  • POSTED BY Sports4Youth on | January 20, 2012, 17:29 GMT

    This Pak team is on an upward graph & growing in confidence very fast. And to compliment it, it is controlled by a vey calm Captain. More over now England is in unchartered teritory and never done particularly well in these conditions. I don't see how they can come back from this situation though in cricket nothing is impossible. I think if England can draw the remaining matches they would have done well, But that would mean a loss of the series.

  • POSTED BY spence1324 on | January 20, 2012, 17:27 GMT

    @ibilal with all due respect I want england to get in there faces and sledging its the way to do it as the subcontinent teams have a history of playing a 'soft' brand of cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | January 20, 2012, 16:18 GMT

    I think this series if lost by Eng still will not embark their downfall because pak has strong spin and fast department but our other neighbours Ind and SL lacks good bowling attacks so i think Eng will fare well against Ind and SL then against us .And also the Strauss is a good captain he should be given long run he is decent batsmen nice fellow we pakistanis like him and his attitude .I can predict that Eng will perform better in asian conditions provide they maintain same team and don do too many changes .Monty & Finn shud be given chances though.Good luck english mates in next test .

  • POSTED BY dapervez on | January 20, 2012, 16:06 GMT

    An excellent game by Pakistan no doubt, but the talks of new era ending i guess is going a little over board, I mean in this test match pakistan was the dominant team but England did not get to NO.1 status just by fluke, One bad game cannot derail a good team. England is a very good team and Pakistan should be ready for the english team bouncing back.

    That said WELL DONE Pakistan but beware of complacency in the upcoming games, the series is not over yet.

    GO PAKISTAN GO!!

  • POSTED BY srivatsan on | January 20, 2012, 15:45 GMT

    Pre series Strauss had a unwilling attitude towards playing in Dubai. Not sure if it's because the team is not capable or grounds are not upto mark. Of course any sub continent pitch is sub standard for English Lads. Great teams never complain and go about their business, one should remember steve waugh, bevan and tendulkar scored centures (though in ODIs) in desert storm conditions. There were no demons in the pitch and the fact England won the toss nullified that advantage to Pakistan.

  • POSTED BY foursandsixes on | January 20, 2012, 15:22 GMT

    England will lose 0-3 to Pakistan (and come on guys, UAE is *home* advantage to Pakistan!), 0-2 to SL and 0-3 to India. Get ready, you Poms!

  • POSTED BY billy_bilal on | January 20, 2012, 15:13 GMT

    I think England is lucky to have flower as their coach. I love his positivity. He is still talking about wining the series, whereas many coaches in this situation would be happy with a draw.

  • POSTED BY on | January 20, 2012, 14:58 GMT

    Congrats to Pakistan. All the talk is how badly England played - much of it should be how well Pakistan played. The batsmen knew thir roles. "bat time" or "bat runs" and executed. Gul bowed aggressively on a slow low pitch, and the spinners bowled great lines. In the end their was no "mystery ball" just good straight bowling countered by poor "across the line" batting. Strauss will stay - he has the respect of the players and character. But when England are blessed with two excellent spinner - why play 3 seamers on a slow low feather bed? Panesar in for Tremlett.

  • POSTED BY on | January 20, 2012, 14:41 GMT

    Every time England perform bad against Pakistan their players and commentators start giving excuses and blaming pakistani players for no reasons. Now when they were unable to pick Saeed Ajmal they started objecting his action. No other team complained about Ajmal only English players and commentators have problems about his action? Saeed Ajmal is world's no. 1 spin bowler, English media and commentators can't protect their players from him in this way, they have to play Ajmal. Instead of starting blame game English players should try to learn playing spin bowling and batting in sub continent .

  • POSTED BY on | January 20, 2012, 14:40 GMT

    What a negative and pessimistic article - typical unsupportive press!

    England do sometimes lose the first of an away series; this one was after quite a long lay-off, and with only two warm-up games against weak opposition (thanks to toothless ECB). It was almost inevitable. We managed to overcome bent-arm Murali, so now we have to do the same with Ajmal: he was the reason Worcestershire survived the first division. We'd see if he was made to remove his baggy sleeves! It wasn't a Tremlett pitch - we really missed Bresnan for his batting & fielding as well as his bowling. No doubt Monty will come in now and do well.

  • POSTED BY Munkeymomo on | January 20, 2012, 14:29 GMT

    @Lee Gray: When the fourth innings is 15-0 that is practically the same as an innings defeat. I think your being a bit harsh on Pakistan, they bowled very tidy lines and caused the batsmen lots of problems, there were some loose shots of course, but Ajmal on the whole is a very fine bowler.

