“Another dismal tour Downunder came to an end. As usual, it would be taken as a big learning curve. The fans and critics only wish, the team learns from this tour”
Pakistan have lost 13 consecutive Test matches in Australia, dating back to 1999. That equals the record for the most consecutive losses in one country in Test history, set by Bangladesh more than a decade ago. At least Bangladesh can breathe a sigh of relief because, more often, their credibility as a Test team questioned. For a team like Pakistan, who have achieved so much as a Test nation, ending the 13th consecutive without bagging something significant is nothing but disgraceful.
After the end of second Test that school of thought remained firm – Pakistan tour Australia only to lose. Neither they exhibit the intent to win nor do they plan righty for such a tour. A tour to Downunder remains a mere formality since the start of new century. Whereas, teams like India, England, New Zealand, and South Africa start preparing for such a tough tour with the intention to win. Still, despite all the efforts, it is not always possible to beat Australia in Australia.
Here, Pakistan seem to rely too much on their unpredictable nature,and this tag of the most unpredictable team in world cricket, at times, works as a hurdle to evolve as a team. Being an unpredictable team may sound quite thrilling, but if a team does not exploit it properly then, the outcomes remain shoddy.
Since the first Test at Brisbane to the last one at Adelaide, Pakistan looked like a ship without a radar. The new captain Azhar Ali was not sure of how to handle his bowlers and set the right field. While, their young and inexperienced pace attack, only thought of bowling fast without even caring about line and length.
Mark Taylor said, “I thought the interesting thing was the way they bowled and fielded on day two in Brisbane. I think the extra pace on the ball impacts their bowling and fielding more than their batting. They leak runs because they don’t bowl consistently enough, and they leak runs in the circle because their fielding isn’t attuned to Australian conditions”.
“The ball pings off the bat so they tend to stay back a bit, but then you’ve got David Warner and Joe Burns dropping the ball at their feet and taking a single”.
“Even when they pushed the field back it didn’t stop the boundaries, so they’ve really got to come up with a better strategy with the ball and in the field to limit the runs”.
Taylor had been spot on. Even if Pakistan’s batting had been an Achilles heel over the years Downunder, but one of the most important aspects, bowling, get unnoticed. Apart from Imran Khan and Wasim Akram; none of the bowlers have been impactful enough in Australia. And, nothing to say about Pakistan’s fielding – only God knows, when will this improve!
The Pakistani top-order melted against the new ball consistently except Day 1 at Brisbane. The intent to leave and stay at the crease was not evident. The likes of Shan Masood, Babar Azam, and Mohammad Rizwan impressed, but such things only help to boost personal records without reaping a rich harvest for the team. Meanwhile, the epic resistance by the lower-order at Adelaide in the first innings would only help to earn another “unpredictable” tag and bask in past glory.
At present, Pakistan are predictably unpredictable.
Another dismal tour Downunder came to an end. As usual, it would be taken as a big learning curve. The fans and critics only wish, the team learns from this tour.