The stadium had faced a lot of criticism earlier this year when Australia played a Test
The historic first Test between Pakistan and England is underway at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium and it was the visitors who opted to bat first after winning the toss.
Ben Stokes' side made just one change to the playing XI he had already announced earlier with Will Jacks coming in place of Ben Foakes who has fallen ill.
The stadium faced a lot of criticism earlier this year when Australia toured for a three-match Test series in the month of March-April and there wasn’t much assistance in the pitch for the bowlers.
The batters kept cruising and the game wasn’t moving near a result. It has been the same story in the ongoing series so far with England taking centre stage and have enjoyed the batting conditions.
Pakistan missed the services of Shaheen Shah Afridi for the series with him yet to recover from the knee injury in the T20 World Cup 2022 campaign and the likes of Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf have been ineffective in the first two sessions.
In fact, a lot of boundaries were hit in the first session which showed Pakistan’s depleted bowling attack was clueless and to make things worse, the pitch also has nothing for the bowlers.
Zak Crawley who has struggled a lot in his Test career in testing conditions, used the opportunity to revive his form and got to a fantastic century in the second session. Ben Duckett meanwhile, played a sizzling inning from the other end to get to the three-figure mark as England went past the 200-run mark around the 30th over.
The first session run rate was quite baffling and the fans on social media were clearly disappointed with the pitch as they compared to ‘highway roads.’
Having said that, Pakistan made a decent comeback in the second session picking up three wickets. England, however, are way ahead in the game having already amassed 300+ runs.
Here's how the fans reacted:
Good to see the ODI series get started in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. #PakvEng— Tom Moody (@TomMoodyCricket) December 1, 2022
Surprised to see that the PCB, whose team defeated a billion-dollar economy team twice in one year, still can’t prepare a Test match pitch. Three versus Australia, now this. #PAKvENG— Jamie Alter 😷 🇮🇳 (@alter_jamie) December 1, 2022
Pitches like these are the reason test cricket will die😴🙄 #PAKvENG— Haroon (@hazharoon) December 1, 2022
Pindi has already received one demerit point for a Below Average pitch against Australia earlier this year. If it receives three demerit points here for a Poor pitch, the stadium will be in serious trouble for hosting games in future.— Humayoun Ahmed Khan (@HumayounAK) December 1, 2022
This is so disappointing from Pakistan.— Dil Dill Dennistan (@DennisCricket_) December 1, 2022
make the pitch a bit longer, put a few turns in and Pakistan could host their first ever F1 Grand Prix#PAKvENG— kεz (@_kezx) December 1, 2022
Pindi pitch is naturally one of the best wickets in all of Asia. This country is blessed with so much natural variability when it comes to conditions. Yet because of sheer incompetence and cowardice we decide to neuter that. A blessing turned into an unwatchable horseshit curse— Ali Asad (@aliasad1998) December 1, 2022
Same stadium, one of them has the flattest pitch with no swing. The other one is a green track with swing on offer.— Zaid Babar Khan (@ZaidBabarKhan1) December 1, 2022
One of them is the first test of a "Historic Test Series" the other one is a mid tournament QeAT match.... pic.twitter.com/GVGIrPZRIk