1st Test, Day 1 – Pakistan v England (and for Day 2 if I don’t get online)

Just got in to the hotel after a hard day. Setting up the 1st Day’s play for the comments and looking forward to reading up on them when I can tomorrow. I fly home on Tuesday night, so will try to catch up on the highlights on Wednesday.

Apologies for not setting this up in greater detail, but need to put a presentation together for tomorrow. It’s all go.

How do people think the series will go? I don’t know why, but I think we might nick one. I think it is more in hope than expectation, though.

Back properly on Wednesday…


51 thoughts on “1st Test, Day 1 – Pakistan v England (and for Day 2 if I don’t get online)

  1. SimonH October 13, 2015 / 7:20 am

    Pakistan without their best batsman and best bowler. They’re playing three seamers – as Cricinfo pointed out yesterday, Abu Dhabi is not actually a spinners’ paradise. Shoaib Malik bats at No.3 for the first time in Tests (he’s batted from No.1 to No.11 in ODIs). England retain Buttler and don’t play Taylor.

    Masood bowled early ducking into a bouncer and deflecting it off his helmet. Hafeez has been dropped by Bell off a lowish but straightfoward chance. Rashid bowled his first over in the 12th and got a little side-spin but no bounce.

    The commentary, especially from Lloyd and Botham, has been just continual whining. It’s too hot, the pitch is too slow, the scoring rate is too low, the sightscreens are rubbish, the warm-ups were rubbish, the crowd is too small, it’s too hot, the pitch… etc etc.


  2. d'Arthez October 13, 2015 / 7:31 am

    Geez, and the likes of New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa, did not have to play in these conditions? (Sri Lanka tends to tour at the end of December / beginning of January; the mentioned teams have played in the same months in the UAE).

    Oh, and of course the Sri Lankans and West Indians in particular are not allowed to complain when it is 5 degrees in May … Oh, and of course the Sri Lankans are not allowed to complain whenever a seamers’ paradise is served up, since those are exactly the conditions they excel in, right, and are so used to at home?

    One of the challenges of playing away from home is to adapt to the different climatic conditions. If England can’t do that, that just shows them to be hometrack bullies. How that is different from say India, Australia, or Pakistan is beyond me. (Pakistan have a relatively poor away record too).

    You can whine all you want Lloyd and Botham, but just admit that England are an about average side. Decent at home, with the occasional bit of sublime cricket. That is all.

    As I see it, the runrate is about 3 now. See off the new ball, and cash in is something that has been done countless times, across the world. You would think that these two would be slightly aware of that revolutionary tactic?


    • d'Arthez October 13, 2015 / 9:39 am

      By the way, in the past 3.5 years (since January 2012), no England opening pair batted at more than 2.98 an over. That was Carberry-Cook. Lyth and Cook follow at 2.97. Robson-Cook is the only other pair that is over 2.50 / over (at 2.72).

      Second pairs have on average done slightly better (with a minimum of 3 innings, which is already highly susceptible to anomalies), Strauss-Trott at 3.30 is the best. Ballance-Cook went at 3.00, while Ballance-Robson went at 2.77, and Cook-Trott at 2.71.

      So, if the runrate is so slow in the Pakistan innings, why have Messieurs Lloyd and Botham hardly bothered to complain about the England efforts in the past 3.5 years?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. paulewart October 13, 2015 / 7:52 am

    The Guardian OBO has, however gone off message:

    ‘And here’s the moment: at last Adil Rashid has his first over in Test cricket, six months overdue though it is.’

    ‘He adds a single before Rashid finds some exaggerated legspin though to beat Malik. Five from the over. Anyone going to rush wildly to judgment on the debutant on the basis of three overs?’


  4. SimonH October 13, 2015 / 8:01 am

    TV just shown Finn on crutches and with foot in cast. Commentator has said his injury is confirmed as a stress fracture. It’s difficult to see he’ll play in this series.

    There has been some reverse swing for Broad and Wood which started early, around the 16th over.

