Pakistan v England, 3rd Test, Dubai, 2nd day February 4, 2012

Pakistan show England how it's done in Asia

Unlike England, Pakistan used their bats instead of their pads. Unlike England, they retained their composure during the inevitable scoreless periods and, unlike England, they played straight until they were well set
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If England were looking for an example of how to play in Asian conditions, they got it today as Younis Khan and Azhar Ali provided a batting master class on the second day in Dubai. With the game in the balance and Pakistan under pressure, the master and his apprentice provided the most assured batting of the series.

Younis has already become the first man to register a century in the series; Azhar may well join him on day three. Their partnership - 194 with power to add - is the highest of the series and has surely struck the decisive blow in this Test.

It will be of little comfort to England in the short-term - bearing in mind their batting so far in this series, it would be a brave fellow who predicted any result other than a Pakistan win here - but the tourists can learn from this experience. They can identify the qualities that helped Younis succeed where they have failed and at least try to incorporate them into their own games.

In the first four sessions of the match 22 wickets fell and the talk was all about the Decision Review System. After lunch on day two, such talk faded away. The reason? Pakistan did not allow the DRS to become an issue because, unlike England, they used their bats instead of their pads. Unlike England, they retained their composure during the inevitable scoreless periods and, unlike England, they played straight until they were well set.

That may all be easier said than done, but England must learn that the days when they could press forward and enjoy the benefit of the doubt are gone. They have to adapt to the new reality that the DRS has brought.

Where the likes of Kevin Pietersen lunged forward with little balance, Younis reached forward with precision. One was batting in hope; the other with the foundation of a strong technique.

Azhar also demonstrated admirable patience and restraint. Like several of the England batsmen, Azhar took a long time to play himself in - after 39 deliveries he had scored just two - but, unlike the tourists, he did not panic. He rode out the tough periods because he had confidence in his technique and temperament to do so. He did not think he might receive an unplayable, mystery ball at any moment, so he backed himself to come through. Test cricket, for all that has changed in tempo in recent years, is as much about mental strength, concentration and determination as it is about raw talent and flair. Azhar is the sort of batsman who remembers it is meant to be a five-day game. It is a fine quality.

It was noticeable, too, how straight the Pakistan batsmen played until they were established. Yes, they used their feet and yes, they hit over the top. But unlike Eoin Morgan, for example, they did not try to turn the ball across the line until they were well set.

It is not just England's batsmen who can learn. England's bowlers can also pick up some pointers from their Pakistan counterparts. Graeme Swann, for all his excellence in recent years, could learn from the wicket-to-wicket approach taken by Abdur Rehman on Asian pitches.

Rehman has enjoyed tremendous success this series - he has claimed 17 wickets at 13 apiece including successive five-wicket hauls - by maintaining an immaculate line or length and posing questions nearly every delivery. He has, at times, found some turn, but it has been variation and subtle changes of pace and flight that have accounted for as many wickets as any turn. Put simply, if the batsmen have missed, he has been hitting. Swann, by contrast, has maintained the line outside off stump that has served him so well previously and, while he has bowled decently, has not enjoyed anywhere near the same level of success.

England can either search for excuses - and to their great credit, that has not been their style in recent times - or search for answers. If they blame the DRS, unusual bowling actions, the alignment of Jupiter in the house of Mars or any other detail, they will be delaying their journey to recovery.

Monty Panesar might have been ill-advised. By bowling over the wicket, Panesar reduced his chances of claiming a leg-before decision and largely took the DRS out of the equation. It was also noticeable that England were urging him to bowl quicker and, as a consequence, he appeared to lose his rhythm and flight. He gained little turn.

England also missed a third fast bowler. Omitting Panesar or Swann was hardly an option, but the burden of three back-to-back Tests on James Anderson and Stuart Broad is beginning to tell. It is not as if their batsmen are providing them much recovery time, after all. Until England find an allrounder who can contribute fully with bat and ball - and Tim Bresnan, who arrives back to the squad on Sunday, might be that man - the balance of their side will be an issue in Asian conditions.

England's bowlers could be forgiven for feeling somewhat ill-used of late. Despite their hard work and success in this series, there is every chance that their side will succumb to a 3-0 whitewash; an indignity for the No. 1 ranked Test side. They have dismissed the opposition for scores of 99, 214, 257 and 338 yet their side still cannot win. What more, they might ask, do they have to do? For the first time in many months, England's fast bowlers looked just a little off-colour in Pakistan's second innings. It may well be that their team has just asked too much of them.

Perhaps England were a little unfortunate. The pitch had eased somewhat from the first day and, by the afternoon, provided precious little help for bowlers of any persuasion. But it was England who should have been able to take advantage of those conditions. After bowling out Pakistan for 99 in their first innings, they should have capitalised on the advantage and built a match-winning position on day two.

Besides, it is unwise for anyone to put all their travails down to poor fortune. England can either search for excuses - and to their great credit, that has not been their style in recent times - or search for answers. If they blame the DRS, unusual bowling actions, the alignment of Jupiter in the house of Mars or any other detail, they will be delaying their journey to recovery.

Only five teams have won a Test having been bowled out in the first innings for under 100 and the last occasion was in 1907. Pakistan have earned a wonderful opportunity to become the sixth over the next couple of days.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on February 5, 2012, 13:19 GMT

    Sweet revenge for what happened in 2010. :p

  • Samsond on February 5, 2012, 13:07 GMT

    Is England really the #1 team? Well my prediction. England loses 0-3 to Pakistan, then travels to Sri Lanka and loses 0-3 to Sri Lanka and then travels to India and loses 0-4 to India. An absolute 0-10 washout in 2012.

    Everybody seems to be just lions in their own dens and absolute "donkeys" outside of their den

  • on February 5, 2012, 12:44 GMT

    The die is cast, the rule is 15 degrees. End of story. To deny that that has happened is foolish. I've seen teenagers in village nets working on doosras and bowling it just about OK - soon as their village coach sees it he pulls them out of the net and tells them to "sort their action out - or you won't get a game for this club son!" How FOOLISH. Just like the attitude for reverse swing in the early 90's. We don't understand it, so we are putting our fingers in our ears and shouting "la la la" at the top of our voice while muttering "looks like cheating to me". The 15 degree rule is now YEARS OLD - GET USED TO IT ENGLAND (and Aussies) Develop your own so your batsmen get used to playing it - get out of denial. The world has changed and you need to change with it - or fail. Simple as that.

