|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
The visit of Pakistan to England in 1962 failed to show their cricketers in such a promising light as in their first tour of this country eight years earlier. Then, they returned home rejoicing because they had drawn the rubber by virtue of winning the final Test at The Oval after losing at Trent Bridge.
This time, outplayed in all five Tests, they lost four and were saved only by the weather at Trent Bridge. Indeed, in recent years no touring team has finished with such a dismal record, for they won only four of their 29 first-class engagements and were beaten eight times, Sussex, Glamorgan, Somerset and Essex adding to the four defeats inflicted by England.
There were several reasons for the lack of success. First the team carried too many inexperienced players because over the previous ten years they had kept together the nucleus which had stood them in good stead on their introduction to Test cricket.
Secondly, during the last three or four years in Pakistan they had been changing from matting to very dead turf pitches which allowed for little, if any, movement of the ball. These easy conditions do not demand sound technique. A batsman with a good eye can play across the line of the straight ball in Pakistan, but such methods proved disastrous in England.
With the covering of pitches in England before and during matches, the Pakistanis also met with vastly different conditions compared with their previous tour. They discovered that not only England, but all the county teams, now relied mainly on seam bowlers and that, because the amount of wear and tear to the turf was generally negligible, there was very little encouragement for spin bowlers.
Yet, except at Lord's where Mahmood Hussain, Antoa D'Souza and Mohammad Farooq played, Pakistan relied only on two pace bowlers in the Tests. They preferred to sacrifice one to reinforce the batting, and only at Lord's did they manage to dismiss England for less than 400.
A tremendous strain was imposed upon, their new-ball bowlers, who were kept at it for hour after hour. Consequently, by the time three Tests had been completed, Mahmood Hussain and Farooq had broken down. So Pakistan sent for their old stalwart, Fazal, and he was equally overworked.
One felt that the Pakistanis lived from match to match and did not take a long-term view of a strenuous tour which demanded six-days-a-week cricket for a period covering more than four months. Not enough was made of the material they had with them.
Shahid Mahmood, Afaq Hussain and Asif Ahmed went weeks on end without playing and had no chance to establish themselves or develop confidence. Intikhab Alam looked a capable leg-spinner, but was neglected until the final Test.
No doubt they expected much from Haseeb Ahsan, their off-break bowler, but he suffered foot trouble in the first match at Worcester and eventually went home. Doubts had been expressed about his action, which he had modified, but as there was a truce up to the first Test, the opinions of the umpires on this controversial matter were not divulged.
Even at this early stage of the tour, it was realised that only a spin bowler of the highest class would be of much use to the side and that another new-ball man might be better as a replacement. After much delay Javed Akhtar, a tall, well-built off-breaker, flew to London on the eve of the Third Test at Headingley and he was put straight into the side without experience of English conditions. He met with such little success that he appeared in only seven first-class matches.
A much bigger disappointment was the failure of Hanif Mohammad, the famous opening batsman, to do himself justice. He arrived handicapped by a knee injury and never appeared to be completely physically fit. He made a few big scores against ordinary bowling, but was always vulnerable to pace. His scores in the five Tests: 47 and 31; 13 and 24; 9 and 4; 0 and 3; and 46 and 0 told a sorry story.
Mushtaq, one of his young brothers, proved to be among the few successes. More about his career can be found in The Five Cricketers of the Year among whom he deservedly gained recognition.
Six of the party completed over 1,000 runs during the tour. Javed Burki, the captain, was, like his predecessor, Abdul Kardar, an Oxford Blue, but he did not appear to be such a good leader. Nor, on the other hand, did he have such a capable side.
Burki aimed to play attractive cricket and he himself hit three centuries, including one in the Test at Lord's where all visiting captains like to shine. That day he took part in a notable stand with the left-hander, Nasim-Ul-Ghani, who also completed his hundred, but it came too late to prevent defeat.
Imtiaz Ahmed showed he had lost none of his skill since his previous visit and did valuable work as wicket-keeper-batsman. Both he and his deputy, the gay Ijaz Butt, scored 1,000 runs as did Saeed Ahmed, who at the age of 24 showed much promise. With more concentration to the task on hand, he could be a real asset to Pakistan cricket.
Of the five opening bowlers, Farooq proved the quickest and had he been used in reasonable spells he might have lasted the tour. Antao D'Souza and Munir Malik, both medium-fast, kept a steady length and direction without troubling the best batsmen. Mahmood Hussain wasted much energy with leg-theory and Fazal, though willing, was only a shadow of the great bowler English followers knew in 1954.
There is so much enthusiasm for cricket in Pakistan that one feels certain their players and officials will remember the lessons of the tour. When they produce livelier pitches at home, their bowlers will develop and the batsmen will appreciate the necessity of using the straight bat in defence. All were adept in employing the hook but too often it was used with fatal results.
That the tour went through so pleasantly was due to the courtesy of the manager, Brigadier R.G. Hyder, and his assistant, Major S.A. Rahman, as well as each individual player. They met their reverses as sportsmen and were a popular party wherever they went.
Test Matches -- Played 5; Lost 4, Drawn 1.
First-Class Matches -- Played 29; Won 4, Lost 8, Drawn 17.
All Matches -- Played 35; Won 6, Lost 8, Drawn 21.
Wins -- Oxford University, Cambridge University, Surrey, T. N. Pearce's XI, Col. L. C. Stevens's XI, Club Cricket Conference.
Losses -- England (4), Sussex, Glamorgan, Somerset, Essex.
Draws -- Worcestershire, Leicestershire, M. C. C., Lancashire (2), Yorkshire. Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Hampshire, Middlesex, Glamorgan, Warwickshire, Gloucestershire, Kent, A. E. R. Gilligan's XI, Duke of Norfolk's XI, Ireland, Minor Counties, Durham, Indian Gymkhana.
Match reports for