Pakistan can take a lot of positives from their Gabba Test: Brett Lee
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Former Australian fast bowler Brett Lee, in his latest piece for Sportsta, has lauded the gritty ‘never say attitude’ of the Pakistan cricket team after witnessing their remarkable fightback at the Gabba in Brisbane.
Australia, after setting a target of 490 runs, had the match virtually in their pockets. But Pakistan led by the stunning knock of Asad Shafiq and sturdy performances from lower order men – Yasir Shah, Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz came scarily close to the target to eventually falling short of 39 runs to eventually miss out on a chance to script the biggest chase in Test cricket’s history.
“A very important lesson was rammed home to me with the speed of a Shoaib Akhtar lightning bolt at the Gabba last Monday as Pakistan threatened to complete one of the greatest fightbacks in the history of Test cricket. The lesson is you never, ever write off a team . . . especially one with the obvious heart and fight of Misbah-Ul-Haq’s men.”
“When Pakistan was bundled out for 142 in the first innings of the Day-Night Test, I bought into all the talk that swirled around Brisbane suggesting the match could be over in three days. After the game . . . one which history notes the Aussies held on to win by a nail biting 39 runs after setting 490 runs for victory . . . I was asked what I’d learnt from the Test.”
“If we’re being honest, I think we all expected Pakistan to chuck in the towel because their situation seemed, well, hopeless. It was special, and from my perch in the TripleM commentary box, I thought Pakistan’s young guns who played with determination, self-belief and confidence, deserved plenty of praise.”
Lee also felt that Australia should consider themselves guilty taking the match to such a close distance while pointing out that Pakistan will be full of confidence when they take on the hosts in the Boxing Day Test.
“If Australia learns anything from such a close call I suppose it needs to be they might’ve been guilty of taking their foot off the pedal after setting what seemed an imposing total.”
“Pakistan can take a lot of positives from their Gabba Test performance even though they lost.”
Lee also expressed is satisfaction after witnessing Nathan ‘Gary’ Lyon finally gain some form after being under pressure due to below par performances.
“I was pleased to see Nathan Lyon do well, and it was as equally great to see the Gabba crowd show him some love . . . he deserves it after a tough summer.”
One more fact which needs to be looked upon is the changes Australia has been making in the middle order after the debacle series against South Africa. Peter Handscomb and Matt Renshaw are justifying their positions in Steve Smith’s squad with runs. But, Lee hopes that nic Maddinson might be that lucky after he had a bit shaky start as a Test player. He hopes that selectors retain Nic Maddinson in the Baggy Green cap until (at least) after the SCG Test.
“I’d hate to see Nic suffer the same fate as Callum Ferguson who was dumped after one Test . . . it’s important for the selectors to instil a sense of confidence in the team. As for Nic, I have played enough cricket alongside him to know what he’s capable of and I believe it is in Australia’s best interests that his talent is nurtured.”
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