  • cric_fanatics on February 5, 2012, 12:16 GMT

    GO GO PAKISTAN...nail them down...and to everybody else ..stop talking about turning tracks n home conditions...even england won at home to become no.1......love from india..

  • JG2704 on February 5, 2012, 11:51 GMT

    @iBilal on (February 04 2012, 20:15 PM GMT) - mate - You stand innocent of gloating from where I stand. Nothing wrong with bigging up your own players . It's called pride. Fair play to you

  • JG2704 on February 5, 2012, 11:51 GMT

    @KarachiKid on (February 04 2012, 21:04 PM GMT) It is indeed a shame . From a neutral point of view I'd like to see if it was as much Pak being great as Eng being bad and from a Pak point of view you won't pick up so many points from beating the lower ranked sides so climbing the rankings would be slower no matter how well you perform

  • JG2704 on February 5, 2012, 11:51 GMT

    @Nutcutlet on (February 04 2012, 22:50 PM GMT) To be honest I feel it's a mental thing with the batsmen. An example of my theory is that when Strauss was at the crease with KP he seemed to feed off KPs positivity. When he went and Strauss had to bat with Bell and Morgan , his positivity seemed to go in accordance. I'm also not sure we are facing up to our limitations or at least not doing anything about it. I think our fans are generally accepting our weaknesses but our selectors are basically changing nothing around apart from bringing Monty in for CT who was injured anyway. Right now they seem to be doing exactly what the Indian selectors are doing with their line up as in neither replacing an out of form batsman with another batsman or my preferred choice of batsman for a bowler. I really can see Broad or Anderson breaking down with so much workload

  • jonesy2 on February 5, 2012, 11:15 GMT

    no not really, england are just woeful, always have been, always will be. also, theyre in the middle east, not asia

  • on February 5, 2012, 10:54 GMT

    If he meant batting first then he should have said batting first because the first innings is the first innings regardless of batting first or second as the scorecard shows so as a journalist / reporter he should be getting that right shouldnt he ?

  • AliSyedain on February 5, 2012, 10:30 GMT

    Rankings will always break your heart. For rankings measure recent performance, not team strength. And recent performance in test cricket is not a very good indicator of future results.

    It is impossible for rankings to distil team strength. They cannot hope to capture the complexities, diversity and the ever-changing context of cricket. Done right, rankings can possibly give you the strongest team of the last four years; they cannot tell you who is the strongest today. For it takes a minimum four years to complete an away and a home series against all nations. Team strengths across the world change substantially across the world during this time.

    And even overall strength is not particularly relevant to a particular series. A strong team would founder if the conditions favour the opposition. Team performances are also known to vary within the series: Pakistan would lose consistently at bouncy Perth but do well in spinning Sydney.

  • on February 5, 2012, 13:19 GMT

    Sweet revenge for what happened in 2010. :p

  • Samsond on February 5, 2012, 13:07 GMT

    Is England really the #1 team? Well my prediction. England loses 0-3 to Pakistan, then travels to Sri Lanka and loses 0-3 to Sri Lanka and then travels to India and loses 0-4 to India. An absolute 0-10 washout in 2012.

    Everybody seems to be just lions in their own dens and absolute "donkeys" outside of their den

  • on February 5, 2012, 12:44 GMT

    The die is cast, the rule is 15 degrees. End of story. To deny that that has happened is foolish. I've seen teenagers in village nets working on doosras and bowling it just about OK - soon as their village coach sees it he pulls them out of the net and tells them to "sort their action out - or you won't get a game for this club son!" How FOOLISH. Just like the attitude for reverse swing in the early 90's. We don't understand it, so we are putting our fingers in our ears and shouting "la la la" at the top of our voice while muttering "looks like cheating to me". The 15 degree rule is now YEARS OLD - GET USED TO IT ENGLAND (and Aussies) Develop your own so your batsmen get used to playing it - get out of denial. The world has changed and you need to change with it - or fail. Simple as that.

  • cric_fanatics on February 5, 2012, 12:16 GMT

    GO GO PAKISTAN...nail them down...and to everybody else ..stop talking about turning tracks n home conditions...even england won at home to become no.1......love from india..

  • JG2704 on February 5, 2012, 11:51 GMT

    @iBilal on (February 04 2012, 20:15 PM GMT) - mate - You stand innocent of gloating from where I stand. Nothing wrong with bigging up your own players . It's called pride. Fair play to you

  • JG2704 on February 5, 2012, 11:51 GMT

    @KarachiKid on (February 04 2012, 21:04 PM GMT) It is indeed a shame . From a neutral point of view I'd like to see if it was as much Pak being great as Eng being bad and from a Pak point of view you won't pick up so many points from beating the lower ranked sides so climbing the rankings would be slower no matter how well you perform

  • JG2704 on February 5, 2012, 11:51 GMT

    @Nutcutlet on (February 04 2012, 22:50 PM GMT) To be honest I feel it's a mental thing with the batsmen. An example of my theory is that when Strauss was at the crease with KP he seemed to feed off KPs positivity. When he went and Strauss had to bat with Bell and Morgan , his positivity seemed to go in accordance. I'm also not sure we are facing up to our limitations or at least not doing anything about it. I think our fans are generally accepting our weaknesses but our selectors are basically changing nothing around apart from bringing Monty in for CT who was injured anyway. Right now they seem to be doing exactly what the Indian selectors are doing with their line up as in neither replacing an out of form batsman with another batsman or my preferred choice of batsman for a bowler. I really can see Broad or Anderson breaking down with so much workload

  • jonesy2 on February 5, 2012, 11:15 GMT

    no not really, england are just woeful, always have been, always will be. also, theyre in the middle east, not asia

  • on February 5, 2012, 10:54 GMT

    If he meant batting first then he should have said batting first because the first innings is the first innings regardless of batting first or second as the scorecard shows so as a journalist / reporter he should be getting that right shouldnt he ?

