TLG Report – Pakistan v England – 3rd Test Day One

Dash, Damn and Blast...
Dash, Damn and Blast…

The lot of the England cricket supporter is to imagine in great detail the impending disaster which is to follow, and so it is that having bowled out Pakistan for 234, on a pitch that certainly offered far more life than expected given the series position, the fear is that Pakistan’s superior spin attack will skittle England for far fewer.

That is always possible, for certainly England are going to have to bat superbly in order to get into a position of strength, but there’s no reason why they shouldn’t and a lead of even 50 would be like gold dust on a surface that is taking considerable turn on day one.  Safe to say that we’re unlikely to find out how much it turns on day five, for this very much appears a result pitch, and England could have asked for nothing more.

At the start of play, having lost the toss, England would have bitten an arm or two off to be batting by the close, so whatever happens tomorrow, day one couldn’t have gone much better than it did.

Sure, there were quibbles, as there always are: the spinners didn’t exert control, or perhaps weren’t allowed to exert control, but the seamers were outstanding, particularly Anderson and Broad who took six wickets between them for just 30 runs in almost as many overs. Given that the most startling thing was the turn from the beginning, for those two to perform as they did was both astonishing and highly praiseworthy. How England’s batsmen perform is a matter for tomorrow, but unquestionably Broad and Anderson have given England a chance of squaring the series.

Not that Patel, Rashid and Moeen bowled especially badly, there were just too many freebies, which really shouldn’t come as that big a surprise given that England’s spin attack is markedly inferior. But they will have to bowl better in the second innings for England to truly have a chance.

In fact the only really sour note of the day came with the injury to Ben Stokes. It didn’t look at all good, but it’s very hard to tell with shoulder impact injuries. If he’s fortunate it’ll simply be a matter of popping the shoulder back in and putting up with some bruising. If it isn’t, then it could be months and with an uncertain prognosis. Undoubtedly a serious blow, and for the game position at least, his batting will be missed too.

And so on to tomorrow. The old story of judging a pitch after both sides have batted on it is as true here as anywhere, but that England have created an opportunity for themselves is equally true, it’s just a matter of whether they take it or not.

We’re going to get a result. That in itself England would have taken before the start.


21 thoughts on “TLG Report – Pakistan v England – 3rd Test Day One

  1. escort Nov 1, 2015 / 5:42 pm

    England have an opportunity here to draw this series. Injury to Stokes could make it difficult but they still have a chance. Bat well tomorrow and this could go our way. Perhaps Moeen should attack from the off ?


  2. escort Nov 1, 2015 / 6:24 pm

    Have just heard Broad give the most pessimistic interview after a first days play on Sky that would rival anything Nasser said after Brisbain 2002.


  3. LordCanisLupus Nov 1, 2015 / 7:07 pm

    OK. I’ll be on later with a brief preview for tomorrow’s play and the comments can follow from that.

    But let’s start with this, hilarious pile of old cock, from The Guardian.

    It’s a belter of its genre. From not actually realising that he wrote the book that offended a nation but appears to be largely true a year ago, to the total snark throughout. It’s gormless. It’s shite. It’s everything wrong with the Guardian these days.

    Yeah, I’m obsessed when I read shit like this review.

    Of course, wctt loves it:

    How dare the Guardian put up John Crace’s article without opening it to comments. It is an affront to democracy.

    He loves it when people talk about him, when it suits him, eh?


  4. LordCanisLupus Nov 1, 2015 / 7:11 pm

    From Selfey’s report, this paragraph amused….

    “His [Stokes] participation in the rest of the tour must be in doubt, and, if indeed his shoulder has dislocated, maybe that in South Africa too, certainly as an all-rounder. Dislocations of that kind have had long-term effects, certainly reducing the pace of Jeff Thomson to merely terrifying, and, for example, going some way to ending the international career of Adam Hollioake. Shane Warne, on the other hand, managed to get fit again in a month before the 2003 World Cup.”

    Hmmm. Wonder how Shane got fit so quickly? I’m sure this was totally unrelated….


    • Mark Nov 1, 2015 / 7:47 pm

      So Selvey hasn’t been given Stokes full medical report yet?

      What the f*** was the point of the golfing day then? I thought it was all about bonding with the players and getting inside knowledge. Total waste of time.

      The Verdict was excellent tonight. Probably because Mark Butcher had replaced Cork. General view was a good day for England, but let’s wait and see how they bat. Really is time for the much vaunted England middle order to deliver now. Chasing anything over 150 in the last innings will not be easy.

      I have to say the idea of this Pakistan batting team on green top seamers next summer doesn’t bode well. I wouldn’t buy any tickets for day 4 or 5. I hope the various grounds are up to date on their insurance policies for compensation for loss of play.


    • BoredInAustria Nov 1, 2015 / 8:31 pm

      Dear Zephirine

      You found that wonderful programme that does the Ed The Essayist phrasing stuff. Do you perhaps have one that could decode the Selfey punctuation for me. I don’t understand a word he says.

