The independent voice of cricket

England v Pakistan

Marks out of 10: How Pakistan’s players fared in their Test series loss to England

Pakistan England
by Wisden Staff 4 minute read

A series that was interrupted by frequent showers and bad light still produced a string of noteworthy individual performances.

Shan Masood 5.5/10

179 runs @ 35.80, HS: 156

It went boom and bust for Masood, who couldn’t capitalise on his fine century in Manchester, finishing with a 179-run tally, 156 of which came in the very first innings. Circumspect early on, the left hander found his rhythm in the first Test after weathering the new ball, racking up his highest Test score in a boundary-filled knock. He succumbed early in the next two games, trapped at the crease and shuffling around with minimal foot movement.

Abid Ali 4/10

139 runs @ 27.80; HS: 60

Abid, less than a year into international cricket, came into the series with enough runs to keep Imam-ul-Haq, the third opener in the Pakistan squad, out. Barring a resolute 60 in the second Test, Abid failed to notch up substantial scores, facing fewer than 50 deliveries on three out of five occasions. In the second innings of the final Test, he trudged to 42 in the company of Azhar Ali, but ended up becoming James Anderson’s 599th dismissal to end a slightly disappointing series.

Azhar Ali 8/10

210 runs @ 52.50, HS: 141*

Under immense pressure following criticism from all ends, Ali produced a gutsy ton in the third Test, keeping the English attack at bay, even if the follow-on couldn’t be avoided. Dismissed leg-before in both innings in the first Test, Azhar tweaked his stance and ended unbeaten on a heroic 141*, a resounding statement to his detractors. The innings compensated for the lack of runs in the lead-up to the third Test, where he had managed just one fifty-plus score in his last 18 innings. Questions, however, still remain over his laid-back captaincy tactics.

Babar Azam 6/10

195 runs @ 48.75; HS: 69

With an inexperienced opening pairing and a fidgety middle order, the onus was on Babar to continue his impressive Test exploits in the run-up to the series. A solid fifty in the first innings gave an indication of what could have been in store – the drives, punches and cuts looked delectable, and he scored another resolute 47 in the second Test. He finished with an unbeaten 63 on a rain-curtailed final day, perhaps, falling short of the lofty expectations he entered the series with.

Asad Shafiq 2/10

67 runs @ 13.40; HS: 29

The pillar of their middle-order, Shafiq endured a scratchy run throughout the tour, managing three single-digit scores and a top score of 29 (which ended in a run-out, sparking a Pakistan collapse in Manchester). A prolific run-scorer at No. 6, Shafiq was given a promotion up the order last year and scored a cluster of fifties to justify the call, but under overcast English skies, he was guilty of poking with hard hands at deliveries around the off-stump, edging three catches to the slip cordon. A steady 60-ball 21 on the final day of the series couldn’t mask an underwhelming tour.

Mohammad Rizwan 8/10

161 runs @40.25, HS: 72

Rizwan came into the series having done enough to edge out Sarfaraz Ahmed, the senior keeper. The series highlighted just why he is Pakistan’s first choice, making a lasting impact with his clean collections behind the sticks and his purposeful lower-order batting. Two crucial fifties in testing patches of play showcased his mettle, including a fine 72 in the second Test, where he held the tail together admirably when some of the more established names wilted in the face of seam bowling. He followed it up with a doughty fifty in the final Test, helping Pakistan out from 75-5 to 213-6 in the first innings.

Fawad Alam 3/10

21 runs @ 10.50, HS: 21

The statistical significance of his 11-year-long comeback made headlines, but Fawad Alam, with his eyesore of a technique, couldn’t get a solid score under his belt. Drafted in at No. 6 instead of Shadab Khan, Fawad fell early in his comeback innings, and looked fidgety in the third Test, even as he did well to survive a testing phase alongside Azhar Ali in the first innings. A critical final verdict, after featuring in just two completed innings in the series, would be a harsh call.

Shadab Khan 5/10

60 runs @ 30.00, HS: 45; 2 wickets @ 23.50, BBI: 2-13

The leg-spinning all-rounder was set aside after the first game, making way for Fawad Alam for the remainder of the series. In his limited participation in the series, he scored a crucial 45 at No. 7, highlighting his batting prowess lower down the order, but bowled just 11.3 overs in all, staying in the shadows of Yasir Shah.

Yasir Shah 7.5/10

11 wickets@ 33.45, BBI: 4-66

The architect of Pakistan’s famous Lord’s win in 2016, Yasir Shah made the ball turn and bounce in Manchester, almost causing an unlikely twist towards the end with a flurry of wickets on day four. The story took a different turn in Southampton, with not much assistance from the pitch, but Yasir still did well to pin the English batsmen to the crease, relying more on his variations, even as the conditions turned against him.

Naseem Shah 4.5/10

3 wickets @ 69.33, BBI: 1-44

Naseem produced excitement with his lively pace, but only in patches, occasionally producing edges that were unlucky to not find fielders. The peach that dismissed Joe Root in the third Test stood out, as did the ripsnorter to Ollie Pope in the first game, but his overall inconsistency indicated that there’s still a lot to learn for the teenaged quick.


Shaheen Afridi 4/10

5 wickets @ 51.60, BBI: 2-121

On his first tour to England, Shaheen Afridi had been primed to act as an ideal foil to Mohammad Abbas. However, his inexperience seemed to surface as the series unfolded. He looked in decent touch in the first game, getting extra lift off the surface but he looked out of sorts in the next two games, faltering in his line and length on occasion as the English batsmen kept piling on the runs.

Mohammad Abbas 7/10

5 wickets @ 35.80, BBI: 2-28

The experienced spearhead of the pace attack, Abbas produced possibly the ball of the series, slipping one through the defences of Ben Stokes, and was impressive in patches in the first game with his nagging line. However, the distinct lack of lateral movement in Southampton meant that the wickets column remained dry as he picked just three wickets in the last three innings of the series.

Have Your Say

Become a Wisden member

  • Exclusive offers and competitions
  • Money-can’t-buy experiences
  • Join the Wisden community
  • Sign up for free
Latest magazine

Get the magazine

12 Issues for just £39.99