  • AliSyedain on February 5, 2012, 10:30 GMT

    Rankings will always break your heart. For rankings measure recent performance, not team strength. And recent performance in test cricket is not a very good indicator of future results.

    It is impossible for rankings to distil team strength. They cannot hope to capture the complexities, diversity and the ever-changing context of cricket. Done right, rankings can possibly give you the strongest team of the last four years; they cannot tell you who is the strongest today. For it takes a minimum four years to complete an away and a home series against all nations. Team strengths across the world change substantially across the world during this time.

    And even overall strength is not particularly relevant to a particular series. A strong team would founder if the conditions favour the opposition. Team performances are also known to vary within the series: Pakistan would lose consistently at bouncy Perth but do well in spinning Sydney.

  • on February 5, 2012, 9:19 GMT

    thanx to our indian brothers ..... for praising pak team ...... yes england dont deserve to be on #1 ...... yk and azhar has shown to the whole world and specially to eng how to bat for longer period of time ..... in tough conditions ..... ignoring drs as a giant ..... hats of to pak team

  • Cricket_Master_Mind on February 5, 2012, 8:42 GMT

    Australia is the only team from outside Asia who performed well in Asia. May be some series not but over all that is the case. Other teams sometimes looks flat. Ausiess never play like this when they were No.1 in test

  • on February 5, 2012, 8:37 GMT

    now we can also see plenty of donkeys in english team

  • Hammad-Hasan on February 5, 2012, 8:29 GMT

    i think Mr. Dobell is pointing out the Team batting first and all out below 100 has won the test match since 1907 :). The 5 teams stats also shows that the team batting first has won the match so he is right :)

  • sweetspot on February 5, 2012, 7:27 GMT

    Rubbing my hands in glee, waiting for 3-0 Pak is going to hand England. Younis Bhai, you beauty! You made my day yesterday! What an innings! Now, back to the ODI in Melbourne on TV, while this game streams online! What a treat!

  • on February 5, 2012, 7:21 GMT

    now we can also see plenty of donkeys in english team

  • on February 5, 2012, 7:13 GMT

    All you people who're saying Pakistan cannot win in South Africa or Australia. i'd reckon save your energy for those series. Coz if they happen to win a test or two there you'll be needing this energy to runaway from what we have to say then. Praise the teams who are playing well nowadays and Pakistan is happen to be one of them.And please stop whining about sub-continent! Go Green!!

  • on February 5, 2012, 7:03 GMT

    Abu Dhabi, Dubai, etc etc are not in ASIA, they are in the MIDDLE EAST.

  • deconstruct on February 5, 2012, 6:00 GMT

    A word of thanks to all those Indian supporters who are showing good sportsmanship by recognizing and appreciating Pakistan's performance; and I disagree with a Pakistan fan that they're only doing it because they were recently mauled by England - even if that were the case, lets take things in a positive spirit instead of acting like quarreling neighbors all the time! And I agree with drnikki: can we just forget about ICC rankings for a while and just enjoy cricket match-to-match and series-to-series? Lets not be biased: when India became the No. 1 side, they thoroughly deserved it; it was NOT achieved only by home ground victories. And when England replaced them, they deserved the honor as well. Having said that, there is at present really no side strong enough to don the mantle of No. 1 team for long, which makes world cricket all the more competitive.

  • dan_loves_cricket on February 5, 2012, 5:58 GMT

    @The_Wog yeah right!!! u lads couldn't face murali so he was chucking...and nowadays u guys can't face ajmal and now he's chucking...ha ha..no wonder england's getting thrashed..cos champions never complain!!!!

  • ReverseSweepIndia on February 5, 2012, 5:46 GMT

    @Blueangle, its not about being opportunistic that we Indian are praising Pak right now. Most of us has always admired them when not playing against us. Their fast bowlers have a huge fan following in India. Last year they were pathetic, involved in things which were unholy in cricket and cry to put them in bottom league was genuine. They are on the up now and deserve to be one of the top team. I feel no shame in saying that we are playing poor test cricket at the moment and needed to be clubbed in bottom half of the ranking table in tests. In one days I still feel India is one of the top team. I think time is we stop comparing teams with those WI & Aus teams. All top teams are better in home than away. The one who do not lose much away should be ranked first. We had been pathetic abroad, SL & Pak still have to do some considerable work (I believe Pak has it in them to go the distance), but what Eng is abroad, world has seen now,SA and Australia are teams at the moment

  • on February 5, 2012, 5:34 GMT

    @BUTT_093......Mr. George is right, he is talking about batting1st and giving target to opposition...Nov 11, AUZ vs SA, Auz batted 1st scored 284 then replied SA 96 and next all of u ppl knw how was humiliating for AUZ by 8wkt loosing .

  • LillianThomson on February 5, 2012, 5:32 GMT

    Is Natx joking about India performing better than Pakistan in Australia, South Africa and England "in the last five years"? 18 months ago Pakistan won Tests against both Australia and England in England, where 12 months later India lost 4-0. And exactly 2 years ago they would have won the Test at Sydney were it not for suspicious behaviour which now looks likely to have been match-fixing: two years later, India of course lost 4-0. As for South Africa: exactly five years ago both India and Pakistan played 3 Test series in South Africa - and both lost 2-1. So I'm really, really struggling to see any way in which India's away form can be considered to be superior to Pakistan's.

  • on February 5, 2012, 5:04 GMT

    Well its doesnt really matter who the #1 of #5 the thing that matters is how well any one can play under pressure and these two has shown their class the Eng. good luck Pakistan Hope you get your 1st 3-0. Tough luck Eng & good luck for rest of the Series.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on February 5, 2012, 4:20 GMT

    Absolute masterclass by Younis bhai. I sincerely hope Pakistan can bring little bit more consistency to their batting. No wonder why Pakistan can easily be the strongest test team in the world. Wonder what would the world do if Pakistan had Asif, Amir, Gul, Ajmal and Rehman. Cricket is the loser here that God gave such talent to Asif but didn't give him enough morals. He and Butt dragged that supremely talented little kid Amir into these murky waters. I hope Pakistan players will never involve in this filth again. Go Pakistan go..sky is your limit - from an Indian.

