Well, it could have been much worse. The ball did swing considerably at least for Jofra Archer, who clearly should be in the England World Cup squad. Fakhar Zaman fell early and that is always a problem for Pakistan. Babar and Imam could have just dug in went at 2 runs per over. Or they could have been extravagant and lost their wickets. With Asif Ali playing as high as 6, things could have gone ugly quite easily.
We have seen such occurrences in England. In 2017, England found themselves driving intensively at full swinging balls which led them 20/6. Granted the ball didn’t swing as much as England bowled that little bit shorted but credit must be given to Pakistan’s top order. They kept the run rate going to a degree.
What would have followed is anyone’s guess. Pakistan could have perished for 230-240, failing to build on the relatively decent foundation provided. But given this was their 1st proper test in 50 over format, team management would take heart from Imam’s battling innings.
Moreover, yesterday showed that if Fakhar flls early it, Imam would continue as the anchor. Babar would have to play the aggressor’s role. Imam is being backed tremendously by Mickey and his team. However, this just may free up Babar Azam a little bit and help him expand his game. In better batting conditions, this just may favour Pakistan.