    Ramiz Raja mentioned on commentary that there has been an ICC meeting and four day Tests were discussed at length – but rejected. Zero coverage in UK MSM of course.


  5. Rooto October 13, 2015 / 8:18 am

    Refreshing and informative to watch via Ten Sports with Pakistani commentators and Athers so far. Am trying to work out which countries the YouTube stream is available in.


  6. hatmallet October 13, 2015 / 8:19 am

    No mention of the word “slow” from Selvey yet, but bingo! from Newman:


    “Adil Rashid’s first spell in Test cricket was predictable I’m afraid. His Test debut has been a long time coming and there’s a reason for that. There are considerable reservations about whether he is good enough for the ultimate form of the game.

    “Peter Moores was criticised for not playing him in the Caribbean earlier this year but anyone who saw the warm-up game against St Kitts when Rashid struggled would have had sympathy with Moores.

    “He just delivers the ball slowly for this level and good players will have time to play him. Now that’s not to say he won’t take wickets in Test cricket but they may come more against the tail. Trevor Bayliss has wanted him to play all summer and has that very Australian belief in leg-spin but he will hope for better the next time the Yorkshireman bowls.”

    He’s bowled ONE spell! Just 6 overs. Yes too many four balls but let him find his feet, it’s his debut.


    • Metatone October 13, 2015 / 8:24 am

      “That very Australian belief” – right, we can ignore that belief, because England have such a better record than Aus over the last 30 years…

      Liked by 1 person

    • d'Arthez October 13, 2015 / 8:32 am

      Well, it was actually two spells.

      Never mind the fact that this is Day 1, on what looks to be a road. Or do England judge seamers solely by performances in Karachi, and other quick bowlers’ graveyards? Sheer lunacy that comment by Newman.


    • Mark October 13, 2015 / 8:33 am

      There is obviously a group think mentality from Newman and Selvey. Seeing as they push the ECB line one can only suspect there are voices behind the scenes who don’t want him in the side.

      Andy Flower? Andrew Struass?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Metatone October 13, 2015 / 8:45 am


        As someone who has watched most of Rashid’s career, I’d say it’s only 50/50 that he’ll be a good Test player. But certainly the only way to find out is to give him a whole match, rather than judging him on Day 1.

        Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH October 13, 2015 / 9:46 am

        If there’s some group think going on, who can we guarantee to join in….

        Liked by 1 person

      • Arron Wright October 13, 2015 / 11:35 am

        Speaking of whom, I hope you didn’t miss out on yesterday’s Analyst-related fun:

        Liked by 1 person

      • Burly October 13, 2015 / 3:42 pm

        I opened that, read the opening paragraph, and wondered how long it’d take him to mention Cook and KP.

        “If Alastair Cook needs a boost before this difficult series against Pakistan, he will be pleased that he is marginally ahead of Kevin Pietersen in this table, as well as in his run tally overall.”

        Yes, amazing how he’s ahead in the run tally, what with him being continuously selected come what may, and KP being frozen out of the team for years for non-form reasons. You absolute bell-end.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Metatone October 13, 2015 / 9:00 am

      I’ll note as well that a bowler who can consistently get the tail out is something England have lacked for a long time.


      • Mark October 13, 2015 / 9:46 am

        I find it amazing that he thinks getting the tail out is a minor skill. Seeing how many times England have failed to get the last 4 wickets out for less than say 100 odd runs I would have thought it’s an important part of the game.


    • SimonH October 13, 2015 / 10:28 am

      More Newman on the DM OBO (over 48):

      “This is getting worrying now for Adil Rashid. He has waited a long time for this chance but he is finding that it is a very different kettle of fish bowling in a Test even to one-day international cricket. Whether nerves are getting to him or whether, as many suspect, he is just not good enough for this level I don’t know, but England are not exerting any sort of control which is the bare minimum you want when conditions are against you”.

      He’s bowled ten over on the first morning.