  • Lal.bakra on February 5, 2012, 2:55 GMT

    How many donkeys did Mr Naseer Hussain found in Arabian desert Thetis.He found plenty in Indian team last summer. England lost 5-0 to India in ODI and now on verge of loosing 3-0 now.Are they still think themselves #1 team? As all English commentators were ridiculously critical of India being #1 team ten, what they think of England now? Isn't it that batsman from # 1 team should know how to bat spin?

  • on February 5, 2012, 2:35 GMT

    YK just shown that form is temporary but class is permanent....

  • shahbazsiddiqui on February 5, 2012, 2:31 GMT

    well done pakistan team .......GEO TO AISAY......!!!!!!

  • RoJayao on February 5, 2012, 2:29 GMT

    Haha 3 nil here we come! You might be no.1 England but great sides don't ever get whitewashed. Anyone remember the Windies or that magnificent Aussie side of the 90's and 2000's getting smashed so easily? Nope. Join India in the pathetic shame queue England! Both teams would've been flogged by the Aussies circa 2000! Well done Pakistan, whatever happens in this test, you've been magnificent.

  • on February 5, 2012, 2:21 GMT

    Everyone has own value,so plz let the debate nd appriciated every plyr,if he does well.Pry 4r Pak.

  • MASQ on February 5, 2012, 2:18 GMT

    @ BOB W. (English expert): "I am afraid, Younis & Azhar using bit wider bat in 2nd innings otherwise no way to face Pomies spin (Monty & Sawan)" finally BOB reveled the secret behind the Pakistan 2nd innings..... lolx

  • chokkashokka on February 5, 2012, 2:10 GMT

    Lanka and India next to tour - The english players should have asked for their knigthhood before the sub continental series. let me see - SA No. 1 in a month or two. The new order in cricket is - prepare home field wickets so diametrically opposed to what the visiting team is used to playing at and make merry. England and Aussies started it - now reap what you sowed - what goes around comes around.

  • crictalia on February 5, 2012, 1:41 GMT

    England will prfrm reasonably well in India coz there will b no DRS and 2nd is the stndrd of spin bowling will not b same

  • The_Wog on February 5, 2012, 1:13 GMT

    He does chuck, though. Watch for example the quicker doorsa fired down the left hander's legside for byes. Viewed from the batsman / keeper's perspective it's pretty damning. I don't care while the Poms are being humiliated, but they do need to sort that out or we'll have another generation of copycat chuckers like we did from Murali.

  • Drew12 on February 5, 2012, 1:08 GMT

    @Jon.Pasha that is not bias, it is simply an unbiased take on the series. England have been abismal, just like India in Australia. As an Australian I also feel that their performance is undervalued by the constant focus on how poor India are but that is how it must appear to an unbiased observer. One team is playing competitive cricket, the other is not. The latter is more interesting to focus on because England are ranked #1 and, more importantly, non-resistance to competition is against all sporting norms.

  • Natx on February 5, 2012, 0:53 GMT

    @wc1992 - I guess Pak is due to visit Australia in a year or two. Get all your masters and coaches and show the world if they could at least win 1 test match there. I will agree with your statement. Winning in familiar conditions (sub-continent) and England (where the ball swings and pak is the master of that art) is nothing. They should go to Aus and SA and do it. I would even rate Sri Lanka higher than Pak in that regard, as at least they won a recent test in SA. The only other Asian team that could win tests in Eng, Aus, SA in the last 10 years is India. Agreed, that they couldn't yet win a series in SA and Aus, but Younis or anybody from Pak for that matter haven't won or even drawn a test match under pressure in SA or Aus in the last 5 years. Do some homework before writing about other players and countries.

  • Chicagocric on February 5, 2012, 0:51 GMT

    Mr. Dobell, it is regrettable that you are still having a difficult time giving full credit where it is due. Yunus Khan and Azhar Ali played like top class test batsmen should play. It is not that the wicket all of a sudden changed and became placid in a matter of minutes. Remember, it is the same track where half a dozen wickets fell just a few minutes earlier. So let us not blame performance differences on DRS, Asian playing conditions, playing in the sub continent - Dubai and Abu Dhabi are not in the Indo-Pak sub continent, home ground for Pakistan or the wicket becoming placid in a matter of minutes, etc.,etc. Good luck to England in the future. Looks like this series is over!

  • on February 5, 2012, 0:32 GMT

    I could not quite understand one of England's weaknesses that's pointed out by the author, specifically related to Asian conditions: not retaining composure during scoreless periods. What's this weakness go to do with conditions ? If England could not score, it's because they don't read spin well and don't use their feet. If they do, they should be able to rotate the strike and get ones and two's. And they can't complain of dust and other third world conditions, it is Dubai. Also, they do not have world class spinners.

  • Desihungama on February 5, 2012, 0:28 GMT

    Pakistan is potentially looking at breaking a record held since 1907 including a whitewash. I wonder how important a feat that is in comparable to a series such as Ashes?

  • BUTT_093 on February 5, 2012, 0:28 GMT

    I think George might have got the stat at the end wrong. If I remember correctly, the last time a side won after making a sub-100 total was in 2012 when South Africa beat Australia in that manic Test in their own backyard after having scored 96 in the first innings.

  • Blueangle on February 5, 2012, 0:23 GMT

    Its sound really funny as well as amazing when Indian fans praise Pakistani team. A year or so ago, many Indian fans on this forum were ranking Pakistan with BD and Zim and were demanding a complete ban and exclusion of Pakistan from ICC. Enemy's enemy is your friend. They are praising Pakistan just because Indians were drubbed by very same very same English side. We would have appreciated your praise and support, if it was given at the time when were down and under. English team did not have a great time recently but they are very professional side and its just a matter of time before they overcome some of their weaknesses and will come back strong. This match is not over yet, 18 wickets are still to go, any team can win this game, though Pakistan is in better position by the end of day 2. Dont forget, in the 2nd test, England was on top in 9 session but they lost the game in last 3 sessions. I wish Pakistan wins this game but wont mind if England win either. Great game of cricket

  • ssahmad on February 4, 2012, 23:52 GMT

    At least George correct about 105 years old record... It is about team winning after scoring less than 100 in first inning playing first on the pitch...go to below link: http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?batting_fielding_first=1;class=1;filter=advanced;innings_number=1;orderby=start;result=1;runsmax1=100;runsval1=runs;template=results;type=team;view=innings

  • on February 4, 2012, 23:44 GMT

    So India was being criticised for not showing up in alien conditions. As if England has. Would be treat if India whitewashes England in India.

