Ben Stokes England Captain
Some of the things we can’t plan for is what happened to the squad before the Test. Seems a long time ago when we were running around to find players for the Test. Will Jacks getting the message three minutes before toss, and Pope getting the gloves. We’ve played 8-9 matches with myself and Brendon in charge. One thing we try to do is focus on ourselves and not the opposition. We know we’re a very exciting team. Was a great batting surface, so it was an opportunity for our batting group. Having the lads truck in like they did today was amazing. Really special group of players. We wanted to come here to Pakistan and carry on with our mantra of exciting cricket. I’ve got no interest in trying to play for a draw, the dressing room has no interest in playing for a draw. Felt on this kind of wicket, almost had to entice the batsmen to play an attacking shot. Today we were fortunate to get the ball reverse-swinging. James Anderson and Ollie Robinson were fantastic today. We won probably about 8 minutes before we would’ve come off. This is probably up there as one of England’s greatest away wins.
Babar Azam Pakistan Captain
We are not upto the mark. Had a golden chance in the second innings, but session by session we lost wickets. Our bowling group is young. Unfortunately Haris injured himself in the first innings. All credit to the bowlers who bowled well. We try to stick to our plans. Difficult when opponent goes at 7 an over. We had an opportunity in the second innings. But we didn’t get partnerships in the end. Lot of positives. Our batting performed very well. Bowling also very well.
The pitch was not favourable but we got it going. I’m just proud of every single man. We knew it would be hard but we just toiled away. Batters gave us the opportunity scoring as quickly as they did. Playing on Pakistan on these tough wickets – probably the best Test match I’ve had.
To say England approached this Test with a positive mindset would be an understatement. Right from the first over on the first morning, which yielded 14 runs, the visitors never took a backward step. They amassed 506 runs on the opening day itself to shatter all kinds of records led by the four centurions – Crawley, Duckett, Pope, and Brook. Then their bowlers stuck at the task despite having nothing to work with, eking out a lead of 78. What followed was batting in an even higher gear than the first innings, as England went at close to 8 an over before making a brave, brave declaration.
Pakistan vs England Cricket Highlights today. 1st Test, Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi, Thursday 01-12-2022, England tour to Pakistan.
England have won the TOSS and chose bat first
With the exclusion of veteran Yasir Shah and in the absence of the injured Shaheen Afridi, Pakistan’s bowling line-up could have a few fresh faces drafted in. Leg spinner Abrar Ahmed, one of the four slow bowling options, had been called up into the squad after a good domestic season, and could be in line for a debut.
After making their intent clear of prioritizing a win or a loss over draws, England have adopted a high-risk, high-reward brand of cricket so far. It has yielded them good results at home so far. But this will be their first challenge away from home, and in conditions that are vastly different. Their approach here will therefore be of much interest.
Pakistan Playing Line-up
Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam (c), Saud Shakeel, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Agha Salman, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Ali, Zahid Mahmood
England Playing Line-up
Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope (wk), Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes (c), Liam Livingstone, Will Jacks, Jack Leach, Ollie Robinson, James Anderson