BBC Sport cricket


Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 16:44 GMT, Monday, 9 August 2010 17:44 UK

Jonathan Agnew column

Jonathan Agnew
By Jonathan Agnew
BBC cricket correspondent at Edgbaston

England opener Alastair Cook
Cook's technical problems were exposed again at Edgbaston

Somehow Pakistan have got to get back in the series, having been soundly beaten again at Edgbaston to trail 2-0 in the four-match series.

There are three main things they have to do before the third Test at The Oval starting on 18 August.

Their fielding has been appalling and is something they clearly have to really work at; the recently recalled Mohammad Yousuf has to get into some sort of touch and they have to work out who is going to replace the injured Umar Gul.

The bowling is good, I don't have a problem with it, as long as they can replace Gul with someone who has a few overs under their belt.

There are two other seam bowlers in the squad and they are probably going to have a bowl-off in the two-day tour match at Worcester on Friday to decide who plays at The Oval.

Zulqarnain Haider's innings on Sunday was one example of what the Pakistan players need to do.

It was huge commitment to the team and that is the sort of thing they are going to need from everybody.

In contrast Stuart Broad throwing the ball at Zulqarnain Haider was diabolical and it was quite right he was fined 50% of his match fee.

It wasn't just petulant it was immature and rather worrying.

Just imagine it is Adelaide, 100 degrees, and Ricky Ponting has just smashed him for four and perhaps made a comment in his direction.

Broad must not allow himself to boil over. He had a chance of a run-out while he was still stomping away in the field but hurled the ball far too high so allowed his bad temper to affect the team again and he has got to pull his horns in.


England are not infallible and Alastair Cook has problems, with a top score of 29 in home Tests this summer and just 100 runs from seven innings.

Had Ian Bell been fit he might have gone and if he'd been a number six the selectors would be looking for alternatives, but I think they will be very reluctant to make as big a change as dropping an opening batsman.

If they were going to make a change it would probably be like for like with Hampshire left-hander Michael Carberry, rather than bring in Ravi Bopara down the order and shuffle others around.

Cook has had two wickets on which batting has not been easy and they will be hoping that on a decent track at The Oval he'll score some runs, because there have been occasions in the past when he has made a hundred when he most needed to.

Remember too that the record of the selectors is not to be ruthless.

I think Cook will get one more chance although if he fails again there might be a change for the final match of the series.

They will want to retain the balance of the side and keep six batsmen, which is clearly what they are going to do for the first Ashes Test, but Cook will know that time is running out.

Jonathan Agnew was speaking to BBC Sport's Jamie Lillywhite

Print Sponsor

see also
England complete comfortable win
09 Aug 10 |  England
Strauss pleased to maintain run
09 Aug 10 |  England
Butt concerned by Pakistan errors
09 Aug 10 |  Pakistan
England v Pakistan day four photos
09 Aug 10 |  England
Broad fined for throwing incident
09 Aug 10 |  England
England on top despite Ajmal haul
07 Aug 10 |  England
England dominate hapless Pakistan
06 Aug 10 |  England
Pakistan in England 2010
07 Sep 10 |  Cricket
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket

related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.