  • badmaash on February 4, 2012, 23:42 GMT

    Very nice and balanced write-up. Younus showed how its done today - and Strauss showed a glimpse of it yesterday. England batsmen are no pushovers and on this pitch Pakistan must bat until start of day-4 or they will lose.

  • OttawaRocks on February 4, 2012, 23:23 GMT

    Well, well, well. Pakistan putting on a clinic against a boastful England side. Show them how its done Pakistan. Go Pakistan (from an India fan)!

  • Nutcutlet on February 4, 2012, 22:50 GMT

    After watching the master-class given by Younis Khan today, England's batsmen might just have a better idea of how to build an innings of substance on this type of pitch, but Eng's batsmen will not be facing the English bowlers, well though JA, SB & MP bowled. I have always had my reservations about Swann's ability to produce telling wicket-taking spells outside England, and here he has looked very ordinary indeed, a fact that Strauss seems to have tacitly acknowledged by giving Monty many more overs than GS. England must look to the future and learn to play on these Asian pitches and this tour has brought that weakness into stark focus. That is not the only matter that needs attention. England also needs to develop spinners that are potent in these conditions and can bowl the doosra. Whatever happens now, expect Eng. to face up to her limitations and remedy them in time. India, on the other hand, waves a white flag and shrugs the shoulders. That is not, never will be, the English way.

  • on February 4, 2012, 22:34 GMT

    Corrections need to be made here. Pakistan is NOT playing on home soil (second home ground is NOT your first), so anyone who is pointing out the baseless reasoning of 'home-advantage' should take this into account. Pakistan has put some new markers in the cricketing world of playing quality cricket against the number 1 Test side and battering them like 'Katakat' ! ...

  • doctornikki on February 4, 2012, 22:29 GMT

    My sympathies with all guys who are wasting time in deciding the 1st,2nd or 3rd teams instead of enjoying and admiring the test cricket...come on guys..give due appreciation to azhar,younus,broad,rehman,asad and ajmal and forget about this who is best...ranking says england is still no1..so accept it or not..indeed currently pakistan is playing in cricket as brazil in soccer..they r formidable and the way they fought their way in this series is amazing...pakistan wl come close to challenge india and aust for no 3/4 and deservingly so..But England havnt acheived no 1 by fluke...so please respect that as well...every team has its highs and lows..can we forget the amazing form Bell,Pieterson,Cook and Trott have shown in recent times?..and havnt the formidable indian middle order gone through such a humiliating page..so please instead of jumping to myopic conclusions we should give credit to those playing well and enjoy the game...

  • on February 4, 2012, 22:23 GMT

    for those who re saying about south africa's 96 score in 1st inn.here is the match http://www.espncricinfo.com/south-africa-v-australia-2011/engine/match/514029.html in that match australia was batting in first inn, which means it was 2nd inn for south africa. So above stats are correct.

  • on February 4, 2012, 22:18 GMT

    "Where the likes of Kevin Pietersen lunged forward with little balance, Younis reached forward with precision." Although love the statement being a Pakistani, but why to blame Pietersen only? Is it prejudice in play?

  • Singh_81 on February 4, 2012, 22:05 GMT

    Don't worry , these asiasn team are King in their own back yard,England been non asian team is Same , King in their own backyard, thats the reason No World Cup Title in their name , even that was organised in England a few time, so Alll in ALL SA and AUS are the BEST TEAM in World , regardless what IND,PAK and SL do at home.

  • on February 4, 2012, 22:01 GMT

    @Bruce Mclennan: SA batted second. The author is talking about 1st innings of the match.

  • wc1992 on February 4, 2012, 21:59 GMT

    Younis and Azhar did what so called big 4 legend could not do in 4 test, not even cme closer ... that's how you bat underpressure

  • AlbertEinstein on February 4, 2012, 21:56 GMT

    What a writer.......at one point he says "They have dismissed the opposition for scores of 99, 214, 257 and 338 .............What more do they have to do?". He then advocates for a fifith bowler in place of a batsman. Hey Mr Dobell I hope you're not competing with Andy Zaltzman for being the funniest writer on cricinfo, or has the frustration of losing wiped your brain off the stuff you wrote in the previous paragraph. Professional writers give a balanced perspective but all you're talking about is England's failure, its about time you discuss Pakistan's performance too.

  • on February 4, 2012, 21:40 GMT

    @bruce.... he is talking about the first inning of a test match nt the team..........

  • Umar79 on February 4, 2012, 21:38 GMT

    11 time a team had won a Test having been bowled out in their first innings for under 100 and the last occasion was 2011 SA bt AUS

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=1;filter=advanced;innings_number=1;innings_number=2;orderby=start;result=1;runsmax1=99;runsval1=runs;template=results;type=team;view=results

  • DrAtharAbbas on February 4, 2012, 21:30 GMT

    MacGyver2528: Genius, very exact objection: South Africa bowled out for 96 in the first innings and then won later.--------------- I think the information is not incorrect though by Mr Dobell, his statement is inexact: He should have said, being bowled out in the very first innings of the match not the first innings for the team. South Africa's first innings was the second innings of the match.

  • KashifMuneer on February 4, 2012, 21:26 GMT

    While anything is possible in cricket, it will take somewhat of a miracle for England to save this test given the strong position Pakistan are in.

    I truly don't believe England are a bad team and are still one of the best overall considering all conditions. Pakistan with their spin attack would have done the same to Australia, India or South Africa. The pitches that we played against SA and even SL last year were different from these tracks which is why those tests were high scoring encounters.

