Englandís first Test tour in 17 years presents ideal opportunity for a Pakistani red-ball reset


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  1. #1
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    Englandís first Test tour in 17 years presents ideal opportunity for a Pakistani red-ball reset

    Many thanks to @Markhor for his excellent preview of the upcoming 3-Test series between Pakistan and England





    The two T20 World Cup finalists will lock horns in England’s first Test tour of Pakistan since 2005. The visitors arrive rejuvenated under captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum who’ve overseen a remarkable transformation of an England Test side that won only 1 Test in 17 prior to their appointments. After two indifferent Test series this year against Australia and Sri Lanka, Babar Azam and Saqlain Mushtaq are hoping for a “red ball reset” of their own and must address several key areas.

    Azhar Ali’s future

    Azhar Ali is the embodiment of a cricketer who’s worked hard to maximise his relatively limited skillset. However, an average of 34.94 since the retirement of Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq in 2017 suggests some difficulty handling the expectations on a senior batsman. He was dropped after a torrid showing in the 1st Test vs Sri Lanka in July. With Pakistan’s FC circuit not short of prolific middle-order batsmen, and Azhar turning 38 in February - Babar must take a realistic view on Azhar’s future.

    Middle order instability

    After Azhar’s axing, Babar himself moved up to #3 in the 2nd Test vs Sri Lanka. However it’s likely he’ll move back down to his preferred #4 position. Fawad Alam’s exclusion has again raised hackles from his supporters who justifiably point to the double standards – where Azhar Ali and in the past, Asad Shafiq, received long rope from selectors – Fawad’s failures in five innings across three Tests are enough to exile him. However as in Azhar’s case, Fawad is not a spring chicken either. Can the management afford to waste the peaks of in-form batsmen patiently waiting in domestic cricket ?

    Fellow lefthander from Karachi, Saud Shakeel, is one of them having averaged 61 in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy since 2019. He’ll compete with Agha Salman, whose post-2019 QEA average is equally impressive at 58, with an unbeaten 158 in his current outing with Southern Punjab.

    Taking twenty wickets

    Since the inaugural World Test Championship began in Aug 2019 – Pakistan’s bowling attack averages 32.53 – the 8th best in the world ahead of only Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. Although the pitches vs Australia were appallingly flat and dull, Pakistan’s failure to take 20 wickets in any Test were symptomatic of a long-term Test bowling decline.

    Naseem Shah’s improvements are heartening with the youngster enjoying his best year in internationals, while selectors hope Haris Rauf can convert his red-hot white-ball form into the Test arena. Again Mohammad Wasim rewarded domestic form by calling up mystery spinner Abrar Ahmed, who tops this year’s QEA charts by a distance with 43 wickets, and right-arm seamer Mohammad Ali who averages 24 since the start of last season.

    Bazball vs Babball

    England’s attacking approach draws a stark contrast with a Pakistan team that typically errs on the side of caution. Anyone watching the Australia series saw Babar’s side prioritising the avoidance of defeat over pursuing victory with negative fields and overly conservative batting. Although Pakistan shouldn’t blindly ape the tactics of their opponents, Babar must go for the kill when the opportunity presents. Most importantly the PCB, for the sake of Test cricket’s future in Pakistan, must prepare sporting pitches that not only offer a degree of home advantage but enables fair competition between bat and ball.
    Last edited by MenInG; 22nd November 2022 at 20:59.


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  2. #2
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    More like a Red Ball "switch it off and back on again" and hope for the best

  3. #3
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    Should be an exciting series. Hopefully the pitches are supporting as flat pitches will make it easier for England to play Bazball

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    First meaningful series after the World Cup. Excited to see how the boys get on.

    Taking 20 wickets will be the biggest challenge in my view. Pakistan will make a mistake if they play too many all rounders i.e. Agha, Faheem, Nawaz. Tricky selection.

  5. #5
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    Love the jargon after RizBar we've got Babball wow


    Quote Originally Posted by Arsal_AK View Post
    If Hafeez can get two hundreds in a game anyone can.

  6. #6
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    No one can forget that incredible 2005 Test series v England.

    It was Englandís first test series after that epic Ashes 2005 triumph.

    Pakistanís comeback at Multan in 1st Test set the tone & Poms never recovered that was the beginning of their downfall in that tour.

  7. #7
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    Pakistan team should have atleast 2 three days matches .I am quite nervous about first test it will be pretty difficult to adjust from t20s to test format. Pakistan is slow starter and if we lose first test it will be very difficult to make a comeback on roads of multan and karachi

  8. #8
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    Thank GOD the T20's are over. Time for proper cricket now.

  9. #9
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    Redball reset? Pakistan have turned a blind eyes to issues and problems during Aussie / SL series, same TTFs being picked, Same weak game plans will be used, same poor uninspiring team selections.

    Under Mo wasim, Babar, Saqi and Rameez, pakistan will keep going backwards.

