England’s batsmen must learn

Graham Thorpe
cricket blogs for Yahoo Cricket Columns

None of England's batsmen stood out in the third Test against Pakistan.


Alastair Cook was under enormous pressure: if he wasn't in last chance saloon then he wasn't far off it. He responded with a relaxed performance and some runs.


It is important for the players to do that: stay relaxed, rather than go in all determined.


England need to refocus on their batting: they must be careful not to push too hard at the ball outside the stumps. Prior showed how to play that way, and so did Cook.


Our batsmen have not been in great form all summer, and Pakistan will be buoyed by their win.


Overcast conditions have played a big part in matches this summer, but you have to applaud the skill of both team's bowlers in this series.


Also things such as the balls they've been using can make a difference; if they've a good batch both sides can swing it.


It is important to see how England bounce back from the loss. Will they have learnt their lessons?


They must think about how they play that swinging ball; and also Saeed Ajmal, the off spinner.


There is not a tried and tested method suitable for everyone: each player has to have his own plans of what they are going to do against the off spinner.


If they can't pick it off they have to find a way... it could be a sweep, or stepping to the ball, or anything.


Everyone's different. They must have a clear plan on each bowler, the off spinner, the left-arm seamer, whoever.




Shoaib Akhtar is back for the one-day series: it looks like Pakistan are trying to get a few older heads in.


He's certainly got the experience. Younus Khan is still on the outside but is another option for them in future; however you don't know how things are. Maybe it wouldn't be good for the harmony within the side, and maybe he is not fit, as they have suggested.


If the balance of the team is right, they won't look to change it too much.


Courtesy: Yahoo! Eurosport UK