    I hope Pakistan goes from strength to strength in the future too. Our pace bowling is not the best. We miss Aamir but until then we could play 1 pacer and use Hafeez as a permanent opening bowler in UAE conditions. The nation needed this win so congratulations to the team and the nation. I/A we will continue the winning ways.

  • on February 4, 2012, 21:26 GMT

    south africa played second inning of test match ...we are talking here about first inning of a test match that only five team won

  • KarachiKid on February 4, 2012, 21:04 GMT

    Such a shame Pakistan are not scheduled to play many major test series in next year or two.

  • usama on February 4, 2012, 21:02 GMT

    to everyone that is talking about the aus vs SA match few months ago, Australia batted first and made around 250 and then SA were shut out for 96. SA was batting 2nd, therefore it was the 2nd innings of the match, whereas pakistan batted in the 1st innings of the match and the stats refere to teams batting first and getting out under a hundred and then winning the match. just thought i would clarify.

  • on February 4, 2012, 21:01 GMT

    A quote from Douglas Jardine 'Cricket has nothing to do with batting or bowling, it's about thinking' Please take note Monty, KP and Eoin. You aren't doing that. Bolton League rules!

  • on February 4, 2012, 20:57 GMT

    good article by george dobell

  • on February 4, 2012, 20:55 GMT

    @Bruce Mclenman Remember Southafrica batted 2nd and not the first

  • on February 4, 2012, 20:51 GMT

    Bruce, That was second innings. and they chased down score in the 4th innings..

  • anuradha_d on February 4, 2012, 20:51 GMT

    Eng should come out of self-denial.....the writing was on the wall when they were walloped 5-0 against lesser than Pak spinners in the form of Jadeja and Ashwin.......even after the walloping in 3 days in T1...this writer...write something like not to be concerened about......if I was an eng fan...i will be HUGELY concerened. ....I can see a 9-0 walloping in the offing.....given SL and Ind games also later this year

  • aaloo69uk on February 4, 2012, 20:49 GMT

    Decent article. Totally agree with some of the comments above that Pakistan have not been given the full credit they deserve. This was a team, entire nation, on the brink of collapse 18 months ago. their names have been dragged through mud, aspertions cast over whether they should be even allowed to remain as a member of ICC, banned from playing at home and then only two weeks ago accused of chucking to win. Prior to that, of ball tampering, forfeiting a match and the list goes on and on. But this team has risen from the ashes despite every effort to suppress them by rather covert and nasty haters who control either the money or the media. Despite the previous captain and opening bowling pair being at her majesty's pleasure, this new side has slowly regrouped and stayed under the radar while doing so, and then exploded back on the scene and have totally rocked the whole cricketing world. They deserve more credit than they have received.

  • on February 4, 2012, 20:49 GMT

    they mean by this that the 1st innings of the test match ....SA make 97 in the 2nd innings of the match aus batted 1st in that match when Clark makes a fantastic hundred

  • SADDAM1983 on February 4, 2012, 20:47 GMT

    Go Pakistan , May Allah bless u with Success Aameen ....

  • on February 4, 2012, 20:43 GMT

    To all commenting about the SAF vs Aus match. I believe the 96 was the second innings

  • on February 4, 2012, 20:42 GMT

    south africa's inning was their 1st innings but it was the 2nd innings of the match..australia batted 1st so the record is for the teams who batted 1st

  • on February 4, 2012, 20:20 GMT

    Here come the excuse. Unlucky fast bowlers. "unfortunate". Disgusting, frankly, after what was said about India.

  • on February 4, 2012, 20:18 GMT

    Mr.George you rightly pointed out the reasons for failure of the english team. I want to add some more to this. Analysit such has Bob willis has given wrong reason for the success of Saeed Ajmal. Instead of admiring his bowling abilities. He try to find fault in his action and try to create another controversy. This type of baseless alligation inspired Pakistani team to give befieting reply with their bat and ball.

  • on February 4, 2012, 20:17 GMT

    Whitewash + making an History... could not ask better than this..

  • iBilal on February 4, 2012, 20:15 GMT

    Younis is a legend. Accuse me of gloating but Eng should take pride in being beaten by such a great team that has sprung back miraculously from total chaos. This is one innate and unique ability in Pak that they have entertained cricket lovers all over the world more than anyone else. Moreover, its great to see all the commenters here being friendly and praising each others performance. It has been an absorbing series. Respect to you England and Pakistan Zindabad

  • likeintcricket on February 4, 2012, 20:14 GMT

    This Pak side might be limited in talent but they play correct cricket and work hard in a bunch. Don't overpraise them and make them over excited about their achievements.

  • on February 4, 2012, 20:09 GMT

    The funny thing is that if Pak were to declare at their overnight total they would win this test. That is how hopeless Eng r agst the Pak spinners. Pak will win this test with ease,& hence the W/W of England.

  • on February 4, 2012, 19:56 GMT

    I believe South Africa recently beat Australia after being bowled out for 96 in the first innings ?

  • JG2704 on February 4, 2012, 19:39 GMT

    @George re Eng missing a 3rd seamer and the option of dropping Monty or Swann being a non starter - Ive given that reason among many others for having a 5 man bowling attack.I've not heard one England fan come up with a reason against England dropping a batsman for a bowler other than "It's worked in the past".Just because it's worked in the past doesn't mean that it can't be changed when it's not working.I really fear that the horse has already bolted and the downward spiral has gone down the line too far.The selectors werent afraid to drop Finn when at the time he was the leading wkt taker in last ashes so why are they so loathed to drop a batsman who isnt performimg?Cant see feel Ravi would make a difference so why not increase our bowling unit?Surely it has to be worth a go.And it's not like we cant change the formation back.India have been keeping faith with their poor form batsmen and look where it's got them.Desp all the nasty comms from IND fans I actually empathise with them

  • on February 4, 2012, 19:39 GMT

    Nice article by Mr. Dobell but he still concentrating on England bowing and batting display with giving much credit to Pakistani Batting....

  • MacGyver2528 on February 4, 2012, 19:35 GMT

    'Only five teams have won a Test having been bowled out in the first innings for under 100 and the last occasion was in 1907. Pakistan have earned a wonderful opportunity to become the sixth over the next couple of days. '

    How much did SA get in their 1st innings when they beat Australia at Newlands in 2011?

