Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

England Must Keep Their Eye on the Ball

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

England Must Keep Their Eye on the Ball

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID LLOYD

THE Aussies are here - but they can wait. England will go into action at Old Trafford tomorrow knowing Pakistan could wreck their hopes of completing a fifth consecutive Test series victory.

It is 30 years since England put together a sequence as successful as that.

Equalling it by drawing or, better still, winning over the next five days would be the perfect preparation for an Ashes contest which has already started to dominate the thoughts of cricket fans around the country.

But a team to be led in Manchester by Alec Stewart because of Nasser Hussain's broken thumb, dare not join the rest of the nation in starting to think ahead.

For the biggest danger to England going into the Second and final Test of this series is that they take their eye off the ball ...a ball which, unlike at Lord's a fortnight ago, is sure to be spinning and swinging out of Pakistani hands.

Hussain's team played outstandingly well to win the first big match of the summer by an innings and nine runs.

They batted solidly and, when necessary, aggressively all the way down the order after losing a potentially vital toss.

Then Darren Gough and Andrew Caddick collected eight wickets apiece - supported by some brilliant catching.

But while England did just about everything right at Lord's, Pakistan - under-prepared and illadvised - failed to pose more than a fraction of their potential threat.

Old Trafford, one suspects, will be a different story.

For a start, Pakistan have just trounced Leicestershire in two days to lift spirits in the camp.

Secondly, they will not repeat their London mistake of leaving out both spinners, Saqlain Mushtaq and Mushtaq Ahmed.

And, thirdly, if Wasim Akram does not swing the ball at Old Trafford - the ground which he regards as home after 10 years as a Lancashire player - then he'll never swing it anywhere again. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.