  • POSTED BY Aura123 on | January 20, 2012, 14:28 GMT

    English were outplayed for sure... but as they are number one team... i do expect a fightback from them in Abu Dhabi.... looking forward to a close contest The thing i loved most about the test was that it was played in best of spirits from both teams, there were no rude gestures or sledging. There were occasional smiles and friendly taps on shoulders... I hope both team play with same attitude throughout this tour

  • POSTED BY jattkadanda on | January 20, 2012, 14:06 GMT

    andy dandy is showing in the picture

  • POSTED BY SnowSnake on | January 20, 2012, 14:04 GMT

    I am generally disappointed in test cricket. Almost all test games end in 4 days or less. Almost all teams do not score over than 200 runs per innings consistently over 8 test matches. Short term success is hailed and claimed as a team deserving #1 status. Frankly, all teams are disappointing. Fast bowlers that average at around 140kmph are touted as bowling at 150 kmph. There are no bowlers in test cricket today that can bowl 3 consecutive balls at 150 kmph. That includes all bowlers from all countries. Despite poor bowling, matches end in less than 4 days. Cricket all over the world has a problem.

  • POSTED BY binojpeter on | January 20, 2012, 13:58 GMT

    As an Indian fan, it feels good that Pakistan playing well as a unit. I think by the end of this season, Pakistan will reach No:3 position. They can even reach no:1 if their batsmen can do well also in seaming pitches. I think it is due for a country that has produced some outstanding cricketers. As for India, I think we will be down to No:5 by end of this season. As an observer for last 20 years, I think every team goes through this phase of rising up and coming down followed by a rebuilding phase. Except for Australia, no team has been able to wield their influence for long time.

  • POSTED BY on | January 20, 2012, 13:52 GMT

    its really simple! PAKISTAN can rock any team at any pitch at any condition they dont rely on home conditions! they can destroy england in england as well! dnt forget the summer of '10 when they claim 2 victories one is over england and one is over australia in the most worst situation pakistan ever faced of spot-fixing! as far as ranking is concerned PAKISTAN # 1.

  • POSTED BY sajjad.kernel on | January 20, 2012, 13:51 GMT

    :) England were bowled out for really good and smart bowling....thats all

  • POSTED BY on | January 20, 2012, 13:41 GMT

    If they were 'overwhelmed', then surely the loss would of been by an innings rather than by wickets. England loss was due to the fact that there was to much media hype before the test series started about corruption, then it shifted to Ajmal's new delivery which is an absolute pile of rubbish, One of my clubs oldest members has been bowling 'The Third One' or Teesra for years and he's 72 and still spins the ball twice as much as Ajmal does. The fact of the matter is, that England, whom have had a very large break between playing cricket, played poorly, their shot selection from Ajmal's deliveries where shocking, I can just imagine Boycott grumbling with dissent in the commentary box, tearing his hair out about playing straight. With the loss of the opening batsmen right through to Matt Prior, who was one of the better players in this match, along with Swann in the batting department, it was just too much for the lower order to handle so they crumbled. Good win for Pakistan though!

  • POSTED BY jackiethepen on | January 20, 2012, 13:19 GMT

    Really don't like the tone of this article. And whispers about Strauss? Only in the mind of George Dobell. If England is really going to think in terms of changing captains after one defeat after 2 years of success, then we are in a parlous state. This to me smacks of sensational reportage. Leave it to the tabloids. Or is that the level of Cricinfo? Flower as coach would defend the team's preparation but it is glaringly obvious that the team were underprepared for spin. Did the batsmen train on Merlin before they came out? It would be interesting to know.

  • POSTED BY iBilal on | January 20, 2012, 13:17 GMT

    English were outplayed for sure... but as they are number one team... i do expect a fightback from them in Abu Dhabi.... looking forward to a close contest The thing i loved most about the test was that it was played in best of spirits from both teams, there were no rude gestures or sledging. There were occasional smiles and friendly taps on shoulders... I hope both team play with same attitude throughout this tour

  • POSTED BY on | January 20, 2012, 13:12 GMT

    To soon to be talking of a new "era." The "era" of English supremacy has barely begun. If they falter now, it will simply show that there was no era of English supremacy. It's not like they're been #1 for very long now... Having said all that, I hope they do come back.

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | January 20, 2012, 13:08 GMT

    England again show how bad they are against spin, as previously proven by Warne. Strauss and Bell are particularly terrible against the slower men. Swann has definitely lost it and Monty should be playing.

  • POSTED BY mix-grill-united on | January 20, 2012, 13:08 GMT

    Dear Mr Flower, your team is good but you need to be a GREAT team to emulate the sucess of that AUS team that dominated test cricket for over ten years!!! Not "up to speed" is not good enough for any supporter regardless of country!!!!