  • SaleemSabir on February 4, 2012, 19:25 GMT

    Nice article, Bravo Mr Dobell, finally a good unbiased and eyeopening article from You...

  • Revington on February 4, 2012, 19:23 GMT

    This match shows the genius of this Pakistan team. Although built on a stable, solid foundation they have shown their will and talent to win from fighting back from their horrid first innings. It takes a special class of batsman to produce an innings as Younis did. Arguably he was playing his last innings and was looking likely for the drop with critics questioning his age, form and commitment. However, he answered all with producing an innings of rare quality when his team needed it the most. Goes with the history of the man. This Pakistan team with the solid and dependable misbah and mohsin have gelled as a team with players who know their games inside and out and could produce a handful for most teams. They have the burning desire to win after their humilation last year - all credit to them. Forget DRS, Ajmals action etc.... The British media as well as the English team should stop clutching at straws and face facts. In unfamiliar conditions the English collapse. Mental strength?

  • TheBengalTiger on February 4, 2012, 19:12 GMT

    England show how its not done. england fans should think before abusing Asian countries

  • on February 4, 2012, 18:59 GMT

    Very well balanced article... I have already told before the series that "this would be nail biting contest of spins, If England couldn't adopt himself then UAE would be the batting graveyard of Brit"....Well done rising Pakistan, and Wish u best of luck Brit for upcoming ODI's n T20 :)

  • on February 4, 2012, 18:56 GMT

    Pakistan batting proved that it is the BATTING technique that is important and not the complaints against DRS. Every effort was made to keep it out of england vs india series to avoid swann but pakistanis showed that he was no threat. Also it was not prudent by someone to become laughing stock for the whole world while on bouncier pitches DRS would have saved the batsmen. Hopefully, it will pakistan vs india instead of pakistan vs panesar soon and we will see the kohlis and rainas haveing the taste of spin.

  • Amit416 on February 4, 2012, 18:51 GMT

    this dobell guy always made fun of india's no. 1 ranking..now what are u going to say about this pathetic eng side which can win only in home condition.. i bet present australian team can easily beat this england side in australia..when eng won the ashes last time i think that was very unsettled and weakest australian side ever. greame swann, "world's best spinner"..ha ha ha

  • cric_fanatics on February 4, 2012, 18:48 GMT

    The current DRS situation has made a mockery of the english. How sure they were of the merits of DRS during the India series and now its the reason of thier constant humiliations..How perspectives change....

  • Spelele on February 4, 2012, 18:17 GMT

    I have to disagree with Dobell. England have not even slightly been unfortunate! On the contrary, they were fortunate to bowl in the most lively conditions. Had their batting been even half decent, they might have been the ones batting on a pitch which has "eased up" on Day 2. In fact, I don't believe that the pitch "easing up" has anything to do with this debacle. When England were batting, almost all their wickets fell to spin (suprise!), so how exactly has the ball stopped turning since then? Oh wait, it never turned; all the batsmen missed straight ones. That's what you get for prodding around and not playing positively (like Younis has). Mark my words, that pitch will look like an absolute dustbowl once England start batting on it. There are no excuses whatsoever! And even worse, ENG has now sent a message to India and Srilanka. I think both might consider playing 4 spinners at this rate.

  • on February 4, 2012, 18:12 GMT

    This new Pakistan team surely looks much improved test team. People claim all kind of stuff and all, but the truth is people will never get out of excuses who do not want to praise the efforts and improvement in Pakistan cricket team. Previously, they lacked the fighting back spirit, but now they have developed a habit of winning and that is a wonderful change. I believe now they believe in themselves more than ever before and that is why they believe they can go out and win from any situation. Way to go Pakistan! You make me proud!

  • on February 4, 2012, 18:07 GMT

    Ya sure! England are unfortunate that on day 2, the pitch has eased off only when they got bamboozled in the morning with 4 english wickets down in the first session? Are we now looking for excuses again? I can bet anything that on the same easy pitch Pakistan will bowled out the english team within 200 runs, let alone anything else. Lets just give credit to a better team for once and stop blaming mercury, mars for their odd orbital revs.

  • Rahulbose on February 4, 2012, 18:06 GMT

    I can't decide which is more enjoyable seeing Eng loose or reading Dobell eat humble pie, after his early series gunho BS articles. Go Pakistan! Finish off in style.

  • on February 4, 2012, 17:56 GMT

    an excellent article.. bravo

  • on February 4, 2012, 17:54 GMT

    Monty is such an ordinary bowler. He has only two balls to bowl. A conventional orthodox left arm spin and an arm ball. Then on advise of his defensive minded captain he bowled over the wicket to right handed batsmen. Immediately Monty became as effective a "Zero". Swann looks lot more dangerous. If on third day, Broad does not take wicket in first 30 minutes, he will be totally ineffective. So it is upto Andersen and Swann to help England. Once the lead crosses 300 hundred, I believe psychologically England would have been defeated.

  • on February 4, 2012, 17:48 GMT

    The English critics were never convinced that Pakistani bowlers are bowling extremely well. I hope now they understand that Paki Bowlers are better than English Bowlers, and they have ability to bowled out world best team in less than a day time.

  • khan-eddi on February 4, 2012, 17:47 GMT

    Pakistan has given a strong statement by not only staying put to their approach towards Test cricket but also gaining immaculate success as well. This is Pakistan Reborn.

  • vivekgk3 on February 4, 2012, 17:41 GMT

    I wonder if England will face the same problems when they visit India this year for a test series. Aging top order or not, playing India on "flat" pitches will be a different ball game altogether.

  • foursandsixes on February 4, 2012, 17:32 GMT

    Eng is not a #1 side.. haha.. what a joke they have become. They will get thrashed 0-3 in Pak, 0-2 in SL, and 0-3 in India. Get ready, Poms! They were lucky to get an injury ridden and aging Indian side last summer. If this current side had played a younger 2007 India side, they would have lost in England also.

