Pakistan v England, 3rd Test, Dubai, 4th day February 6, 2012

No secret to England's problems

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the fourth day of the third Test in Dubai
55

Drop of the day
There were a couple of candidates here. In the end Adnan Akmal's remarkable miss off Andrew Strauss is just eclipsed by Umar Gul's dropping of Alastair Cook off the unfortunate Abdur Rehman. Cook had top-edged the ball just to the right of Gul, at deep backward square leg, only for the fielder to somehow misjudge the flight of the ball and barely lay a finger on it. In the grand scheme of things, it made little difference, but it gave England - and Cook - another four runs and denied Rehman a well-deserved wicket.

Catch of the day
Yonuis Khan enjoyed an excellent match. Quite apart from his sublime century, he proved again to be a wonderfully reliable catcher in the slips. He held on to a very sharp chance to end James Anderson's spirited second innings resistance. With Anderson forcing hard off the back foot, the ball flew hard and fast to Younis' right but, despite falling over in his attempt to control the ball, he held on. Might Younis be the best slip fielder Pakistan have had?

Milestone of the day
When Alastair Cook clipped one off his legs from Umar Gul to run three and reach 22, he passed 6,000 Test runs at the age of 27 years and 43 days. That makes him the second youngest man to reach the milestone. Predictably, Sachin Tendulkar, who reached it at the age of 26 years and 313 days, holds the record, though Cook took fewer games. It was one of the few bright spots on a grim day for English cricket.

Dismissal of the day
Kevin Pietersen might not have scored many runs this series - just 67 at an average of 11.16 - but he remained the prize wicket for Pakistan. In many ways, his dismissal summed up England's batting in this series. Pressing forward to an off-break from Saeed Ajmal, Pietersen was punished for a basic technical flaw: his bat came across, rather than straight, and the ball crept through the gate. There was no DRS, no doosra and no left-arm spin to blame this time: until he rediscovers the ability to play straight, Pietersen's struggles in Test cricket will continue.

Headrush of the day
England still required 128 runs when Stuart Broad was seventh man out. It was always going to be an uphill struggle. But it was still possible. Broad and Matt Prior had added 37, counter-attacking where appropriate and reviving England's slim hopes of victory. But then Broad aimed a thumping drive at the first delivery with the second new ball and hit it straight to the man positioned for the stroke at long off. The pair had clearly elected to take a positive approach but some discretion was still needed. For a man with a Test century to his name, it was a reckless, thoughtless stroke. Particularly as he could have pushed a single and allowed his very experienced colleague - a man with six Test centuries - to continue the chase.

Statistic of the day
Between them, Abdur Rehman, 19 wickets, and Saeed Ajmal, 24, claimed 43 England wickets in the series. Mohammad Hazeez, the part-time off-spinner, claimed another five. That means that spin accounted for 48 of the 60 England wickets to fall. It really does not take an analyst to work out where England have been going wrong.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sports4Youth on February 7, 2012, 9:46 GMT

    Posted by Imran Ulhaq on (February 06 2012, 21:07 PM GMT) :- ... Now since the series has ended WE CAN CLEARLY CONCLUDE THAT THE TEESRA WAS A BLUFF THAT WORKED. Right from the begining Ajmal mersmerised the Poms not only with his Doosra and othe variations but also with the sword of Teesra hanging on their heads. Ajmal announced the Teesra after the WC. he said that he did not risk it as it was an important game against India. Thereafter, WI, SL, Bangladesh went. He said he reserved it for Eng. MAY BE GOOD PRESSURE TACTICS.

  • Sports4Youth on February 7, 2012, 9:42 GMT

    Posted by Kavum on (February 06 2012, 21:41 PM GMT) :- .. WOW KAVUM !!!.. I MUST ADMIT THAT YOU HAVE THE OBSERVATION OF A HAWK. While everone was looking at the figures that damaged the opposition, you have managed to point out a strange one.

  • on February 7, 2012, 9:28 GMT

    I don't really think he can be considered a main bowler in that attack if he's only being given 4 overs...

  • jeetkaigeo on February 7, 2012, 5:05 GMT

    Younus Khan is the best fielder in the pakistani team (86 catches so far in 76 test matches) and 121 catches in ODI. Com'on Younis go for 100 catches in test matches

  • Aubm on February 7, 2012, 2:19 GMT

    Do South Africa deserve to be #1 though? Since the start of 2009 they have a 9-6-8 W-D-L record, their only series wins coming against WI and SL. Hardly #1 material in my view. The fact is that there is NO standout team in world cricket at the moment, and it seems to be that home ground advantage is far more significant than previously.