      On second thoughts, maybe don’t bother…


      • Zephirine Nov 2, 2015 / 11:43 am

        Actually, Fred is the expert on Selveyese, he did a great parody just recently.

        Understanding the real thing, yes, it is a challenge. Replacing all the commas with parentheses might do it? Or, y’know, just pass on by.


    • dlpthomas Nov 2, 2015 / 12:31 am

      I have no idea what Stokes has done to his shoulder but for the record Thommo dislocated his AC joint not his shoulder. As for Warne, even if he did take steroids for his shoulder dislocation (which seems to be the implication), it is unlikely that that would have aided his recovery to any great extent. It was also rumoured that another Australian player around the same time was put on steroids to aid recovery from a back injury. Again, this would have been of no benefit. Interestingly in both cases the source of the steroids, if you believe the rumours, was not a doctor.


      • LordCanisLupus Nov 2, 2015 / 3:32 am

        Warne was banned for a diuretic that can act as a masking agent. Recovery is about strengthening the muscles around the joint due to a dislocation. That (recovery from exercise) can be aided by certain sports medicine but of course we cannot be certain in his case. There was a reason the head of WADA wasn’t chuffed with just a one year ban. I thought it funny at the time because in swimming (in particular) the Aussies were getting all in a state over other nations and advocating all sorts and then their favourite son got done and they were put in an invidious position.

        Oh, and don’t think I’m having a pop at just the Aussies. We’re as bad. When one of our lot gets caught we always seem to believe their mitigating circumstances.

        I had a subluxation of the shoulder and I needed months of physio to strengthen the muscle around the joint. I’d damaged my rotator cuff. Effing painful. I don’t envy these guys at all.

        I’d never heard that other rumour. Probably should stay there!


  5. SimonH Nov 1, 2015 / 7:55 pm

    Strewth…. maybe he can pass his copy on to Selvey…. who can pass it on Tom Harrison…..


  6. SimonH Nov 1, 2015 / 7:57 pm

    LCL/TLG, since changing names any post with a cricinfo or Twitter link seems to be just vanishing down the plughole. Anything you can do?


    • LordCanisLupus Nov 1, 2015 / 9:03 pm

      One of your’s got caught in Spam. No idea why. Checked the settings and nothing has changed.

      Boere got one caught as well and I can’t work it out.


      • LordCanisLupus Nov 1, 2015 / 9:06 pm

        Figure BoredinAustria – he used a new name. First comment is stopped.


      • Arron Wright Nov 1, 2015 / 9:19 pm

        I’ve used a couple of new names purely because my details no longer come up automatically when I use my phone. Only the phone is affected.


  7. Rohan Nov 1, 2015 / 9:37 pm

    Glad to read a sense of realism from TLG. Saw some of the play today and listened to some. Whilst I thought we had done well, I also had the nagging concern in the back of my mind that we must wait to see how we fair against Yasir Shah et al. The MSM did not initially seem to pick up on this and certainly TMS/SKY (not the verdict, just live commentary) just banged the ‘England on top’ drum. No mention of how England might tackle the Pakistan threat with ball in hand. Great, therefore, to come on hear and read a balanced and realistic post, although I see (thanks Mark) that the verdict contained more realism than their partners on live commentary.

    You may not like Warne, but he rates Shah as the best leggie/spin bowler in the world. The stats, 69 wickets in 11 tests back this up, so how can ex-pros and mainstream journalists ignore this and just blindly state England are in the driving seat, end of. You can throw into the mix Babar as well with 48 wickets in 12 tests. The test they will pose for England, on this type of pitch, should not be underestimated and certainly not ignored as some of the MSM have.

    I am perhaps not quite sure that England have created an opportunity. Maybe I am being overly pessimistic, but I think the Pakistan total is very competitive and our over reliance on Root and Cook, leaves us highly vulnerable, against a superior spin attack to ours, to a total below 200……..I hope I am wrong…….

    If England do manage something competitive, this could be a real crackerjack of a test!


  8. Grenville Nov 2, 2015 / 1:12 am

    I think that Eng-er-land are, indeed, on top. I think that is a fair call. Younis missed a full toss, Azhar Ali poked flat footed outside off. Safraz had a mind loss. The outfield is slow and it turns, but Pakistan were the masters of their own demise. England just need two decent partnerships and they’ll touch 300. They should be able to do that.


    • d'Arthez Nov 2, 2015 / 9:12 am

      Not really sure if it is a fair call. Apparently, when England were at stumps day 2 (at 182/3; trailing by 196) of the previous Test, Pakistan had all but ensured victory according to Mike Selvey. Now they were trailing by 230 in the first Test, having effectively lost Stokes through injury, so with 9 wickets left on a pitch that seemed to offer much more to spinners.

      Sometimes, after having faced many good balls, you find ways to get out to ridiculously bad ones – that is what pressure does to you.

      Maybe it is a fair call, but then the call from the previous Test was ludicrous.


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