Pakistan vs Zimbabwe 1st Test Scorecard 3rd September 2013
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Our batting is suited to test cricket, in general. We have guys like Misbah, Younis, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq and add to that Taufeeq Umar, who is surprisingly not selected for this tour despite his consistent, solid recent performances for the last 2 years in test cricket. So batting is not a concern in term of playing out the overs but the area of concern is our bowling attack for the time being. It has looked quite flat especially after watching their below par performances in the 3 one day internationals.
Seven years ago, Pakistan were part of the first ever forfeited Test. This morning they were on the brink of being part of the first forfeited Test series, with the Zimbabwe players considering a boycott over unpaid salaries. Fortunately, the worst-case scenario has been avoided: Zimbabwe confirmed on Monday afternoon that they will take the field in Harare, with Zimbabwe Cricket saying it is working on clearing its dues before the second Test, which begins in Bulawayo on September 10.
Yes they did bowl out Zimbabwe for below par totals but they should have 'demolished' this Zimbabwean batting line up, who did not even train adequately for the series. Blaming the flat, unresponsive tracks in not the way to go as our bowlers (most of them were of the current crop) dismantled a much stronger England batting line up in the unresponsive tracks of the UAE. Consistency is what is required for the team, so that it can go on to do bigger things. Inshallah! We will win!
If the money is not transferred before then and the players stand their ground in Bulawayo, there will be a bonus of sorts: Zimbabwe will qualify for the ICC's Test rankings after the Harare Test, having finally played the requisite number of games for the first time since their return to Test cricket in August 2011 after more than five years of self-imposed exile. And, irrespective of the series scoreline, they'll return in some style, straightaway leapfrogging Bangladesh to No. 9.
That said, Zimbabwe's troubles are likely to spill over onto the field. In Pakistan they face an opponent whose batsmen are best suited to the gentle pace of the long format and bowlers include potent pacers and arguably the best spinner in world cricket today. The hosts, on the other hand, come into the series with - in their coach's words - a concern about "how are we going to get 20 wickets" and an unsettled opening combination. In the preceding limited-overs games, their fielding was a shambles too. Add to that the question of morale following recent events, and you see just how high the odds are stacked against them.