  • playitstraight on February 7, 2012, 1:40 GMT

    Well done Pakistan, the only thing needed to improve is their fielding standards. If they do that, then they can become the no.1 team although that will take some time.

  • explorer76 on February 6, 2012, 23:28 GMT

    @adithya - the pitches in UAE were not at all rank turners. In most cases there was not too much spin. Plus unlike india, england have been admitting that they have been weak against spin. They have not kept on saying "but we did beat everyone at home". Instead of saying "everything will be fine when we play at home", like india has been saying, they realize that they need to improve their performance in away series. So no comparison between the attitudes.

    @vsgr - sorry but if there was no partition, we would not have our excellent pakistani bowlers - perhaps we should keep politics out of this.

  • Kavum on February 6, 2012, 21:41 GMT

    Here's one for the statisticians that you appear to have missed. Cheema had identical figures of 4-0-9-0 (O-M-R-W) in both innings. Has this ever happened before - for a main bowler on a winning side or at any other time?

  • xylo on February 6, 2012, 21:18 GMT

    @Adithya Raghunathan: Did you even watch any of the matches?

  • on February 6, 2012, 21:07 GMT

    So what was teesra !!! 3-0

  • Sports4Youth on February 7, 2012, 9:46 GMT

    Posted by Imran Ulhaq on (February 06 2012, 21:07 PM GMT) :- ... Now since the series has ended WE CAN CLEARLY CONCLUDE THAT THE TEESRA WAS A BLUFF THAT WORKED. Right from the begining Ajmal mersmerised the Poms not only with his Doosra and othe variations but also with the sword of Teesra hanging on their heads. Ajmal announced the Teesra after the WC. he said that he did not risk it as it was an important game against India. Thereafter, WI, SL, Bangladesh went. He said he reserved it for Eng. MAY BE GOOD PRESSURE TACTICS.

  • Sports4Youth on February 7, 2012, 9:42 GMT

    Posted by Kavum on (February 06 2012, 21:41 PM GMT) :- .. WOW KAVUM !!!.. I MUST ADMIT THAT YOU HAVE THE OBSERVATION OF A HAWK. While everone was looking at the figures that damaged the opposition, you have managed to point out a strange one.

  • on February 7, 2012, 9:28 GMT

    I don't really think he can be considered a main bowler in that attack if he's only being given 4 overs...

  • jeetkaigeo on February 7, 2012, 5:05 GMT

    Younus Khan is the best fielder in the pakistani team (86 catches so far in 76 test matches) and 121 catches in ODI. Com'on Younis go for 100 catches in test matches

  • Aubm on February 7, 2012, 2:19 GMT

    Do South Africa deserve to be #1 though? Since the start of 2009 they have a 9-6-8 W-D-L record, their only series wins coming against WI and SL. Hardly #1 material in my view. The fact is that there is NO standout team in world cricket at the moment, and it seems to be that home ground advantage is far more significant than previously.

  • playitstraight on February 7, 2012, 1:40 GMT

    Well done Pakistan, the only thing needed to improve is their fielding standards. If they do that, then they can become the no.1 team although that will take some time.

  • explorer76 on February 6, 2012, 23:28 GMT

    @adithya - the pitches in UAE were not at all rank turners. In most cases there was not too much spin. Plus unlike india, england have been admitting that they have been weak against spin. They have not kept on saying "but we did beat everyone at home". Instead of saying "everything will be fine when we play at home", like india has been saying, they realize that they need to improve their performance in away series. So no comparison between the attitudes.

    @vsgr - sorry but if there was no partition, we would not have our excellent pakistani bowlers - perhaps we should keep politics out of this.

  • Kavum on February 6, 2012, 21:41 GMT

    Here's one for the statisticians that you appear to have missed. Cheema had identical figures of 4-0-9-0 (O-M-R-W) in both innings. Has this ever happened before - for a main bowler on a winning side or at any other time?

  • xylo on February 6, 2012, 21:18 GMT

    @Adithya Raghunathan: Did you even watch any of the matches?

  • on February 6, 2012, 21:07 GMT

    So what was teesra !!! 3-0

  • shahbazhussain on February 6, 2012, 20:11 GMT

    yes, i should also contribute now... 48 = 48!