  • Major_Hammad on February 4, 2012, 17:27 GMT

    Congratulation to Legend Younis Khan on 20th test hundred, excellent and top class inning. Also very good batting by Azhar Ali.....

  • Jon.Pasha on February 4, 2012, 17:27 GMT

    Not one time, any of the commentators (English), with the exception of Nasser Hussain or the correspondents at cricinfo have praised Pakistan's performance with complete honesty, instead they are always picking out the bad performances by English Player. If Stuart Broad takes wickets, He is bowling brilliantly and if Pakistani bowlers bowl England out, it is due to the ill technique. Not long ago, all of these commentators and journalists were full of praises for English batsmen and their technique and now suddenly the batsmen are not playing up to the standards - Biased views !!!

  • on February 4, 2012, 17:25 GMT

    very true and fantastic Test cricket to match. Indeed England should learn to do something themselves instead of giving immature excuses.

    Anyway. This is going ahead to a whitewash unless something dramatic thing occurs!!

  • doosra95 on February 4, 2012, 17:20 GMT

    Well for Younis Khan He has once again shown the world what a fine cricketer he is under pressure,low scores for him in last4 innings and then BANG!Also credit to Azher Ali this is how you play test innings with 3 days to go Wonderful to watch. This series is "NOT HOME SERIES" it is a stop gap destination.It is a very high mental capacity this Misbahs Pakistan posses which very rare quality for Pakistan team.

  • Saeed.Lodhi on February 4, 2012, 17:12 GMT

    I beleive that its the mental think for English batsmen, Ajmal has gotten them into a spin, they are not approaching the Pakistani spinners with a positive intent and Abdul Rehman is taking advantage of this by bowling stump to stump. To top it off brilliant batting but Younnis and Azher. Very Tough position for England to be. Hats off to Pakistanis for coming back into the game after being bowled out for 99.

  • KarachiKid on February 4, 2012, 17:00 GMT

    I think giving ALL credit to Younus/Azhar master class would be foolish. I think English batsmen succumbed far too quickly otherwise they might still have been in their first innings today. The fact is that this pitch has eased a lot...looks like a flat track honestly. While Younus and Azhar played superbly and Younus was due a big score, it was the conditions that changed the most. Maybe add to that an off color day for English quickies. The point about third fast bowling option is valid.

  • Fruho on February 4, 2012, 16:50 GMT

    The English media seems adept at making excuses and covering up for the team. Until this series, England was a huge supporter for the DRS, advocating for it in all cases - but now that it is being used against them, they are vehemently criticizing it.

    Don't blame the DRS - fix your own problems first.

  • on February 4, 2012, 16:50 GMT

    "With the game in the balance and Pakistan under pressure, the master and his apprentice provided the most assured batting of the series " -- I am in love with this statement !!

  • The_big_j on February 4, 2012, 16:47 GMT

    Master and his apprentice HA! I like that. Younis' how to play spin 101 class dismissed.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • The_big_j on February 4, 2012, 16:47 GMT

    Master and his apprentice HA! I like that. Younis' how to play spin 101 class dismissed.

  • on February 4, 2012, 16:50 GMT

    "With the game in the balance and Pakistan under pressure, the master and his apprentice provided the most assured batting of the series " -- I am in love with this statement !!

  • Fruho on February 4, 2012, 16:50 GMT

    The English media seems adept at making excuses and covering up for the team. Until this series, England was a huge supporter for the DRS, advocating for it in all cases - but now that it is being used against them, they are vehemently criticizing it.

    Don't blame the DRS - fix your own problems first.

  • KarachiKid on February 4, 2012, 17:00 GMT

    I think giving ALL credit to Younus/Azhar master class would be foolish. I think English batsmen succumbed far too quickly otherwise they might still have been in their first innings today. The fact is that this pitch has eased a lot...looks like a flat track honestly. While Younus and Azhar played superbly and Younus was due a big score, it was the conditions that changed the most. Maybe add to that an off color day for English quickies. The point about third fast bowling option is valid.

  • Saeed.Lodhi on February 4, 2012, 17:12 GMT

    I beleive that its the mental think for English batsmen, Ajmal has gotten them into a spin, they are not approaching the Pakistani spinners with a positive intent and Abdul Rehman is taking advantage of this by bowling stump to stump. To top it off brilliant batting but Younnis and Azher. Very Tough position for England to be. Hats off to Pakistanis for coming back into the game after being bowled out for 99.

  • doosra95 on February 4, 2012, 17:20 GMT

    Well for Younis Khan He has once again shown the world what a fine cricketer he is under pressure,low scores for him in last4 innings and then BANG!Also credit to Azher Ali this is how you play test innings with 3 days to go Wonderful to watch. This series is "NOT HOME SERIES" it is a stop gap destination.It is a very high mental capacity this Misbahs Pakistan posses which very rare quality for Pakistan team.

  • on February 4, 2012, 17:25 GMT

    very true and fantastic Test cricket to match. Indeed England should learn to do something themselves instead of giving immature excuses.

    Anyway. This is going ahead to a whitewash unless something dramatic thing occurs!!

  • Jon.Pasha on February 4, 2012, 17:27 GMT

    Not one time, any of the commentators (English), with the exception of Nasser Hussain or the correspondents at cricinfo have praised Pakistan's performance with complete honesty, instead they are always picking out the bad performances by English Player. If Stuart Broad takes wickets, He is bowling brilliantly and if Pakistani bowlers bowl England out, it is due to the ill technique. Not long ago, all of these commentators and journalists were full of praises for English batsmen and their technique and now suddenly the batsmen are not playing up to the standards - Biased views !!!

  • Major_Hammad on February 4, 2012, 17:27 GMT

    Congratulation to Legend Younis Khan on 20th test hundred, excellent and top class inning. Also very good batting by Azhar Ali.....

  • foursandsixes on February 4, 2012, 17:32 GMT

    Eng is not a #1 side.. haha.. what a joke they have become. They will get thrashed 0-3 in Pak, 0-2 in SL, and 0-3 in India. Get ready, Poms! They were lucky to get an injury ridden and aging Indian side last summer. If this current side had played a younger 2007 India side, they would have lost in England also.