During this short series, I hope to post six short observations – an over, if you will – on each day’s play, to which readers may wish to comment below the line. At 99.94, we always welcome readers’ views.
Ball One – Australia still have not solved last year’s batting problems against the swinging, seaming ball. This will be the fourth first innings in the last six Tests in England to terminate well below 300. It’s hard to win Tests from there.
Ball Two – Mohammad Aamir is the real deal… but Ishant Sharma looked the real deal a couple of years ago too. Pakistan should protect him on and off the field – they won’t.
Ball Three – Had an Umpire Decision Review System been in place, a number of key decisions would have been reversed. Katich would have gone early, Clarke would have been reprieved and Smith’s first Test innings would have lasted longer. Would it have mattered? In a match context, it’s probably even, so probably not.
Ball Four – North, Paine and Smith at 6, 7. 8 looks like a flat-track bullies parade. North and Paine didn’t look good enough to deal with some probing, but hardly unplayable, bowling and Smith was swan off.
Ball Five – Pakistan will have a huge advantage playing under English cloud with three seamers ideally suited to exploiting such conditions and who complement each other wonderfully well. It’s great to see Pakistan playing Tests, but perhaps Shahjah would be a “fairer” venue.
Ball Six – If an eighteen year-old dismisses the second highest run scorer in Test history, he’s going to be jumping about, excited. The second highest run scorer should cut him a little slack.
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