  10. #10
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    Waiting to see how we'll do without Shaheen. Not waiting to see the entire stadium empty for a test series.


    PP's own self proclaimed sharpshooter and defender of Islam and Pakistan.

  11. #11
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    We’ve been a middling test side since the 2-2 in England in 2016. That was the last pinnacle of Pak test cricket in the last 6 years.

    We’re still carrying Asad and Azhar since then who should have been phased out already. That would’ve been a reset.

    And only now are we finally moving on from Yasir Shah.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Energy View Post
    First meaningful series after the World Cup. Excited to see how the boys get on.

    Taking 20 wickets will be the biggest challenge in my view. Pakistan will make a mistake if they play too many all rounders i.e. Agha, Faheem, Nawaz. Tricky selection.
    Play Fahim and Nawaz don't need to play Agha.

  13. #13
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    Pakistan should play Saud instead of Agha.
    And play fahim and nawaz at 7 and 8.

  14. #14
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    Match officials for Pakistan v England Tests announced

    Rawalpindi, 24 November 2022:

    Andy Pycroft, member of the ICC Elite Panel of Match Referees, will lead the playing control teams for the three ICC World Test Championship fixtures between Pakistan and England in December.

    Seven umpires, three of whom are from the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires, will officiate the Tests across Rawalpindi (1-5), Multan (9-13) and Karachi (17-21).

    Joel Wilson, who is one of the 11 members of the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires, will join Ahsan Raza as on-field umpire for the opening Test, which will be the first between the two sides on the Pakistani soil since 2005. Marais Erasmus will be the third umpire and Asif Yaqoob will be the fourth umpire.

    Marais Erasmus and Aleem Dar, the other two umpires from the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires, will take on-field duties in Multan with Joel Wilson and Rashid Riaz performing third and fourth umpire duties.

    The playing control team for the third Test in Karachi will be the same as the first Test with Joel Wilson and Ahsan Raza returning as on-field umpires and Marais Erasmus and Asif Yaqoob taking up third and fourth umpire roles.

    Ahsan Raza, Asif Yaqoob and Rashid Riaz are members of the ICC International Panel of Umpires.


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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by pakfan54588 View Post
    Pakistan team should have atleast 2 three days matches .I am quite nervous about first test it will be pretty difficult to adjust from t20s to test format. Pakistan is slow starter and if we lose first test it will be very difficult to make a comeback on roads of multan and karachi
    Atleast 7-8 of starting XI is coming off a domestic FC season.

    PCB should have asked Babar, Haris, Rizwan and Naseem to play the final round of QEA rest of the squad is game ready.

  16. #16
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    England's spin bowlers fought back to stay in control on day two of their match against England Lions, despite Haseeb Hameed's century in Abu Dhabi.

    The three-day warm-up match precedes England's three-Test series against Pakistan, which starts on 1 December.

    Lions opener Hameed scored 145 from 172 balls and shared a first-wicket stand of 179 with Tom Haines, who made 82.

    Spinners Jack Leach, Liam Livingstone and Will Jacks took two wickets each as the Lions posted 412-9, 89 runs behind.

    England amassed 501 in just 79 overs on the opening day. Stand-in captain Ollie Pope scored 146, Zac Crawley 96 and Jacks 84.

    And the batters continued to dominate on the second day when Hameed and Haines cashed in on a flat pitch with short boundaries at the Tolerance Oval, against an England attack that included James Anderson and Ollie Robinson.

    Anderson claimed the key dismissal of Hameed, trapping him lbw for his only wicket in a spell of 12 overs for 55 runs.

    But the spinners regained control for England, although Rehan Ahmed, the 18-year-old leg-spinner who has been called up for the Test tour of Pakistan, provided an entertaining cameo of 26 from 10 balls.

    Jofra Archer, who bowled for England for the first time in 16 months on day one, finished the day unbeaten on 39 from 15 balls, including three sixes.

    BBC


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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suleiman View Post
    We’ve been a middling test side since the 2-2 in England in 2016. That was the last pinnacle of Pak test cricket in the last 6 years.

    We’re still carrying Asad and Azhar since then who should have been phased out already. That would’ve been a reset.

    And only now are we finally moving on from Yasir Shah.
    The Brisbane Test after that was the turning point. Losing that demoralised us and 2017 to 2020 was terrible.

  18. #18
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    What is faheems bowling form like, and can nawaz bowl as one of 2 front line spinners in test cricket.
    We need good answer to those two questions otherwise there is trouble.


    If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you always got #improve

  19. #19
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    The pitches need to offer something for the bowlers. If they do, this will be a good series.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    The pitches need to offer something for the bowlers. If they do, this will be a good series.
    After so much anticipation, the Australia tour was one of the worst Test series of all time.

    The pitches were a lifeless disgrace while the state of the Karachi square was embarrassing - it looked like a UFO landed on it.

    Also I know PCB need to pay the bills, but the TV coverage was almost unwatchable with the relentless plugs for Tapal Tea and other sponsors.

