There has been a lot of flak from Pakistani fans that Sarfraz Ahmed should have opted to bowl instead of choosing to bat. This was the same thing that the English fans said about the first test. The main difference between the last test and this is that today all of the commentators whether English, Pakistani or neutral said the decision to bat first was the right one. At Lords; everyone said that the decision to bat was wrong. If I was a betting man then I would place all my money that Root would have batted too. Thankfully he did not do that. I do wonder whether the trend for this summer would be of the wrong choices made by Captains.
I wrote my opinion on the team changes. The bowlers did their job exceptionally well. I am especially happy for Stuart Broad after the scathing he received from Michael Vaughn. I am highly disappointed with him. He was plain silly at Cricbuzz when he asked his hair stylist about his thoughts on T100. I am originally from Bangalore. Things have changed since I left but I do not think that it has done so drastically that they would have an opinion on a foetal competition in another continent. The 2005 Ashes made me understand and love the series. I am glad that Sam Curran bowled properly and got a wicket. My opinion has not changed about Dominic Bess. I do believe Joe Root gave him sympathy overs rather than using him as a proper attacking or defensive option. I do not think that anyone would have realised he was playing if he had not to bat for those 10 minutes. I feel sorry for Cook. He was very unlucky to get out in the manner that he did. For Pakistan I believe that the services of Babar Azam will be dearly missed. He however does not have my sympathies. In this day and age you have protective gear for nearly all parts of the body. This could have been avoided if he has to wear an arm guard. It is a lesson he probably will learn from.
I believe that Pakistan got bowled out for a low score not because of bad batting but because of great bowling. I do not think there was any respite for Pakistan apart from the bowling of Sam Curran and the overs in which Hasan Ali batted. Sam Curran looked raw. He still has to learn his craft. Being around Anderson and Broad is going to help him. I may be missing something but I still have to figure out why the choice should always come down between Wood and Woakes. Surely this match would have been ideal to get Woods into the attack rather than Curran. I can understand that Curran’s bowling added variety to the English bowling attack but surely sustained pressure by an experienced bowler would be better than variety. I am not sure whether Ed Smith was thinking that Sam Curran would morph into the next Wasim Akram by including him in the side.
As always I start this section with the analysis from CricViz. The reason I do this is I use CricViz as a benchmark to compare my analysis with as both are number based. The other benchmark I use are the articles written by BeingOutsideCricket. However I do have to admit that I do not read what they or other people write until I have done my analysis and formed the meat of my opinions and articles. The only thing I watch is the “The Debate” on SKY. At this stage I believe that 91% is too high a probability of victory. Pakistan has a history of coming back fresh in the morning and ripping through the batting line up. Ideally England would not want to bat a second time. A score in excess of 350 would be needed. Anything less than that would be a disservice to the bowlers. England have scored 617 points and Pakistan scored 462 points. In comparison on day one of the first test England were at 399 points and Pakistan at 480. England has done better than Pakistan did in the first test at the same stage.
England has started out well but where will they go from here? When he was batting; Root seems to be back to the boyish charms that he had when playing in the Ashes that England won at home. I am hopeful that this game would go England’s way weather permitting of course.