When was the last time Australia picked only 1 wicket on first of a Test match?.
This was the question i was asking myself after first day’ s play in Rawalpindi.
Surprisingly it happened in back home in Australia against India 36 years ago!
It was the 3rd Test at Sydney when India chose to bat and posted mammoth 600-4 in 1st innings – At end of first day’s play they were 334-1
Now Australia who are touring Pakistan after 24 years are in similar situation.
On day one of first Test match, Pakistan are 245-1 of 90 overs. Pat Cummins and his men bowled tirelessly. Cummins constantly rotated his bowlers and kept them in short spells. The frequency was 4 overs before another bowler was introduced.
Pakistan batted cautiously, not allowing any rash shot against the new ball. It was their opening century stand that stood ground in first session. This was followed by unbeaten second wicket century stand by Haq- Azhar Ali
Haq who was making a Test comeback after 3 years posted his maiden Test century. Interestingly his last test match was against Australia in Adelaide where he scored 2 and 0!.
It would be interesting now to see how Australia operate on day 2 knowing how the surface behaved on day one. Cummins new to leadership had easier ride in his debut series as a captain. They won the Ashes 4-0 earlier this year.
The surface was conducive to bowling during that series, yet Cummins made sure bowlers were rotated regularly. He used them in short spells and apart from Nathan Lyon nobody bowled more than 5 overs per spell.
Its too early to measure at end of first day’s play at Pindi, but its obvious spinners will have lengthy spell and Lyon had only 4 spells in his 31 overs!.
Here is how Aussies performed in Ashes
Here is how Australian Test openers performed in Asia-
Pakistan selectors picked Imam ul Haq to open for the Australian series. He replaces Abid Ali, who opened for Pakistan in last few series(see below table). Imam last test match was against Australia, the second test at Adelaide, Nov 2019, where he scored 2 and 0. He will partner with Abdulllah Shafique to open for Pakistan, their fourth opening pair since 2021.
Here is list of partnerships for Pakistan since Dec 2020.
More to follow....