  • POSTED BY ihaq1 on | January 20, 2012, 13:00 GMT

    it does seem that playing the second spinner was important and there does seem tobe some problems with playing spin...as to teh openers slot the only other opener in teh team is stephen davies or Ian bell...if u open with stephen davies and cook than pietersen could be dropped...one would play strauss at three trott and than morgan, bell and prior and a two spin and two fast with Finn probably coming for tremlet/anderson...prior has a good record against pakistan and could be played at 4 and morgan too seems to have a spin versus pace record...Flower probably should give lecture on how to manage or play spin...with swann's four wickets playing a second spinner seems essential

  • POSTED BY abid_mehdi on | January 20, 2012, 12:56 GMT

    looking forward to some exciting cricket in the next few weeks..

  • POSTED BY IndiaNumeroUno on | January 20, 2012, 12:52 GMT

    Well done Pakistan!! England got thoroughly cooked, straussed and bell'd!!

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY IndiaNumeroUno on | January 20, 2012, 12:52 GMT

    Well done Pakistan!! England got thoroughly cooked, straussed and bell'd!!

  • POSTED BY abid_mehdi on | January 20, 2012, 12:56 GMT

    looking forward to some exciting cricket in the next few weeks..

  • POSTED BY ihaq1 on | January 20, 2012, 13:00 GMT

    it does seem that playing the second spinner was important and there does seem tobe some problems with playing spin...as to teh openers slot the only other opener in teh team is stephen davies or Ian bell...if u open with stephen davies and cook than pietersen could be dropped...one would play strauss at three trott and than morgan, bell and prior and a two spin and two fast with Finn probably coming for tremlet/anderson...prior has a good record against pakistan and could be played at 4 and morgan too seems to have a spin versus pace record...Flower probably should give lecture on how to manage or play spin...with swann's four wickets playing a second spinner seems essential

  • POSTED BY mix-grill-united on | January 20, 2012, 13:08 GMT

    Dear Mr Flower, your team is good but you need to be a GREAT team to emulate the sucess of that AUS team that dominated test cricket for over ten years!!! Not "up to speed" is not good enough for any supporter regardless of country!!!!

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | January 20, 2012, 13:08 GMT

    England again show how bad they are against spin, as previously proven by Warne. Strauss and Bell are particularly terrible against the slower men. Swann has definitely lost it and Monty should be playing.

  • POSTED BY on | January 20, 2012, 13:12 GMT

    To soon to be talking of a new "era." The "era" of English supremacy has barely begun. If they falter now, it will simply show that there was no era of English supremacy. It's not like they're been #1 for very long now... Having said all that, I hope they do come back.

  • POSTED BY iBilal on | January 20, 2012, 13:17 GMT

    English were outplayed for sure... but as they are number one team... i do expect a fightback from them in Abu Dhabi.... looking forward to a close contest The thing i loved most about the test was that it was played in best of spirits from both teams, there were no rude gestures or sledging. There were occasional smiles and friendly taps on shoulders... I hope both team play with same attitude throughout this tour

  • POSTED BY jackiethepen on | January 20, 2012, 13:19 GMT

    Really don't like the tone of this article. And whispers about Strauss? Only in the mind of George Dobell. If England is really going to think in terms of changing captains after one defeat after 2 years of success, then we are in a parlous state. This to me smacks of sensational reportage. Leave it to the tabloids. Or is that the level of Cricinfo? Flower as coach would defend the team's preparation but it is glaringly obvious that the team were underprepared for spin. Did the batsmen train on Merlin before they came out? It would be interesting to know.

  • POSTED BY on | January 20, 2012, 13:41 GMT

    If they were 'overwhelmed', then surely the loss would of been by an innings rather than by wickets. England loss was due to the fact that there was to much media hype before the test series started about corruption, then it shifted to Ajmal's new delivery which is an absolute pile of rubbish, One of my clubs oldest members has been bowling 'The Third One' or Teesra for years and he's 72 and still spins the ball twice as much as Ajmal does. The fact of the matter is, that England, whom have had a very large break between playing cricket, played poorly, their shot selection from Ajmal's deliveries where shocking, I can just imagine Boycott grumbling with dissent in the commentary box, tearing his hair out about playing straight. With the loss of the opening batsmen right through to Matt Prior, who was one of the better players in this match, along with Swann in the batting department, it was just too much for the lower order to handle so they crumbled. Good win for Pakistan though!

  • POSTED BY sajjad.kernel on | January 20, 2012, 13:51 GMT

    :) England were bowled out for really good and smart bowling....thats all