Babar Azam and his men had their chances to claim victories, but batters failed at clutch situations and collapses occurred, the pattern continuing for ages
Pakistan suffered a humiliating defeat at home to England in the three-match Test series. A 3-0 defeat for the first time has unearthed many questions than answers.
Babar Azam and his men had their chances to claim victories, but batters failed at clutch situations and collapses occurred, the pattern continuing for ages.
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England have been batting fearlessly under Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum, but the introduction of mystery spinner Abrar Ahmed somehow tackled their approach.
In the first Test, England outplayed Pakistan but the visitors offered the home side to chase a target of 343 which looked chasable, but they chocked.
In the second Test, Pakistan bowled brilliantly, bowling England out for 281 and 275, respectively. Batters, on the other hand, were disappointing. They made 202 in the first innings and were on the way to chasing 355 but couldn't. The umpiring decision of Saud Shakeel didn't go in the favour but losing by 26 runs depicted once more Pakistan's habit of choking at key stages.
The toss went in the favour of Pakistan and they only posted 304. In reply, Pakistan bowlers bagged half of the England side for 145 but Harry Brook and Ben Foakes took the game away slightly from Pakistan.
In all three games, Pakistan captain Babar Azam tried to hide behind the absence of key bowler Shaheen Afridi, but the batting put Pakistan down throughout. They had Naseem Shah in the first game and we saw how England played him, but our batters couldn't replicate 50 per cent of what the opposition did.
Pakistan had the resources to replace Shaheen and Naseem but they didn't call for any replacement from the domestic circuit and relied on all-rounders and an ineffective Mohammad Ali.
On the other hand, England went with the approach of eliminating pitch from the equation with raw pace. Mark Wood and Ollie Robinson bowled lengths that troubled the batters, but Pakistan didn't have anyone to do the same.
Pakistan had Shaheen against Australia earlier this year in the home series, but still, the results were not in the favour. Captaincy blunders and lack of courage from batters during crucial situations were the key factors, and the home side lost.
Pakistan's next assignment is to New Zealand next week. Blackcaps have the pattern provided by England and will potentially look to exploit Pakistan similarly.
Pakistan and Babar Azam cannot suffer a loss to Blackcaps and answers must be there to claim some pride.