  • on February 6, 2012, 19:02 GMT

    First it was reverse swing and now its Doosra which is becoming a very deadly weapon in International cricket ... I think after 5, 6 years even english bowlers will be bowling this delivery regularly.. Credit goes to Pakistan for inventing both of these varieties !!!

  • on February 6, 2012, 17:31 GMT

    @England: welcome to asia :D

  • zarasochozarasamjho on February 6, 2012, 17:21 GMT

    For this series whitewash, I salute Misbah and give credit to PCB to appoint Misbah, keep him there, allow him to function as a player and captain, for him to instill discipline and consistency into a Pak team which never existed before. There still are many problems to resolve, if Pakistan wants to go beyond 4th position, with the likes of SA, resurgent Aus, and even England. They would need to continue winning series in SA, Aus, and Eng to be able to do this. The current standards of fielding and batting wouldn't allow it. We need a coach who really addresses this and not merely bask under the glory of our bowlers and Misbah.

    George is right that England had a chance, a slim one yes, to win this game. They certainly had nothing to lose. With a combination of graft and aggression, it was possible. Broad couldn't take the pressure and did an Adridi - hit out of trouble based more on hope than expectation. For further enquiries, please contact Misbah-ul-Haq.

  • bluebillion on February 6, 2012, 17:01 GMT

    Lose a series 3 nil and what do you do - start twittering ofcourse! Crazy crazy world.

  • Long-Leg on February 6, 2012, 16:39 GMT

    Well done Pakistan. You outplayed a very good side and thoroughly deserved your win. Where do England go from here? They have test series against Sri Lanka (away) West Indies (Home) South Africa (Home) and India (Away). With respect to WI, I would expect England to win that series, but the other three series are harder to call. I still think they are a good side and could surprise a few people this year. I think Ajmal was the difference between the two teams and neither Sri Lanka nor India have a spinner of his quality. England still could end the year at number 1, or am I being insanely optimistic?

  • Peterincanada on February 6, 2012, 16:34 GMT

    Some people are saying that England's troubles are over because SL and India don't have quality spinners like Pak. That is only a half truth. As George says Pietersen has a technical flaw, he plays across the line. He can get away with it on a flat track but it is suicidal on a turning wicket. That is the real problem. English batsmen can't play on turning wickets. Instad of using the feet intelligently they play from the crease, hit across the line or wait for width to nurdle the ball. India and SL should produce bigger totals than Pak. did. Their spinners can put England on the back foot and gradually chip away if England play the same way they did against Pak.

  • iluvcricinfo on February 6, 2012, 16:31 GMT

    Congrats to Pakistan. I hope Pakistan repeat the same against Australia too.

  • on February 6, 2012, 16:21 GMT

    where does 46 come from? the article says 48.

  • on February 6, 2012, 16:19 GMT

    pakistan has showed tat, they wil prepare rank turners for the visiting ,like this india and sl even bangladesh shud do.... home team shud back home conditions

  • on February 6, 2012, 16:15 GMT

    Well done Pakistan - as a true ENgland supporter - and cricket lover - to see Pakistan become a force - a REAL force in world cricket is fantastic. With the decline of the WI in recent years, Sri lLanks failing and Zimbabwe only just clinging on to test status, to see Pakistan re-emerge from the troubles they have had over the past three years - many of which have nothing to do with cricket -and becone a real contender is great news for cricket lovers - more importantly test match lovers - throughout the world. England have a lot of work to do against the "skiddy" spinners in Asian conditions, they don't have to wait long for a chance to prove they can adapt. 2012 is looking like a great year for international cricket. India, South Africa , Australia , England and now Pakistan can all press for number one status in the coming months IT'S WIDE OPEN!

  • DomP on February 6, 2012, 15:53 GMT

    I think the relative weakness of the Indian and Sri Lankan attacks will make England look ok over the next two series. But the problems remain.

  • mars2009 on February 6, 2012, 15:50 GMT

    Welcome to planet earth, team England.

  • Harishonthemic on February 6, 2012, 15:48 GMT

    Believe Team England and its supoorters finally touched earth...;).

  • Chestnutgrey on February 6, 2012, 15:34 GMT

    This is even more pathetic than India's tour of England. Maybe England should play more IPL. Not even a single England century? Wow. It seems just like yesterday that the Cooks, the Bells and the Pietersens were hitting centuries by the dozen.

