Despite only taking four wickets throughout the Test, Australia’s captain Pat Cummins believes the lifeless pitch in Rawalpindi was specifically designed to neutralize the visitors’ pace attack and that a draw was a good result.
Only 14 wickets were taken in five days, with Pakistan declaring 476 for 4 and 252 for 0 in two innings before the game was called off with an hour remaining on day five. With only three scalps claimed across 239 overs, Australia set some unwanted records, with Marnus Labuschagne’s direct hit run-out accounting for the fourth. In 145 years of Test cricket, Australia’s combined bowling average of 238.33 and strike rate of 478 was the second-worst in the world.
Pat Cummins on Rawalpindi Pitch
Pat Cummins, Australia’s captain, said he would leave it up to fans and commentators to judge the dead wicket that saw his team’s first Test in Pakistan in nearly two decades ending in a tame draw in Rawalpindi on Tuesday.
“Turning up to a pitch that’s probably not a traditional pitch you would get here in Rawalpindi, and it’s probably clear they’ve made an effort to try and nullify the pace bowling,” Cummins said.
“I think that’s a positive. And, sub-continent conditions, coming away with a draw it’s not a bad result,” he added.
In the second innings, Cummins had to use nine bowlers, but Australia still failed to make a breakthrough. The visitors had as many as eight bowlers in action in the first innings as well.
“I think we all tried different things. I think all the quick bowlers, although we’ve spent the best part of three days out in the field, I think we’ve all bowled around about 25, maximum 30 overs each, which in comparison to a lot of Australian Test matches is actually a pretty light workload. Didn’t get a huge look at reverse swing this Test, but that might come into it later on. But I was really happy with how everyone went and everyone came through unscathed,” the Australia captain said.
Cummins acknowledged that his team will have to rethink their strategy ahead of the second Test, which begins on March 12 in Karachi.
“I thought the Pakistani batters batted really well the whole game. Got themselves in and then once they got themselves in they were able to just tick over the score. We’ll spend the next couple days reviewing it, having a look at maybe different plans ahead of Karachi, expecting probably different conditions as well,” he added.