Almost every critic and cricket fan was surprised when Pakistan’s Test team was announced for the upcoming tours of Ireland and England.
And, why wouldn’t they be as the national selection committee headed by Inzamam-ul-Haq selected an inexperienced team for such tough tours. Which besides, non Test experienced players, an unstable opening pair with a weak middle order, will also have to struggle with the English weather conditions.
This is why no one was surprised when Pakistan’s batting line-up was exposed during the Tour match against Kent. Although, this match was drawn due to two straight days of no play.
However, Pakistan’s first innings display of batting was more than enough to judge their ability to cope up with English conditions.
Apart from Imam-ul-Haq no Pakistani batsman could even score a fifty as they only managed a score of 168 against England’s domestic bowlers. Not only that Pakistan couldn’t even dominate in the bowling department as they took only 4 wickets for 209 when the match came to an end.
What’s so special about English conditions?
Asian batsmen have a long history to suffer in English conditions, simply because they are not used to it. Not just Pakistan every Asian team faces difficulty while facing swinging conditions outside Asia.
The pitches are bouncy and the fast bowlers get enough room to swing the ball both ways and even a solid batsman with a good technique can be outplayed in these conditions.
Take Virat Kohli for example, the Indian skipper is currently the 2nd best batsman in the world with a world-class average of 53.40 and 21 centuries to his name. However, his average in English conditions is only 13.40 which is pretty low if compared to his overall average.
Pakistani batsmen are not behind as apart from Younis Khan who is now retired, no batsman in this current team has the temperament or the skill to face English bowlers in these conditions.
Pakistan would be lucky if they even draw these series against Ireland and England respectively. However, chances of it happening are still very low.
What Selection could have saved Pakistan team?
It is clear mistake of the selection committee who failed to realize that experience matters more and rather than selecting T20 specialists, proper Test batsmen should have been included.
Does Pakistan Team stand a chance in English conditions?
It is too early to say whether this young and in-experienced fluke will work, however, England and Ireland are not going to go easy on Pakistan team. And, to even come close to these English teams Pakistan cricket would need some sort of miracle.
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