Summer of Cricket Off to Predictable Start
Posted on May 25 2018
Summer doesn’t officially start until you see England donning their whites, and today was that day, as England took on Pakistan. As predictably as night follows day, England opened their season by being bowled out for a meager 184, before making little indent on the Pakistani batting order. England have not won any of their previous seven tests, and hopes that a dominant home win over Pakistan might instill some much needed confidence now hang in the balance.
Once again, England contributed greatly to their own downfall, with top order batsmen getting out cheaply, and a lower order collapse of five wickets for 16 runs. While the slightly green surface meant the ball nipped around a bit off the seam, and the Pakistani bowlers maintained an excellent length, this Lords wicket is not one that should be an absolute menace to bat on, and England were left ruing the same old mistakes.
The rot was started by Mark Stoneman, a man who surely needs some very big scores to maintain his place in the side, as he was bowled out by Abbas for just four runs. This brought out captain Joe Root, so often England’s saviour, but he managed just four runs as he was caught behind, inexplicably wafting at a horribly wide ball. Cook remained at the other end, but you got the feeling about what was about to ensue, and it inevitably did.
England would have been excited to be back on home soil as they ran onto the field at Lords, the two-game series with Pakistan the perfect opportunity to put their winter woes behind them. However, one day’s play later, and they surely ran off the field with the same old gremlins running through their heads. By no means is this match over, and England will still believe they can turn things around, but this series with Pakistan was supposed to be the perfect opportunity to regain some confidence ahead of the visit of India. Should England lose this test, and fail to win the series, they will be very apprehensive about facing an India team that boasts such talents.
Whatever happens, England have to come out on day two with all guns blazing, and attempt to blow away this Pakistani batting lineup. If they fail to do so, then they could be setting the tone for what could be a very long summer.
As England seem to be finding out quite a lot recently, cricket is a challenging game, that’s why any slight advantage you can gain is one up on your opponent and it is these advantages that can make the difference in the long run.
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