The mercurial Pakistani side known for its inconsistent performances can give any fan nerve wrecking moments of play in any format that can leave them filled with joy or gasp in utter dissappointment. The fans will surely bemoan the limp surrender at Edgbaston after ruling the roost for most of first four days until blitz by Bairstow and Moeen Ali turned the game on its head.
The one day cricket and twenty20 chapter for Pakistan cricket team is surely woeful for obvious reason but the fans did find some solace in the longer format as the team did manage to show signs of upward progression after a scintillating triumph at Lords. The last time a series happened between England and Pakistan in England, the opportunity to draw the series was marred by spot fixing scandal that tainted the name of the country and its player to another low for quite some time. Misbah-ul-Haq has a great series with the bat but surely if he will have some failures down the road in such long series comprising of four test matches that will concluded on August 7th at the Oval, London when the sides meet for the final showdown.
The bowling for Pakistan side has not lived up to expectations as Mohammad Amir coming into the side looks a shadow of talent he was back in 2010.Wahab Riaz can never doubted that he is a hard trier and delivers his all when on a cricketing field. Rahat Ali has been inconsistent with this line and lengths. He at times can’t seem maintain the pressure created from the other end. Yasir Shah has not returned after being walloped by English batsmen at Manchester as he looked totally defensive even Pakistan did have a big lead of 100 runs. Sohail Khan came in place of Wahab Riaz and delivered in first innings with a five wicket haul but was able to maintain line and speeds for major part of second innings owing to fitness issues plaguing the side for longest time one can remember.
The batting lineup has also seen noticeable failures in openers Shan Masood and Mohammad Hafeez failing to score a half century in all the games played. The struggles of great batsman like Younis Khan is showing signs of ageing as he has looked out of sorts in all his innings. The failures on the last day by all batsmen showed one thing that Pakistan side fails to deliver consistent performances when it comes to sustaining the dominance for longer periods.The defeat at Manchester and Edgbaston might make people believe that England demise at Lords was just an aberration and Pakistan fluke to start the tour. The pundits might that results might have been different had Anderson played the first test at Lords.
Pakistan performances have nosedived on this tour from failures of openers to bowlers not producing the goods and squandering 100 run lead after both the sides batted in the first innings. There is still hope for Misbah’s men that they might spring a surprise at the Oval or it might be take something special to dislodge dominant England side that have started to get their groove back after defeat at Lords.