Sunday, February 12, 2012
Number 4-7 Reviewed
Younis Khan 7/10 - Younis was short of runs in this series for the most part, but in his final innings he demonstrated his class and calibre to become the 1st batsmen of the series to reach 3 figures. It was an exhibition of efficient technique to eliminate DRS, aggressive running between the wickets, manoeuvring the ball into the gaps, making it count once he was set, guiding Azhar Ali, accelerating and stamping his authority on the English attack. It was a masterpiece of an innings and England can and would have taken plenty of lessons from it, particularly on how to handle spin and overcome being paranoid as a result of DRS. It was Younis's 20th century in his glittering high achieving test career. The series couldn't go through without a Younis century and we finally got it. Younis would be the first to admit that he didn't have the best of times in this series, but he made up for it and it was only a matter of time before he delivered.
MUH - 8/10 - We saw two crucial dogged, sturdy, determined test match innings in his first 2 innings of the series in the first 4 days of the series. Alongside Azhar Ali, MUH was the only batsmen to reach above 50 twice in the series as he continued his sensationally consistent batting record as captain. All 5 times MUH was dismissed LBW and 4 times he reviewed unsuccessfully. MUH also put on a 50+ stand for the 4th wicket with Azhar Ali on the penultimate day of the series as the solid and dependable middle order batsmen killed time with tight defence and powers of patience allowing the pitch to deteriorate further. Surprisingly no catches came his way. MUH has now featured in 99 wins in a Pakistan shirt and will want to get to the 100th one in the 1st ODI at Abu Dhabi on Monday. MUH deserves the plaudits for captaining his side to their first whitewash outside home. Throughout the tour he extracted the best from his players and guided the likes of Adnan and Shafiq a great deal. Also, he ensured the team did not get in hot water and kept everything in check with his respectable stature and stabilising presence which has been a rarity in previous Pakistan - England contests.
Asad Shafiq 8/10 - Most catches by a non wicket keeper in the series as Shafiq held on to 6 of them which came his way. Shafiq continued to show why he was preferred ahead of the exciting and exuberant Umar Akmal with some vital knocks throughout the series, particularly in the Abu Dhabi test match and the first innings of the final test in Dubai where he top scored and allowed Pakistan to reach respectability when they were disastrously placed at 21/5 at one stage as the elegant stroke maker reached the 40s before being a victim of Monty's arm ball.
Adnan Akmal 6/10 - One half century in the opening test and he was even a contender for the player of the match award with 7 catches and a vital half century to provide Pakistan with an important lead. It's never easy to keeping to the likes of Saeed Ajmal and Adnan was reasonably sound in the keeping department with the odd slight error. Adnan Akmal has played 13 tests for Pakistan and Pakistan have never lost any of those with 8 wins along the way. He's clearly a lucky charm for the team with his excitable appealing, tidy glove work and entertaining batting. He's got areas to work on, but this whitewash is an experience he shall never forget as he was part of it by keeping the energy levels high behind the stumps.
Posted by Abdullah at 9:59 PM