It took nearly a quarter of a century for Australia to visit Pakistan, where the welcome was too good to be true but the game that everyone wanted to see so good cricket ended up in a draw as the pitch was prepared to rock dead.
Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first and they declared with 476/4 in return Australia managed 459 all out and there was no time left in the test that could induce a result with Pakistani openers Abdullah Shafique (136*) and Imam-ul-Haq (111*) playing the entire 5th day for a draw.
Pitch conditions came under significant scrutiny throughout the game and Australia captain Pat Cummins didn’t have good words to say about the pitch stating that by providing a flat track, the host’s attempts to nullify his side’s pace attack.
A total of 14 wickets fell in 5 days test where Australia only picked 4 in the 1st innings of Pakistan.
“Turning up a pitch that’s probably not a traditional pitch you would get here in Rawalpindi, and it’s probably clear they’ve made effort to try and nullify the pace bowling”. Pat Cummins said.
There have been debates around the world with many ex-cricketers criticizing the pitch as legend Inzamam-ul-Haq said “Don’t even remember the last time we saw a test like this“.
The approach of Pakistan was a bit different, after the first day, they should have pushed and scored quickly on the second day so that they give Australia to play after tea if not before. Shahid Afridi said “When I switched on the television on the 2nd day, I thought they might play a little positively.
Teams don’t go at a run rate of 2.50, they finish their innings on 4.50, just look at the approach that the Australians took. In any match, you have to maintain a good rate“.
The second test will start in Karachi and hoping that the lessons learnt to make the test cricket better and avoid having flat pitches would go a long way in my view we should have pitches competitive and we should be bold to play out the opposition then to play a safe game by having flat pitches.