Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 6 December 2019

Pakistan batting implodes after Ricky Ponting calls visitors' bowling attack 'pedestrian'

Azhar Ali's team face yet another heavy defeat with questions raised about his leadership skills

The Pakistan team has been outplayed in all departments in the Test series in Australia. AFP
The Pakistan team has been outplayed in all departments in the Test series in Australia. AFP

Pakistan were under fire on and off the field in the Adelaide Test as Australia's batting and bowling once again proved to be far superior.

Opener David Warner smashed an unbeaten triple century on the second day of the day-night Test, captain Tim Paine declaring on 589-3 with the batsman unbeaten on 335. His score was the second highest by an Aussie behind Matthew Hayden's 380 against Zimbabwe.

Warner could have gone for Brian Lara's world record score of 400 but Australia decided put the under-pressure Pakistan batting in.

There was more pain in store for Azhar Ali's team as they stumbled to 96-6 by the time stumps were drawn. Left-arm quick Mitchell Starc found his rhythm and radar, getting late swing at 150kph, to decimate the visitors' line-up with figures of 4-22.

Pakistan's performances in the two-Test series have been far from inspiring and former captain Ricky Ponting didn't hold back when assessing their effort.

“From what I’ve seen, their [bowling] attack is pretty pedestrian,” Ponting was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au after the first day's play when Australia made 302-1 in 73 overs. “It’s certainly not the best fast-bowling attack I’ve seen Pakistan put out.

“About five overs into the day [one], I said to someone, ‘They’re not going to take another wicket for the whole day here’.

“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 batsmen].

“They’re relying on batsmen to make mistakes. And when you’ve got hungry batsmen out there, they’re not going to give their wicket away.”

Ponting was even more critical of captain Azhar, questioning his experience as a leader coming into the series.

“He just looks like he’s a long way off the mark, Azhar Ali," Ponting said.

“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.

“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.

"It’s not anything personal against Azhar Ali, I’m just saying what I’ve seen on the field. Tactically, he looks like he’s been a fair way behind."

Updated: November 30, 2019 03:39 PM

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