Pakistan win thriller to come back in the series

Posted: Saturday, September 18, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , ,

The gap between the 2nd and 3rd one dayer was so long that it felt like I'm watching a whole new series. Half an hour before the toss, Collingwood went for a fitness test and after having a conversation with Strauss, Flower and the team's physio, decided not to play. He is said to be suffering from a virus. But England didn't have a batsman for back-up. England had Wright (batting all-rounder who has disappointed in Internationals), Ajmal Shahzad (young fast bowler), Ryan Sidebottom (Left arm swing bowler) so it was obvious to go for Wright. Even though England are playing at home, they announced the squad for the whole series. This doesn't give players the chance to make their way into the team. The possibilities are endless. Kieswetter, Prior, Cook, Bell, Malan, KP, Shah, other keepers could replace Collingwood. The line-up for the 3rd ODI only had 4 batsman (Strauss, Trott, Bopara), a batting all-rounder (Wright), 4 bowling all-rounders (Bresnan, Swann, Broad, Yardy), a pure bowler (Anderson) and a wicketkeeper batsman (Davies). England paid the price for not playing enough pure batsman. I reckon playing 5 pure batsman, a batting all-rounder and the bowlers can contribute to batting but their bowling should be considered more than their batting while picking them.  It's good to have 2 or 3 bowlers who can contribute to batting in case you need 20-30 runs but you don't need all bowlers to be good with the bat. When wickets tumble, usually they all do. There are some all-rounders in cricket who take 1 wicket, score 20-30 runs and that is not good enough. Despite long batting, England failed to score 242. It was evident that England had gone with weak batting.

England don't need to play Yardy and Bresnan has never looked better than the ones sitting out. Yardy's bowling average in the series is 44.66 with an economy rate of 6.09. James Anderson has been superb in the series but he doesn't always take a wicket in his first spell and that's where Shahzad can be useful (he just needs to improve his catching, otherwise he fits the bill). Shahzad must replace Bresnan. Bresnan did pick 3 wickets but mostly luckily. The ball on which he bowled Kamran Akmal, was going down the leg side but just flicked the thigh pad and went to the stumps. I liked Atherton's remark when the ball went for four in Wright's first over,
Anderson couldn't get there. And if he couldn't, no one could.

England have got some brilliant fielders. Yardy must be the worst, followed by Swann I guess. Swann is good in the slips though. Umar Akmal kept the wickets as bro Kamran got injured. He did well I think. Afridi brought in the drama, by being run-out off his own bat. He was looking at Swann when Swann threw it and still he was just walking and as he was putting his bat down, the ball hit his bat and went on to hit the stumps. He was casual, he didn't even know England were gonna appeal. Lol.

Saeed Ajmal and Umar Gul (thanks to his 6/42 in this match) are the leading wicket-takers of the series followed by Jimmy, Bressie and Broady. Jimmy has been amazing in all 3 matches and has the best economy rate (3.34) out of everyone who has bowled in this series. Shoaib Akhtar is the 2nd best in the economy rate (4.61). I must say he has surprised me by bowling beautifully. When I saw him in the squad at the start of the series, I thought Pakistan are clinging on to the past and Akhtar's career is over. He has been hit by controversies, drugs and bad fitness, or else he would have been far better.

Superb Deliveries Of The Day
Quite a few stupefying deliveries were bowled in this match. The first by Jimmy Anderson, to fetch the wicket of Mohammad Hafeez. Akhtar bowled an unplayable one to remove Trott. And Umar Gul produced some dumbfounding deliveries, notably the ones which sent the stumps flying out of the ground.

Hats off to Wright for trying so hard. Apart from his debut, ICC World Twenty20, this was his best batting display. He believed in Anderson, rightly so. You have to believe in tail-enders because it's really hard to score all the runs all by yourself. And even if you are a far better batsman, you can still get out. It's also important to believe in the tail-enders to improve their batting. I almost couldn't believe when Anderson was bowled, I thought the match would go closer than that. Jimmy needs to learn some leg-side shots. Straussy, Morgan and Wright were the only ones who got going.

England look to wrap up the series at Lord's, London on September 20 at 12:00 GMT. Watch out for it! Cheers!


  1. Very nice write-up, as always matey :) Keep 'em coming... :D