The ongoing third test between England and Pakistan at Birmingham has been dominated entirely by the visitors. With the third day currently underway, the Pakistani batsman will look to mount on a huge lead and put England under tremendous pressure. With the veteran Misbah Ul Haq alongside in form batsman Asad Shafiq, the visitors will be eager to pile on a decent first innings total, in order to have an upper hand.
A key reason behind England’s under par performance in this test has been the absence of flamboyant all-rounder Ben Stokes. Stokes, who featured in the second test at Old Trafford, was ruled out of the remainder of the series courtesy an injury. According to former England skipper and analyst Michael Vaughan, England have struggled in the absence of Stokes.
Vaughan went on to say that without Stokes, England resembled a “car without wheels”. “They can’t move in the same direction or at the same speed,” Vaughan said in the post match show. “England miss Ben Stokes hugely – he’s an in-your-face player.”On a day like this it’s been crying out for someone to do something different – and he does that.”
Vaughan further added that none of the English bowlers seemed to be in the groove to pick wickets. “Which England bowlers looked as if they might get wickets? “Stuart Broad and Anderson are usually the best two bowlers, but sometimes you get on surfaces where other bowlers bowl better. “Broad tried hard but he didn’t make it go out – he didn’t do anything except make the ball go in. “Woakes looked a better wicket-taking bowler than Broad when he bowled from the commentary box end,” the former Yorkshire batsman said.
On the other hand, batting legend Geoffrey Boycott praised Pakistan for their discipline and lauded their batting. “It’s a credit to the discipline and patience Pakistan have shown.”That’s not normally the Pakistan way, but they have shown strength of character to change their game and grind England down,” Boycott said.