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Pakistan's Nauman Ali (left) bowls next to Australia's Steven Smith during the fourth day of the first Test cricket match between Pakistan and Australia at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi. Image Credit: AFP

Australia are touring Pakistan after 24 long years with a full squad and it was expected to be a cracker of a Test series. Pakistan, the host, had the chance to prepare a wicket which would support their spinners but what you see is a flat pitch offered by the groundsman with no help for the bowlers.

Pakistan still could have made things happen after winning the toss but after batting for two days and playing out 162 overs and scoring 476 losing just four wickets at a rate of 2.93 which was far too slow inspite of the pitch being so flat and wickets in hand.

It was understandable for them to bat cautiously on the first day where they put up 245/1 in 90 overs but to continue with the same style of batting on the second day did not show any itent inspite of having attacking batsman like Mohammed Rizwan and Iftekhar Ahmed in the line up. If you bat for two days in a Test, you normally bat the opposition out of the game by scoring around 550 to 600 runs so that you dont need to bat the second time around. It was infact the Aussies who batted aggressively and took the attack to the opposition by scoring briskly and calling the shots for most of the two day they batted and we’re going at one time at more than 4 an over and managed to score 449/7 in 137 overs.

Good record

Morever it was baffling to see Pakistan not picking their most experienced spin bowler in Yasir Shah. History says Aussies are not so good against leg spinners and Shah has a good record against all SENA countries in Asia conditions picking up 235 Test wickets in just 46 Test matches.

Steven Smith described the wicket as “dead and benign” with just 11 wickets lost in four day and 925 runs scored in four days. Traditionally the Rawalpindi wicket offers seam movement but this was a flat wicket with no help for the seamers and very slow turn for the spinners which was easy to handle by every batsman.

Pakistan had their best chance to beat Australia in their home had they prepared a wicket which would help their spinners but let this opportunity slip and the match is headed for stale draw with the first innings yet to be completed. The crowd who had come in large numbers wanted to see action packed cricket but for most part of the four days it was dull and boring Test cricket which used to happen till the early 90’s.

Now every Test match produces results unless there is a wash out and this Test would be one of those dull draws which might face flak not only from the crowd but also from the ICC.