Pakistan lost the toss but had started brightly in the teams’ first day-night match at the venue, removing Joe Burns cheaply in the first half-hour as the ball swung in overcast conditions. But the visitors failed to pick up a wicket during the rest of the day as the hosts finished at 302/1 at the end of Day 1.
Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has come down hard at Pakistan skipper Azhar Ali for his ‘terrible’ tactics while calling the Pakistan bowling attack ‘not the most skilled’ of all time.
“Terrible. He just looks like he’s a long way off the mark, Azhar Ali. He’s only captained 16 first-class games in his life, so he’s a young captain in charge of a young bowling team and they look like they just need a bit more experience at the helm,” said Ponting told cricket.com.au.
“It’s obviously not the most skilled bowling attack of all time. But that’s where you need the captain to be able to help out and set certain fields for you, and tell you exactly what he wants you to do as a bowler. It doesn’t look like they’ve had that direction out on the field. Tactically, he looks like he’s been a fair way behind.”
Ponting also went on to slam Pakistan’s fielding while singling out Azhar Ali’s missed run-out chance as an indication of the captain ‘not engaged’ in the game enough.
“It’s not anything personal against Azhar Ali, I’m just saying what I’ve seen on the field. I absolutely feel sorry for him. Even the fact they debuted a 16-year-old (Naseem Shah) in Brisbane and they couldn’t use him properly for whatever reason, and he’s not playing this game.
“And he just doesn’t look like he’s got the cattle in that bowling group to make any sort of inroads at all. He was on his heels, he was sloppy, he picked it up lazily and threw it off balance. That to me just says he’s probably not engaged in the game enough,” Ponting said.
Ponting also went on to claim that he had predicted Pakistan’s fate just after 5 overs being bowled into the day. The former captain wasn’t too impressed with Pakistan waiting for Australia to make mistakes rather than forcing the issue.
“From what I’ve seen, their attack is pretty pedestrian. It’s certainly not the best fast-bowling attack I’ve seen Pakistan put out. About five overs into the day, I said to someone, They’re not going to take another wicket for the whole day here’,” said Ponting.
“Mohammad Abbas is bowling in the low 120s with no movement, Shaheen Afridi looks likely and lively, he looks like a good bowler, but Musa Khan has no control, is short and is a nice skiddy pace (for the batsmen).
“They’re relying on batsmen to make mistakes. And when you’ve got hungry batsmen out there like these two are, they’re not going to give their wicket away.”