Friday, August 20, 2010

Pakistani batsmen don't come to the party

Pakistan might have missed the bus, the boat, the train, the whole kit-n-caboodle at the Oval. A lead of 75 sounds good but it is not nearly good enough on a pitch like the Oval's. As usual, no one made a hundred (leave alone a big one), and despite Yousuf's fifty on return and Azhar Ali's brave 92, no one else came to the party (and for the fifth successive innings, Salman Butt failed to play a captain's innings). To make matters worse for Pakistan Alistair Cook has belatedly discovered some form (he is on 74 as I write) and is going to eager to remember and implement a sage bit of advice given to him by his erstwhile Essex mentor, Graham Gooch: when you score, make them big and make them count. And in doing so, he could make things easier for a batting line-up that is collectively looking to get its act together.

Still, when you have a bowling attack like Pakistan's, all is possible. But their batsmen haven't made the bowler's task any easier.

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