Michael Atherton remembers Virender Sehwag as England post 500+ on Day 1 vs Pakistan
Former captain Michael Atherton said that England’s batting performance on the first day of the Rawalpindi Test against Pakistan reminded him of former swashbuckling openers Virender Sehwag and Mathew Hayden.
The tourists reached a mammoth 506-4 in 75 overs against Pakistan on Day 1 of the first Test on Thursday (December 1) before poor light forced an early end to proceedings. Nevertheless, on a day of records, England became the first team to score 500 runs on the opening day of a Test, while four different batters scored centuries.
Speaking on Sky Sports, Atherton said:
“I think it was England’s most dominant opening two hours of a Test match. That’s a sign of an era that is changing rather than the specifics. I haven’t seen anything more dominant from England.”
“I am thinking back to the really aggressive openers that I’ve seen down the years. Virender Sehwag. I’ve seen him play incredible innings at the top of the order. Mathew Hayden and so they certainly have been dominant openers before.”
“These conditions allowed Ben Duckett and Zak Crawley to express themselves to the fullest really, and they both played superbly. Pakistan ran the back foot right from the outset. 500 is still hard to believe.”
Zahid Mahmood scalped a couple of wickets for Pakistan, while Haris Rauf and Mohammad Ali took one wicket apiece.
At close of play, captain Ben Stokes was on an unbeaten 34 off 15, while Harry Brook was on 101 off 81.
“You just going to have a road for five days” – Michael Atherton after 1st day of England-Pakistan Test
Atherton, meanwhile, took a dig at Pakistan cricket and the pitch curators for the flat wicket on offer. He feels that the conditions need to change on a batting-friendly pitch.
“The hope is that the conditions do change. To be honest, that’s the only reason to play five-day cricket is that the conditions have to change.”
“You just going to have a road for five days. What’s the point? The point of a multi-day game is that the conditions change by different challenges for the cricketers along the way.”
Babar Azam and Co. will have to come out all guns blazing on Day 2 if they want to restrict the visitors from running away with the game.