Alastair Cook, England, England cricket, England vs Pakistan, Sanya Michelangelo
In my view, it will be hard for him to improve his technique while playing for England. Dropping him in South Africa would have been ideal. England are very reluctant to drop him. He has never been dropped. I didn't want him to bid adieu to his England career, I wanted him to go back to county and come back soon, better than ever. Of course, he cannot be dropped now, he will play in the 4th Test and the 1st Ashes Test. Others in the reckoning are Michael Carberry and Ravi Bopara. Personally, I'd prefer Carberry but bringing Bopara into the side would not be wrong either. He has played for England in the past, didn't prosper much in the Tests, except against West Indies but his recent 45* off 16 were very impressive.
Lets get back to the ongoing match. To sum it up, this Test has been interesting. Pakistan have played a lot better. I think they dropped only one catch in the 1st innings, dropped by Yousuf. Oval has been known to support batting and spin more than pace. Yet, England were all out for 233 and just been all out for 222 in the 2nd innings. Day 1 and Day 2 belonged to Pakistan and Day 3 belonged to Cook and of course, Pakistan. His century put England ahead in the match but soon the momentum shifted towards Pakistan's side. England lost it all. The match was in their hands when Cook was batting. Collingwood cannot be blamed, he has saved England in crisis quite a few times. KP and Straussy need to score. KP's 80 in the last Test were not classy. I blame Trotty, who took 130 deliveries for his 36 and hit just 4 boundaries with over a hundred dot balls. There are batsmen, who take time to settle and don't score many runs at the start but he never settles. He should have been reminded that it's not Day 5 and England are not looking to draw. You need to score runs. There is no point in occupying the crease without scoring runs. What happened to the Pakistani batsmen who scored 20-30 ball ducks earlier in the series.
Pakistan need 148 to win their first match in the series as England hope for a miraculous win. Anderson, the leading wicket taker of the series, has struck in the 1st over to get rid of Hameed. Cheers!