It remained a winless year for the Pakistan Test team at home, first losing to Australia in March, and then being blanked out 3-0 by England. Here are player ratings for the Pakistan team after their series whitewash at the hands of Ben Stokes & Co.
Babar Azam 7.5/10
3 Tests, 348 runs @ 58.00, 1 100, 3 50s, HS: 136
A look at his batting numbers – he crossed fifty in four out of six innings, though Pakistan would still have wanted more – would suggest that his rating is low but Babar, the captain, didn’t live up to the task, which played a big part in how the series unfolded. Against England’s hyper-aggressive batting, Babar had few containment plans. As a small consolation, he crossed 1,000 Test runs in 2022.
Abdullah Shafique 5.5/10
3 Tests, 213 runs @ 35.50, 1 100, HS: 114
After England had done what they had done in the first innings of the series, Shafique responded with a soothing resistance, settling himself nicely on the bland Rawalpindi pitch. The real challenge came later against left-arm spin, and that’s when Shafique’s numbers tailed off, managing 99 runs across the last five innings. Half a point extra for this catch at short leg.
Imam ul Haq 7/10
2 Tests, 229 runs @ 57.25, 1 100, 1 50, HS: 121
Like Shafique, Imam, too, made hay on Rawalpindi’s graveyard of a pitch. In Multan, he was pushed down the order in the second innings due to a hamstring issue, forging a crucial stand with Saud Shakeel that gave the side a semblance of a hope. He missed the third Test due to the same issue.
Shan Masood 4/10
1 Test, 54 runs @ 27.00, HS: 30
With Imam out for the third Test, Masood got to play his second Test in two years. He built up starts in Karachi, but didn’t stay long enough to make a lasting contribution.
Saud Shakeel 8/10
3 Tests, 346 runs @ 57.66, 4 50s, HS: 94
One of Pakistan’s few bright spots, Shakeel gave a peek into what the future could hold for Pakistan’s batting. Doughty and resolute, Shakeel was Pakistan’s solitary hope with a fourth-innings 94 in the Multan chase, falling to a contentious decision. He hit four fifties in six innings – the Azhar era might have ended, but the Shakeel era could just be starting.
Azhar Ali 3/10
2 Tests, 112 runs @ 28.00, HS: 45
Azhar’s swansong didn’t unfold the way he would have liked. Dropped for the second Test, Azhar returned for his farewell match in Multan, scoring 45 in the first innings. In his final innings, he fell for a fourth-ball duck, bringing an end to a celebrated career.
Mohammad Rizwan 3/10
3 Tests, 141 runs @ 23.50, HS: 46
Rizwan has now gone 12 Test innings without a fifty. The pressure continues to mount on the wicketkeeper-batter, whose underwhelming run extended across the three Tests. Imam’s injury presented him the opportunity to open the innings in the second Test, but he looked a pale shadow of his prolific white-ball self.
Agha Salman 5/10
3 Tests, 184 runs @ 36.80, 2 50s, HS: 56
Salman played a brave, counterpunching 67 in Rawalpindi to keep Pakistan in the game after England had dominated most of the proceedings. He chipped in in Karachi as well, but didn’t look as convincing batting with the tail, leaving them exposed at times. As an additional bowling option, he could have sent down more overs.
Abrar Ahmed 8/10
2 Tests, 17 wickets @ 26.94, BBI: 7-114
Abrar lived through an experience others dream of, tearing into England with a seven-for on debut. Four more wickets followed in the second innings, although somehow, it wasn’t enough to hand Pakistan a win. He claimed a few more in the third Test, but also struggled to contain runs when required.
Zahid Mahmood 4/10
2 Tests, 12 wickets @ 36.16, BBI: 4-235
Picked for the Rawalpindi Test, debutant Zahid came a cropper, conceding runs in excess of seven an over in both innings. It was a better showing in Multan, where he played the ideal foil to Abrar’s magic, joining in for mostly late-order wickets.
Nauman Ali 4/10
1 Test, 4 wickets @ 41.00, BBI: 4-126
Picked over Zahid for the final Test and found some assistance from the Karachi pitch – in the first innings, he claimed Ben Duckett and Joe Root off back-to-back deliveries (no other spinner had dismissed Root for a golden duck). He finished with a four-for, but it was hardly enough to trouble England’s plans.
Naseem Shah 5/10
1 Test, 5 wickets @ 41.20, BBI: 3-140
With no Shaheen Afridi for the series, Naseem had more responsibility to shoulder (no pun intended), and he sparkled in bits throughout the Rawalpindi Test – including this riposte to Ben Stokes – albeit with little assistance from others. A shoulder issue flared up though, ruling him out of the remainder.
Haris Rauf 2/10
1 Test, 1 wicket @ 78.00, BBI: 1-78
Much was spoken about T20 star Haris Rauf’s Test debut, especially since the world has seen little of him with the red ball in hand. It didn’t quite go as planned, for Haris was out of the series 13 overs into his first spell. Given Pakistan’s mounting injury count, the quadricep strain could put a serious question mark over his Test future.
Mohammad Wasim Jnr 3/10
1 Test, 1 wicket @ 107.00, BBI: 1-71
Brought in for Naseem for the final Test, the slingy quick made little real impact, though in a lively spell of reverse swing he picked up the solitary scalp of centurion Harry Brook. Once the first-choice quicks return, Wasim Jnr, still just 21, could be developed into a sturdy backup option.
Mohammad Ali 2/10
2 Tests, 4 wickets @ 65.25, BBI: 2-64
Pakistan’s domestic workhorse earned a debut as fast-bowling resources grew thin, his first game coming on a dead Pindi pitch. He bowled with spirit, but there wasn’t much to offer at his speed, and he remained largely ineffective with the odd moment of surprise. His lines and lengths were also not as expected for a bowler of his pace and record.
Faheem Ashraf 2/10
2 Tests, 0 wickets; 22 runs @ 9.25, HS: 22
Not too long ago, Faheem Ashraf was being touted as Pakistan’s go-to all-rounder, but the emergence of a number of quicks stalled his progress. Drafted in for the Multan and Karachi Tests, Faheem seemed to have been pushed into an ill-defined role, not bowling enough and batting too low.
Mohammad Nawaz 2/10
1 Test, 1 wicket @ 88.00, BBI: 1-42; 46 runs @ 23.00, HS: 45
Brought in for the Multan Test in a rapidly-changing bowling attack, Nawaz gave Saud Shakeel company in the chase with a crucial 45. With the ball, he remained a secondary figure to Abrar’s brilliance.