  • henchart on February 6, 2012, 15:33 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas: When you want to see headless chickens flutter ,you send Indian cricketers anywhere outside Sub continent ,preferably to Aus and Eng,isnt it mate? How about moaning India's performance rather than drawing false solace from England's defeat?

  • Sports4Youth on February 6, 2012, 15:30 GMT

    @ Mehdi Zaman . & . karthik666 .& . karthik666 .&. Ozair Asad .&. etc. .. May be i have not seen it earlier, but the article is saying 48 wickets. Maybe now Dobell may have corrected it after you guys pointed out.

  • on February 6, 2012, 15:25 GMT

    Andrew Strauss was the prime reason of England under performing in the series not only his captaincy was unimaginative but his batting was the too dour and lethargic he put a lot of pressure on the other batsmen by being too defensive

  • silverline15 on February 6, 2012, 15:24 GMT

    Hi, Congratulations to Pakistan on a series White wash. As I have stated before, making it to the top is a good achievement, staying at the top is a great achivement. Only the great teams can do that. A West Indies Fan.

  • Sports4Youth on February 6, 2012, 15:23 GMT

    Posted by Muhammad Bilal Afzal on (February 06 2012, 14:22 PM GMT) :- i beg to defer to you. If you take away Younis and Azhar's batting, the pakistani batting was worst. The rest of them just folded like a pack of cards. Compare that to the english batting, Cook looked very comfortable untill the presure of 50 got him, Strauss was not too bad. Trott was very comfortable untill lady luck deserted him, Petersen was poor, Bell was worst, Morgan showed how to attach good quality spin. And Prior, i thought looked the most assured of the lot. Only if Broad and Swann would have played for Prior, things would have been more close if not win. I think the battering in the series finally played on their minds. On the other hand after Younis pak looked completely lost (except for Azhar).

  • alubukhara on February 6, 2012, 15:20 GMT

    This ICC Test ranking system is a bit of a farce. It does not appropriately account for home advantage and overseas disadvantage. A team should get more points if it wins away from home than if it wins at home. Similarly it should be penalized more if it loses at home.

  • Sports4Youth on February 6, 2012, 15:15 GMT

    Posted by triassicpark on (February 06 2012, 14:25 PM GMT) :- .. In SL and India the quality of spin may not be the same, but the wickets may turn more. In that case it may be an advantage to England spinners also, but the Indian and the SL's play spin better.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on February 6, 2012, 15:12 GMT

    @frontfootlunge, sour grapes. The world never turned their back on Pakistan team. The world was against only three of their players - Asif, Salman and the unfortunate little kid Amir. No need to bring that spot fixing scandal in every post of yours and try to remind us 'gullibles' how despicable a team Pakistan is. Pakistan is not a despicable team. Those two - Asif and Salman are. BTW, these are no little baby steps by Pakistan team. They are on the move up the ladder, won against many teams, drew some and owned England here. Get a grip. Will you? Support to Pakistan and Mohammad Amir from India.

  • vgsr on February 6, 2012, 15:08 GMT

    I am an Indian, but i have always loved the pakistani cricketers. This is really a standout performance, coming after all those fixing scandals. Just imagine what a combined team would have looked like if there had been no partition of Pakistan. !!!! Bowlers from Pakistan, Sehwag, Tendulkar, Dravid ,Laxman to do the batting honors !!! wow!

  • on February 6, 2012, 15:07 GMT

    AAAH revenge is sweet no doubt :)

  • on February 6, 2012, 15:04 GMT

    Well, well.. The debate of a team being righteously no.1 goes on & on.. In my opinion, the only team that truly deserves the no.1 is South Africa, they are the ONLY team not to lose a test series in India.. And they have won test series in SL, Pak, etc as well.. Regarding people talking of degrading the Indian team, let me say that the law of averages caught up with India at the wrong time & the wrong place. 2 bad series & everyone writes them off. India is going to come back roaring.. They are the ONLY asian team to perform consistently well abroad.

  • on February 6, 2012, 14:54 GMT

    The most important is the fact that a top of ICC test ranking team got whitewash while first was india in the last summer. Indias slide has not ended largelly dueto the policy ofretaining non performing seniors at every cost. Let's see if it stops for english.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on February 6, 2012, 14:53 GMT

    When you want to see circus dancers against spin, you just invite the English to Asia :).

