Friday, February 15, 2013

Today at the Test

1) Taufeeq Umar’s absence was a huge blow given his playing experience and past scores in South Africa as well as his opening record with Mohammad Hafeez. Nasir Jamshed’s inexperience has shown in his last 2 dismissals, a half hearted pull in Johannesburg and chasing a wide delivery today after being dropped at Gully from a leading edge in the same over, but you wouldn’t expect it to be different and it will be a fast learning curve for him.

2) Azhar flashed uncharacteristically, Nasir pushed hard at a wide one, Hafeez got a close to unplayable delivery but could have played with softer hands, Misbah was outfoxed from a steep back of a length climbing delivery.... sustained pressure and some quality swing bowling
3) Did a bet with someone before the series that Hafeez will not aggregate 100 across the 3 tests. So far, 25 from 3 innings.... although was unlucky with a leg side strangle in Johannesburg and got a ball that would have knocked over most today
4) Everyone knows Pakistan were severely undercooked and underprepared for this series to even compete respectably. It’s like an analogy of a student in a school year that goes through the semesters without doing any work until a fortnight before the exams and then expects to pass. They even prepare more seriously for T20 tournaments than a high profile test series against a formidable side. As professional as the current lot are, they are not done any favours by a board that seems to not care about their test match status as much as England, Australia and South Africa do.
5) Admiring the greatest number 1 test side since the Aussies in the early 2000s, the greatest South African test side of our time who are tipped to dominate the world game for several years to come
6) Pak lack a quality attacking test batsmen who could take the game away from the opposition. Umar Akmal doesn't fit the deal, he's not even a regular in his domestic 4 day side. Faisal Iqbal and Imran Farhat are far from being quality material, although they both don't stand back in taking bowlers on. KPs are hard to find

7) Some proper old fashioned patient graft from Younis, applying himself to the task, working his socks off, guiding Asad Shafiq and compiling steadily. He did play and miss quite a bit early on, but once he's in he tends to make it count and you always need to ride your luck against such an attack

8) Dream test match attack nowadays:
Jimmy Anderson
Dale Steyn
Rangana Herath
Saeed Ajmal
Jacques Kallis

9) Nice to see Tanvir back. Remember, he got 6 wickets on his test debut vs the same opposition in November 2010. Gets the new ball to talk and can bat a fair bit.

10) 8-5 to SA in sessions so far on this tour. Pakistan winning both opening days. However,can ill afford a disastrous day 2 to undo hard work

11) If it isn't swinging around corners, this is the most resolute, dependable, mentally tough and relentless batting unit out there nowadays. Point that Kepler raised. If it isn't doing much, we are a tough side to bowl out and know how to keep them in the field for long

12) We've either been great or terrible with the bat. We've had 3 solid sessions, only losing 1 wicket max and 3 sessions where 4 or more lost
13) Mohammad Irfan will become the 212th player to represent Pakistan at test level

14) Younis inching closer on becoming Pakistan’s all time prolific century scorer. Today was his 4th vs. South Africa in 11 tests,busy and gutsy

15) 20th test between Pak and SA and 50th one at Cape Town, the 12th test venue to do so 

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