      • Mark October 13, 2015 / 10:41 am

        We had 2 years of failure from Cook, and Newman and the usual suspects covered for him in the most toe curling way. Fabulous 16s or outstanding 22s. Now he is attacking a player after less than 2 sessions of the first test match.

        Newman is like Lord Haw haw.

        If the ECB insiders don’t rate him they should start trying to find some other spin bowler. Unfortunately they have failed to come up with some one else. Perhaps they should be looking at there own mangamentnnot of new talent? Where is all the Sky money going?

        Liked by 1 person

  7. SimonH October 13, 2015 / 8:43 am

    Lots of talk on TV about how difficult it’s going to be to take 20 wickets. Here are the previous matches on this ground:


    40 wickets have fallen only once – when England played in 2012. The last two times Pakistan batted first here they made 570-6d (against Australia) and 566-3d (against NZ). They then took 20 wickets to win both games.

    Much of the TV discussion was in relation to the Bell dropped catch. Is Botham repeating “you must hold all your chances” especially enlightening? Matt Prior (yes, he’s the studio analyst during intervals) made some interesting points about why Bell dropped it (foot movement was the key) – but then had to add “Alastair Cook catches 100 out of 100 when the ball’s below his knees”.


    • paulewart October 13, 2015 / 9:54 am

      But none at balls height, apparently…..


  8. d'Arthez October 13, 2015 / 9:17 am

    Broad thought he made the breakthrough. He only forgot to land his feet behind the line. Malik survives. 101/1 now.


    • SimonH October 13, 2015 / 9:19 am

      Called (correctly) by our old friend Umpire Ravi.


    • BoerInAustria October 13, 2015 / 10:42 am

      has he been called a numpty yet?


      • SimonH October 13, 2015 / 12:46 pm

        Umpire Ravi strikes!

        By the way, anyone noticing that it’s the seamers who’ve taken the wickets? Abu Dhabi is not a good ground for spinners but the MSM have made their minds up that UAE is all about spinners so that’s that.

        David Lloyd said “you could bat with a piano stool on this” in the first session. Let’s see when both sides have bowled. Pakistan may have ended up with a three seamer attack because they couldn’t fly in a replacement spinner in time but their seamers going to be a threat as much as Babar and Malik with the ball. Look at the Australia and NZ Tests here and the seamers took important wickets for Pakistan.


      • d'Arthez October 14, 2015 / 7:36 am

        Sorry for the slow response. Had to do without internet for 20+ hours, and that is not exactly conducive to timely responses.

        Seems like Ravi is a Big Three umpire. I am sorry, but that is pathetic. He has almost dismissed a whole batting lineup in one year of officiating in England Test matches.


  9. SimonH October 13, 2015 / 9:30 am

    Anyone listening to TMS?

    Has Lovejoy really said that England would have won in 2012 but for Ajmal chucking? Peter Miller on Twitter seems to be saying that he did.


    • Arron Wright October 13, 2015 / 11:21 am

      Can’t help you on that one. But have my story anyway:

      I went to the dentists this morning. For root canal, since you ask. I had a late drive to work, turned the cricket on and – yes – Lovejoy is the first summariser. Among his pearls of wisdom in the first 15 minutes: “Spin is going to be important. (wait for it) So England have the advantage, because Pakistan are without their best bowler…. Zulfiqar Babar, I like his name, sounds like the elephant.”

      Babar has 56 wickets at 23.60 in 10 matches. Moeen has 45 wickets at 36 in 16 Tests. England are batting last. FFS, he’s robbing licence fee payers blind.

      Then came the first change in commentator, and – yes – here comes FICJAM. I turned off immediately.

      And now the inevitable punchline.

