The second test preview is here; it could more or less be a repeat of the first test preview, although this time there would be more supporting evidence of the inevitability of it all.
For those that want the second test individually previewed in more detail and with a more Australian bias I give you this steaming pile of shit:
Pakistan got lucky* in the first test, eventually scratching** together a narrow*** victory. It could have been a very different result if the luck had gone Australia’s way. For example, if Johnson hadn’t been pretty understandably given out late on day 5, if someone had whispered in Clarke’s ear that he had hit it and should review (umpires/third umpires, surely thats your job?), if Pakistan had played poorly and Australia had played well or if the test was played somewhere sensible like Australia Pakistan could have easily lost the test match. Those are the cold hard facts that will be keeping the Pakistan team up at night. If they hadn’t completely outplayed Australia in almost every department, they may well have lost the test match. Advantage Australia.
Adding to Pakistans woes, Australia managed to win the game in one very important department. Fielding. Australia fielded better. Or at least they didn’t miss as many stumpings or drop as many catches (Editor’s note: Except Doolan off Lyon. And Haddin off Lyon. Poor Lyon). It is well known that fielding is the bedrock of a successful cricket team. