The year 2022 will be remembered as one of the worst for Pakistan’s Test cricket. Only one of the eight Test matches played by the Babar Azam-led team so far this year has ended in victory.
The worst happened this month when they were thoroughly defeated by England in a three-match Test series. This result broke numerous long-standing records, including the record for consecutive losses in Pakistan.
Since the present fast bowling unit fell short of expectations, the absence of the elite pacers was cited as an excuse by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the team, who both received harsh criticism for the defeat.
With 348 and 346 runs, respectively, Babar Azam and Saud Shakeel were the only players to perform brilliantly, completing the series as the third and fourth-leading run scorers. The rest of the hitting lineup had trouble the entire series.
Despite making a valiant 114 in the first game, Abdullah Shafique, who was in terrific form earlier this year, struggled against England’s bowlers, amassing 213 runs in six innings.
While amassing 184 runs in six innings, including two fifties with the best score of 56, Agha Salman, who started his Test career earlier this year, did not particularly stand out.
Mohammad Rizwan was predicted to bounce back in the series, but his 141 runs in six innings, with the best score of 46, were not enough to make up for a disappointing performance in white-ball cricket earlier in the season.
Azhar Ali, the team’s most seasoned batter, too had a bad series, accumulating 112 runs in four innings, which may have prompted him to call it quits before playing his 100th Test match. Let’s look at the statistics:
The two-match Test series between Pakistan and New Zealand will start on December 26, and everyone will need to play well to get out of this rut. The team’s morale will be further lowered if it is dependent on one or two players.