It is safe to say that Misbah ul Haq’s ambitious selection policy hasn’t produced radical results Down Under.
After a white wash in the T20I series and consecutive defeats by an innings in Tests, a humbled Pakistan unit return home to play against Sri Lanka later this month.
While playing a Test in Pakistan by itself is historic, they would need to show more character than they did in Australia to beat Sri Lanka.
At the end of the two-match Test series against Australia that certainly didn’t go according to plan, here are the individual ratings of the visitors:
Azhar Ali – 1/10
62 runs from four innings. The captain displayed brief restraint in fishing at deliveries outside the off-stump during the first session of the Test at Gabba, but couldn’t cope against the relentless Australian pacers and was out caught at slips thrice in four innings. With his side leaking runs in the first innings of the second Test, he didn’t switch to a more defensive field or try anything different to stop David Warner and co.
Shan Masood – 2/10
The southpaw’s limited footwork meant that he would always struggle Down Under while batting in seaming conditions. He helped himself to a half-century in the final innings of the series when Pakistan had nothing to lose.
Haris Sohail – 1/10
The middle-order batsman who scored two ODI centuries against Australia earlier this year was all at sea in this tour as he too struggled to cope with the bounce and pace of the Austrlian bowlers.
Imam-ul-Haq – 1/10
The bespectacled opener played one game and had a forgettable outing. Apart from messing up a run-out chance to dismiss Marnus Labuschagne, he also failed with the bat. Only tailenders Shaheen Shah Afridi and Muhammad Musa faced fewer deliveries than Imam in the Adelaide Test.
Babar Azam – 5/10
The crown jewel of Pakistan batting. He scored a scintillating century at the Gabba and narrowly missed out on another ton at Adelaide. Babar has proven he can score runs in the longer format and needs support from the rest of the group.
Asad Shafiq – 5/10
The 33-year-old arguably played the innings of the series for the visitors. His knock of 76 on the opening day of the series while rallying with the tailenders allowed Pakistan to reach a respectable total. He scored his second half-century in the day-night Test but was out thought by Nathan Lyon to be dismissed for 57 in the final innings.
Iftikhar Ahmed – 2/10
The all-rounder had a couple of starts with the bat but couldn’t capitalise. He bowled 27 overs across two Tests and didn’t manage a single wicket.
Mohammad Rizwan – 3/10
The wicket-keeper batsman’s timing was exceptional in the first Test at Brisbane. After a silky cameo in the first innings, he scored a gritty 97 in the second essay, sharing a 132-run stand with Babar Azam. His glovework was adequate as the ball hardly found its way to his gloves once the Aussies got their eye in. Rizwan’s superb catch to dismiss Pat Cummins in the first game was Pakistan’s only noteworthy effort while fielding.
Yasir Shah – 4/10
The leg-spinner’s extraordinary century and his celebration after dismissing Steve Smith were few of the high points of the tour for the visitors. However, on the bowling front, Shah was disappointing as he became the first bowler in history to thrice concede more than 200 runs in an innings.
Shaheen Afridi – 4/10
The left-arm pacer was the best bowler for Pakistan. He was sharp with the new ball and troubled the batsmen with his pace. He finished the series with five wickets and is certainly one for the future.
Imran Khan – 1/10
The best trick that the Aussies pulled this series was to make Pakistan believe Imran Khan should be picked over Mohammad Abbas in the first Test after his fifer in the practice game. The veteran struggled at Brisbane and managed one wicket and that too of Pat Cummins.
Naseem Shah – 2/10
The 16-year-old was inexplicably dropped for the second game after a decent outing in the first Test. His no-ball when he had David Warner caught behind will haunt him for a while.
Muhammad Musa – 1/10
His erratic bowling was milked by David Warner and Labuschagne. He is another teenager who will have regrets as he leaves Australia. He clearly needs to play more first-class games before he makes it into another Test side.
Mohammad Abbas – 2/10
The experienced bowler was tidy in his opening spell but couldn’t provide breakthroughs which cost his team at times. He was involved in a solid partnership with Yasir Shah which allowed his partner to score his maiden Test ton.
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