The cricket world certainly didn’t expect the return of Test cricket in Pakistan between two strong teams in international cricket in such a manner.
There was high expectation around the series when some of the best Test cricketers from Australia against the top-class Pakistan fast bowlers.
Australia and Pakistan have the world’s best pace attack and test batters coming against each other. The series thus expected a greater balance between bat and ball.
However, the return of test cricket lost its charm with the first two test matches resulting in a draw. The pitch had offered nothing for the bowlers on both sides that attracted lot criticism around the cricketing world.
Teams scored runs as easily as possible irrespective of Day one or Day five. The First Test match saw both teams scoring mammoth totals where Pakistan lost no wickets on the fifth-day pitch.
Australia managed a huge total in the first test innings of the second test match as well. Pakistan had a batting collapse on a good batting pitch and Australia’s quick innings declaration in the second innings made it look like an excellent second test match.
However, on a good pitch, Babar Azam led the fight with Pakistan batters compensating their first-innings failure. On the paper, it may look like close a finish which wasn’t the case in the second innings of Pakistan.
Pakistan had a chance to make the return of test cricket more exciting with great pitches in place. All that we have seen is batters making runs without mercy over the 10 match days.
Dead pitches and no balance between batters and bowlers don’t help revive test cricket. It does no good especially when cricket is returning to a country after a long gap.
There is a third test match in progress. We have Australia being bowled out under 400, but Pakistan responding equally well in their batting. Pakistan managed to pick up a couple of quick wickets on Day one. Smith and Khawaja fought back with fighting half-centuries. Khawaja, however, missed a well-deserved ton for the second time in this series.
Pakistan managed breakthroughs, but, Green and Carey ensured that they have taken Australia to a decent first inning Total.
Australia forced back to the game with Cummins and Starc sharing nine wickets among them to wrap up Pakistan’s first innings to 268 to manage 123 runs lead.
Will it be another Draw that will be disappointing from a series that was eagerly awaited by the entire cricket world?