      I would sooner have been back in the dentists chair than listening to those two.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Rooto October 13, 2015 / 9:30 am

    This media sniping at Rashid is all incredibly unbecoming and defensive. Setting people up to fail and then being able to say “told you so” is more typical BTL, but now it’s happening ATL too. Almost as if they’re having to prove themselves again as their position of knowledge and power has been shown to be a sham.
    Keep it up everybody! It’s working!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Metatone October 13, 2015 / 9:43 am

      I think ATL fell into a trap of defending the England setup over the way Rashid has been treated.
      The reality is that England have messed him about for years.
      But Selvey and others have gotten too close to the England management, so they can’t admit that.

      The easiest way to make it all go away is for Rashid to fail, so that is their hope and attitude now.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mark October 13, 2015 / 9:58 am

        The trouble with Selvey and Newman is they don’t seem to have an original thought of their own. It appears it’s spoon fed to them By the ECB. I wouldn’t mind if they didn’t rate a particular player and it was their own opinion. But I believe them to be just ECB stenographers. As you say, they have got too close to the England set up.

        It also makes a mockery of Strauss claim that “trust ” is the most important thing in a dressing room. How can that be when they are leaking against, and attacking one of their own players? Rashid may turn out not to be good enough, but when you’re being attacked by your own nations in house media at the start of your career, it is a bit naff.

        Liked by 1 person

      • d'Arthez October 13, 2015 / 10:27 am

        Fully agree Mark and Metatone.

        Pakstan are not the worst players of spin, and of course, this is day 1, on what looks to be a road. Hard to judge a debutant on that (a famous debutant had match figures of 1-150. He proved rather useful after that), against a team that played spin well.

        What would have helped is if Rashid had gotten a game, either against Australia or in the West Indies. They are far less competent players of spin (Bishoo took quite a few against Australia for instance). Besides, the confidence would have done Rashid a world of good – and it would possibly have meant that the English press was not on his back from the get-go.

        Maybe he is not good enough. I don’t know. But thus far it seems that the ECB have set up Rashid to fail, rather than to succeed.


    • hatmallet October 13, 2015 / 12:26 pm

      Meanwhile on Cricinfo (specifically Andrew Miller):

      “Rashid is doing what has been asked of him in this six-man attack, asking questions of the batsmen. No wrong answers just yet though”

      Who do I trust more?


  11. Mark October 13, 2015 / 10:34 am

    Selvey won’t like this……from cricinfo

    “Australia coach Darren Lehmann has delivered David Saker a blunt lesson in states’ rights, rebuking the new Victoria coach for his suggestion that the Australian selectors would be “mad” to choose James Pattinson for the Test team before Christmas.

    “I think David Saker should concentrate on coaching Victoria, and leave us to pick the side for Australia,” Lehmann said pointedly. “And if James Pattinson is in and ready to go we think highly of him. We won’t rush him back if he’s not right, he’s got to be ready to play.”

    Expect an anti Lehmann lecture from you know who in 54321

    Liked by 1 person

    • SimonH October 13, 2015 / 11:38 am

      It’s not a lecture but how about a snarky Tweet:

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mark October 13, 2015 / 12:03 pm

        Ha ha ha.

        So is Selvey saying England only won the Ashes because of poor Aussie selection? So much for matching 2005, and claiming 2015 as the greatest of summers.

        Liked by 1 person

    • pktroll (@pktroll) October 13, 2015 / 2:38 pm

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m neither wishing to defend Selvey or Saker, but I can see the latter’s point. You’ve had a guy in Pattinson who has often picked up long term injuries, especially on international duty. so you can understand someone being concerned that a player without adequate preparation gets pulled away to potentially play 5 day cricket having barely become ready for 4 days.

      Anyway, if Ian Bell could catch and Stuart Broad could keep his feet behind the line, England wouldn’t have been in that bad a state. I do wonder if Bell is frazzled. Never been one of my more favourite players due to whinging by his incessant fan(s) but the last few months have made me feel genuinely sorry for him


  12. d'Arthez October 13, 2015 / 10:41 am

    Hafeez gone for 98, to Stokes. He reviewed, but out on umpire’s call (looked as if the projection was hitting about 45%, so fair enough). And that is tea as well, at 173/2


  13. Arron Wright October 13, 2015 / 11:24 am

    Oh, Lovejoy did manage one interesting comment:

    “The England management were telling Rashid to bowl slower, which was nonsense.”

