Pakistan were 2 for none in 2 overs. Their aggressor, Fakhar Zaman had been tied down. Imam, the designated innings builder, thought he’d have a go. He danced down the wicket. The bowler was Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the ‘Indian’ spinner fast bowler as memes like to call him. Perhaps, as Imam tried to swipe at it. One could classify it as an across the line shot. But there was extra bounce. It kissed his bat and rested in the gloves of MS Dhoni. Coach Mickey Arthur identified that shot was an irresponsible one, and out of character from Imam. Pakistan never recovered from there and had a torrid Asia Cup.
Pakistan were 1 for none in 2 overs. Imam had played 11 balls without getting off the mark. At the start of the 3rd over, Fakhar unleashed on Rabada taking him for two boundaries. Last ball of the over, Imam danced down the wicket. Rabada provided him more pace than Kumar. Perhaps, Imam aimed more towards mid-on than midwicket. The ball hit the middle of the bat and sailed high and mighty for a six.
For a team that was under the pump throughout the three test matches, this must have seemed a relief. They were tormented not only with the short pitch stuff but also nothing knowing what to play and what to leave. It showed that the wicket was flatter than what we face in the UAE. It had some pace but not enough to disturb the flow of the batsman. It showed that players are working individually and collectively on improving. More importantly it showed that there is fight in this team.
Now, it’s on the players to adjust to conditions which may not be to their liking. South African are under pressure, do not relent.