BBC Sport cricket

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 19:11 GMT, Saturday, 28 August 2010 20:11 UK

Jonathan Agnew column

Jonathan Agnew
By Jonathan Agnew
BBC cricket correspondent

I have seen plenty of teams, including England, fold as the end of a Test series approaches, and there was no better example than Pakistan's performance at Lord's as they lost 14 wickets in just over 48 overs in a chaotic reply to England's 446.

The gut-wrencher for Salman Butt's side obviously came when they saw Jonathan Trott and Stuart Broad produce their world record eighth-wicket stand rescue England from the depths of 102-7.

Looking at the series as a whole, England's specialist batsmen have not been much better than Pakistan's but they have tended to find one person to save them

Pakistan's inability to complete the job with the ball translated to a hopeless batting performance in which wickets began to fall quickly, their confidence and spirit completely drained.

Clearly this is a worry for their young side when they have one-day internationals to follow in September but, after playing six Tests in seven weeks in England, they urgently need some fresh faces in the side if they are to come out fighting once again.

Kamran Akmal
Kamran Akmal, one of many Pakistanis to have failed with the bat

Even after what we have seen already from both teams in the series, it was alarming just how easily Pakistan folded on what is really a pretty good pitch. To give England credit, there were some good balls bowled, but that happens in Test cricket.

There was also some misguided and eccentric shot selection, the worst case being Yasir Hameed, early in the follow-on, roaring down the pitch at Broad and trying to slog him back over his head, into the Compton Stand.

That incident underlined the turmoil that is going on in the Pakistan camp.

Looking at the series as a whole, England's specialist batsmen have not been much better but they have tended to find one person to save them or - as was the case here - two people. Pakistan have not shown the same levels of resilience.

There were a few complaints from Pakistan about the position of the sightscreen at the Nursery End making it difficult to see the ball from the bowler's hand, but that is something of a historic problem which you have to deal with.

West Indies pair Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh caused similar problems in a series here not so long ago and the groundstaff were asked to nail on a couple of planks of woods.

606: DEBATE
Amir Mir

Clearly, both Broad and Steven Finn are tall men and will pose problems when it comes to sighting the ball. But this is exactly the kind of issue that eats away at the mindset of batsmen when they are losing and are unhappy.

Finn normally bowls from the Pavilion End at his home ground. But on Saturday he bowled very nicely from the other end. It can be difficult to adjust in that way considering the Lord's slope, but the fact he was able to do so shows his talent.

Graeme Swann is obviously full of confidence. He is a very old-fashioned spinner, who gives the ball more air than most, and imparts a lot of top-spin.

He added another five wickets to his series haul but I am not sure Pakistan played him particularly well. When batsmen hover on the back foot it just encourages the bowler to toss it up and bowl it that little bit fuller.

Jonathan Agnew was speaking to BBC Sport's Oliver Brett



Print Sponsor


see also
Ruthless England close on victory
28 Aug 10 |  England
'Ridiculous' Test delights Swann
28 Aug 10 |  England
England v Pakistan day three photos
28 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


BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 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.