    Knock me down with a feather. .


  14. SimonH October 13, 2015 / 11:41 am

    Younis Khan became top Pakistan run scorer in Tests by hitting Moeen Ali over deep mid-wicket for six. There was a fielder back there…

    It’s the way he plays. Can they trust him?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. SimonH October 13, 2015 / 2:35 pm

    Ready for an avalanche of nonsense about the pitch? The seamers took four wickets , could have taken seven (two drops and a wicket off a no-ball) and all we’re going to hear is how dead the pitch is. From commenters who were singing a different tune a month ago about visiting teams shouldn’t moan.

    The ball has reverse swung practically all day and there is some seam movement. There isn’t much bounce – not that England are particularly good on properly bouncy tracks. The type of bowling the pitch had nothing for was finger-spin. The Pakistan seamers should be interesting to watch and England may get into trouble (as Australia did) against Babar playing for turn that exists only in their imaginations.

    Meanwhile, The Spin disappears even further up its own fundament with an article largely on the 1985 Cricketers’ Who’s Who. Are you dying to know what Selvey and Pringle wrote in their entries? Find out with Victor! Curious what the latest ICC meeting was up to? Forget about it…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Arron Wright October 13, 2015 / 2:53 pm

      Is that not *exactly* the same edition LCL/Dmitri read, and found Paul Downton referring specifically to “outside cricket”?

      Lo and behold, Vic finds something called “Jobs Outside Cricket” and completely overlooks the significance of the phrase.


    • Burly October 13, 2015 / 3:47 pm

      I was legitimately angry with Selfey’s Spin effort, and while Vic’s isn’t quite as self-important it’s still a world away from Andy Bull’s genuinely interesting and touching articles.


  16. Arron Wright October 13, 2015 / 2:55 pm

    Am I allowed to say I’m looking forward to Thepoetseye’s BTL contributions this evening?


    • Rooto October 13, 2015 / 3:30 pm

      I’m guessing “mad to leave out Taylor”. She’s been preparing her exit strategy recently.


    • pktroll (@pktroll) October 13, 2015 / 4:56 pm

      There are times that I find it highly amusing, other times just extremely excruciating as I intimated earlier today in my post above. But if there is a bit of a withdrawal it is better late than never. As I have just been writing my response I’ve just seen the second of the drops on the highlights. Utterly dreadful.


  17. Mark October 13, 2015 / 4:13 pm

    Quite a typical days cricket in these type of conditions. Just shy of 300 runs in the day. England failed to bowl 3 of their overs because of heat and side screens. Though with two spinners bowling 35 overs you would think they could still get in 90 overs in 6 and a half hours.

    I always thought these matches would come down to how England can bat on flat pitches. They haven’t shown much skill for it lately. So we will see what type of score they will be facing by tea tomorrow.

    As to any England fan boys who want to moan about the conditions, I’m sorry, I can’t take you seriously after all the support for the pitches that we created at Birmingham and Nottingham. As Simon points out, with two dropped catches and a wicket off a no ball England could have had a pretty good day. I don’t actually think this is a great vintage Pakistan team. So England will have every chance to compete. But can they? Can iron rod bat for a day and half?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Metatone October 13, 2015 / 4:31 pm

      2 big issues:

      1) Dealing with scoreboard pressure – England were rubbish at this as recently as this summer, so not greatly optimistic. Although Bayliss has had more time now, so maybe there will be an improvement.

      2) Batting against spin. Last time England were in the UAE they looked all at sea against a quality spin attack. Again, not optimistic at the moment.


      • Mark October 13, 2015 / 4:48 pm

        If they are as good as the fan boys in the media keep telling us they should be able to make runs on these pitches. I’m not saying they will, but they should.


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