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on February 6, 2012, 14:41 GMT

    And people wonder why I bowl legspin here in UK, while every other youngster wants to be a quick... Sign me up England! I'll let you practise against me any time.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on February 6, 2012, 14:25 GMT

    Good start in what are fledgling beginnings for Pakistan, a team the world turned it's back on from 2010 onwards, and justifiably so of course. It's only a beginning, though.

  • triassicpark on February 6, 2012, 14:25 GMT

    Do Poms deserve no. 1??? Someone has to be and they got there with hardwork. Lets see what happens in SL and India?

  • on February 6, 2012, 14:22 GMT

    definitely a wonderful show by Pakistan.. and finally we can say that Pakistan is consistent in its approach.. some great bowling by England too.. but it wud be wrong to say that England batting failed.. they did perform .. however, the Pakistan bowling attacked turned out to be the superior one and all praise to misbah... mohsin and whole of Pakistan team for this wonderful white wash series win.. i do hope and wish a likewise result in ODIs and T20s...

  • on February 6, 2012, 14:20 GMT

    George I think you made the mistake in the article ... Saeed Ajmal took 24, Abdul Rehman took 19 and hafeez took 5 wickets so the total wickets to spinners are 48 not 46.

  • doosra95 on February 6, 2012, 14:18 GMT

    I thought 19+24+5=48 wickets and not 46 may be I'm seeing things wrongly !!LOL England loose 3 Nil and you are also miscalculating like England!

  • on February 6, 2012, 14:17 GMT

    statistics 24+19+5=48 wickets to spinners,its written as 46, anyway well done spinners,well done Pakistan Team

  • on February 6, 2012, 14:15 GMT

    another statistics 43+5 = 48

  • datewithdestiny on February 6, 2012, 14:13 GMT

    And it really does not take an analyst either to figure out that 19+24+5 = 48.. Not 46...

  • on February 6, 2012, 14:07 GMT

    whatapaly

  • karthik666 on February 6, 2012, 14:03 GMT

    Is it not 48 wickets (43 +5) ?

  • on February 6, 2012, 14:02 GMT

    This is a historical win over miserable English team. Great victory team Pakistan.wish u good luck in one dayers.........

  • on February 6, 2012, 14:02 GMT

    43+5=48 not 46 either your calculation is wrong or hafeez took less wickets

  • web_guru2003 on February 6, 2012, 14:00 GMT

    Just a little correction in Statistic of the day: Spin accounted for 48 (out of 60) England wickets and not 46 (Hafeez 5 + Ajmal 24 + Rehman 19 = 49)

  • TTking on February 6, 2012, 13:59 GMT

    Mr. Dobell, the statistics of the day is incorrect. 19+24+5=48 wickets out of 60 wickets taken. Please correct.

  • on February 6, 2012, 13:57 GMT

    43 + 5 = 48 (number of English wickets to fall to spin)

  • ravikb on February 6, 2012, 13:54 GMT

    There is a mistake in the no. of wickets taken by Pakistan spinners. It should be 48 not 46 as mentioned here.

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  • ravikb on February 6, 2012, 13:54 GMT

    There is a mistake in the no. of wickets taken by Pakistan spinners. It should be 48 not 46 as mentioned here.

  • on February 6, 2012, 13:57 GMT

    43 + 5 = 48 (number of English wickets to fall to spin)

  • TTking on February 6, 2012, 13:59 GMT

    Mr. Dobell, the statistics of the day is incorrect. 19+24+5=48 wickets out of 60 wickets taken. Please correct.

  • web_guru2003 on February 6, 2012, 14:00 GMT

    Just a little correction in Statistic of the day: Spin accounted for 48 (out of 60) England wickets and not 46 (Hafeez 5 + Ajmal 24 + Rehman 19 = 49)

  • on February 6, 2012, 14:02 GMT

    43+5=48 not 46 either your calculation is wrong or hafeez took less wickets

  • on February 6, 2012, 14:02 GMT

    This is a historical win over miserable English team. Great victory team Pakistan.wish u good luck in one dayers.........

  • karthik666 on February 6, 2012, 14:03 GMT

    Is it not 48 wickets (43 +5) ?

  • on February 6, 2012, 14:07 GMT

    whatapaly

  • datewithdestiny on February 6, 2012, 14:13 GMT

    And it really does not take an analyst either to figure out that 19+24+5 = 48.. Not 46...

  • on February 6, 2012, 14:15 GMT

    another statistics 43+5 = 48