Distraught Ali calls for introspection after losing Test series against Australia

Filed on December 2, 2019
Nathan Lyon's haul of five wickets for 69 runs helped Australia wrap up the Test series. - AFP

Five-star Lyon grabs the limelight as host sweep series 2-0

Pakistan captain Azhar Ali said on Monday that adapting to conditions more quickly and building partnerships were both crucial if his team hoped to snap a miserable Test record in Australia.

Spin king Nathan Lyon snared five wickets, including dangerous half-century makers Shan Masood and Asad Shafiq, as Australia wore down Pakistan to clinch the second Test and wrap up the series 2-0. The visitors crashed to an innings and 48 runs defeat in the second Test at Adelaide, following an innings and five run loss in Brisbane.

Lyon finished with 5-69 on a lifeless pitch that offered little for the home side's fast bowlers, who were made to toil. It was his 16th five-wicket haul and his first against Pakistan, who have lost all four Tests they have played this year after two defeats to South Africa in January.

Besides, it added to an already poor record Down Under, with Pakistan now beaten in 14 consecutive Tests on Australian shores.

Azhar said it was crucial for more A team tours to give young hopefuls experience of what to expect in local conditions.

"They will get a lot of benefit from that," he said, adding that Test teams arriving in Australia earlier would also help.

"These are the best batting conditions anywhere in the world. If you can get used to the bounce and pace, you can make runs. But it needs to be a team effort, partnerships are important," Azhar said.

"To win Test matches we also have to take 20 wickets and we have to work out how we can do that in Australia. Getting in front of the game here is very important."

Pakistan did have some successes during the tour.

Babar Azam reinforced his reputation as top-notch batsman, hitting a century in Brisbane and 97 in Adelaide. Spin bowler Yasir Shah also adapted well to score a maiden Test hundred.

But they were let down by an inexperienced and young fast bowling attack that was taken apart in Adelaide by David Warner on his way to 335 not out.

Despite the crushing loss, Azhar said the team would take some positives from the tour. "We lacked in all departments in both Tests but we take some positives," he said. "If you don't bowl good line they always score quickly and you have to field well. When you get in, score big and make big partnerships.

"Babar has been exceptional in this series, that's a great positive," he added. "It's very hard here with a young bowling attack, we came with a lot of expectations but it didn't go well. We will learn a lot."

It was Australia's sixth consecutive win in a pink ball Test - four of them at Adelaide - with every day-night Test played so far since the concept was introduced in 2015 producing a result. "Really happy. Barring few slip-ups in the field yesterday, we played excellent cricket in the last two matches," said Australia captain Tim Paine.

Australia 1st innings 589-3 decl
Pakistan 1st innings 302
Pakistan 2nd innings (overnight 39-3)
S. Masood c Starc b Lyon 68
Imam-ul-Haq lbw Hazlewood 0
A. Ali c Smith b Starc 9
B. Azam c Paine b Hazlewood 8
A. Shafiq c Warner b Lyon 57
I. Ahmed c Labuschagne b Lyon 27
M. Rizwan b Hazlewood 45
Y. Shah lbw Lyon 13
S. Afridi c Hazlewood b Lyon 1
M. Abbas run out (Cummins) 1
M. Musa not out 4
Extras (lb6) 6
Total (all out; 82 overs) 239
Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-11, 3-20, 4-123, 5-154, 6-201, 7-221, 8-229, 9-235, 10-239
Bowling: Starc 16-3-47-1, Hazlewood 23-4-63-3, Cummins 15-4-45-0, Lyon 25-7-69-5, Labuschagne 3-0-9-0
Toss: Australia
Result: Australia won by an innings and 48 runs


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