    These historic tours are an opportunity to show the world the best face of Pakistan, so hopefully PCB ups their game.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    The pitches need to offer something for the bowlers. If they do, this will be a good series.
    Pitches we had for SA home series would be ideal, sadly the coward mentality shown in Aus series means we will get dead wickets. Sporting wickets should be way all time.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarwar89 View Post
    No one can forget that incredible 2005 Test series v England.

    It was Englandís first test series after that epic Ashes 2005 triumph.

    Pakistanís comeback at Multan in 1st Test set the tone & Poms never recovered that was the beginning of their downfall in that tour.
    I remember that!

    Shoaib Akhtar at his peak

  23. #23
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    Strange from PCB for not moving test from Pindi to Karachi. Not just weather will be an issue but there is no way IK's long march won't effect the match.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markhor View Post
    After so much anticipation, the Australia tour was one of the worst Test series of all time.

    The pitches were a lifeless disgrace while the state of the Karachi square was embarrassing - it looked like a UFO landed on it.

    Also I know PCB need to pay the bills, but the TV coverage was almost unwatchable with the relentless plugs for Tapal Tea and other sponsors.

    These historic tours are an opportunity to show the world the best face of Pakistan, so hopefully PCB ups their game.
    The sponsors won't go away - I am afraid Tapal is there to stay!


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  25. #25
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    Mohammad Wasim:

    “We know that England play aggressive cricket in Test matches as well and we will keep that in mind during the series"

    “Pakistan team will also benefit if they increase their scoring rate since cricket has now changed"


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  26. #26
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    England's Men's Test team have arrived in Islamabad ahead of their first Test series on Pakistan soil in 17 years.

    Skipper Ben Stokes and 15 of his teammates touched down in Pakistan on Saturday and were given a warm welcome by local authorities ahead of the three-match series that commences in Rawalpindi on December 1.


    While England played a seven-match T20I series in Pakistan prior to the ICC Men's T20 World Cup, this three-match Test series will be the first time the two sides have played a red-ball fixture in the country since 2005.

    The series is part of the current World Test Championship period and Pakistan are still in contention to win a place at next year's final at The Oval.

    Babar Azam's side sit in fifth place on the World Test Championship standings and have upcoming series at home against England and New Zealand to boost their chances of a top two finish and to earn a place at next year's decider.

    England are out of contention for a spot in the final, with their disastrous Ashes series in Australia at the end of last year and a disappointing series of the West Indies in March leaving them with too much to do to remain in the mix.

    They have bounced back to some of their best form in recent times, with series triumphs at home over New Zealand and South Africa helping them commence a new era under Kiwi coach Brendon McCullum.

    England are keeping a close eye on the fitness of Mark Wood, with the pace spearhead still battling the hip injury that saw him miss the final of the T20 World Cup against Pakistan in Melbourne.

    For Stokes, the tour is his first visit to Pakistan and something the 31-year-old is eagerly looking forward to.

    "In terms of the tour itself, I'm really looking forward to it," Stokes said.

    "We know what the sub-continent feels about the cricket, it's a huge part of their life, and we're looking forward to going out there."

    Teams jostle for World Test Championship final with two crucial series set to commence
    England squad: Ben Stokes (c), James Anderson, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ben Foakes, Will Jacks, Keaton Jennings, Jack Leach, Liam Livingstone, Jamie Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root, Mark Wood, Rehan Ahmed.

    Tour schedule:
    First Test, Rawalpindi, December 1-5
    Second Test, Karachi, December 9-13
    Third Test, Multan, December 17-21

    ICC


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  27. #27
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    Very afraid for Pakistan team our bowling is banana skin, eill be very tough to take 20 wickets hopefully pitches served up will be low bounce and devoid of grass do that it's 450v 550


    Quote Originally Posted by Arsal_AK View Post
    If Hafeez can get two hundreds in a game anyone can.

  28. #28
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    finally babar and rizwan will show intent... 🤣

  29. #29
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    British High Commission in Islamabad hosted a ceremony on Monday night in honor of the England Test side, who will play the longest format in Pakistan after a gap of 17 years.
    Pakistan men's team was part of the occasion, while PCB and federal government officials also attended.

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  30. #30
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    The four debutants were handed Test caps earlier in the day

    Vice captain Mohammad Rizwan gave the cap to Zahid Mehmood

    Sarfaraz Ahmed gave the cap to Saud Shakeel

    Batting coach Mohammad Yousuf presented the cap to Mohammad Ali

    Captain Babar Azam presented the cap to Haris Rauf


  31. #31
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amjid Javed View Post
    Redball reset? Pakistan have turned a blind eyes to issues and problems during Aussie / SL series, same TTFs being picked, Same weak game plans will be used, same poor uninspiring team selections.

    Under Mo wasim, Babar, Saqi and Rameez, pakistan will keep going backwards.
    As u said a week ago, as expected same pathetic team mindset.

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