Aus vs Pak 1st Test: 3 takeaways for Pakistan as they lose by innings and 5 runs
It was a thoroughly professional performance from Australia in the opening Test against Pakistan as they thrashed the visitors by an innings and 5 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the two match series. The hosts proved to be too hot to handle for the visitors despite their resurgence in brief periods. Despite the crushing defeat, Pakistan can take some positives from this game.
After a below-par batting performance in the 1st innings, Pakistan showed maturity in the 2nd innings and managed to push the game to the final session of the last day. The batting performance on day 4 was encouraging from the visiting team. Even the bowling performance improved by leaps and bounds on the fourth day which should be encouraging signs for the visiting team.
Also see – World Test Championship Schedule
With the opening Test done and dusted let us have a look at 3 positives which Pakistan can take from the opening Test.
The emergence of 16-year-old Naseem Shah
It wasn't actually a dream debut for the debutant but he looked to be promising in patches. If he remains fit, Naseem Shah is a superstar in the making without an iota of doubt. He was brought in as the first change after Shaheen Afridi and Imran Khan began proceedings for Pakistan.
He bowled a few wayward deliveries to begin with but you can expect that from a 16-year-old kid playing his first Test match. However, he bowled with hostility on certain occasions and troubled the star-studded Australian batting line-up. He conceded a few runs on day 2 but the youngster made a stunning return on day 3 to rattle David Warner who was batting on 150+.
The teenager beat Warner twice in an over before rattling him with a well-directed bouncer which gave him his maiden Test wicket. It took the under edge of Warner's bat and the celebrations from Naseem knew no bounds. If he manages to stay fit, Naseem Shah could be a potential great in the making for Pakistan.
A century from Babar Azam in the 2nd innings
When Babar Azam, touted as the best Pakistan batsman toured Australia last time around, he returned with pretty mediocre scores. In 6 innings Babar managed to score just 64 runs at was rattled by the pace and bounce from the Aussie pacers. However, he has already changed his fate in this tour after scoring a sensational century in the 2nd innings to take Pakistan over the 300 mark.
Babar hasn't really justified his class and composure in the longest format of the game. However, the knock in Brisbane was of the highest order. He looked in complete control of proceedings and never looked in any discomfort what so ever. Babar stroked his way to a well compiled century before perishing of a Nathan Lyon delivery.
His knock was studded with 13 hits to the fence. The form of Babar Azam will be a huge positive for Pakistan going into the pink ball Test slated to be played in Adelaide in four days time.
Impressive performance from Mohammad Rizwan
The wicket-keeper batsman from Pakistan was one of their stand out performers from the opening Test. He looked in great touch with the bat in both the innings and fell 5 runs short of a well deserved century in the 2nd innings. Rizwan stroked his way to 37 off just 34 deliveries in the first innings before his dismissal in a controversial manner. Replays suggested that Josh Hazlewood had overstepped but the third umpire ruled it in favour of the bowling team which was criticised by the Australian commentators as well.
Pakistan was reeling at 94/5 when Mohammad Rizwan joined Babar Azam in the middle. The duo began the rebuilding act sharing an impressive stand of 132 runs in the process. Just like the 1st innings, Rizwan looked in great touch. He was unfazed by the situation and struck some delightful shots.
He drove, cut and pulled to perfection and was looking well set for his maiden Test century. before Josh Hazlewood brought about his downfall with a well-directed short delivery. His knock will surely give confidence to Pakistan to stage a comeback in the day-night Test.Published 24 Nov 2019, 13:29 IST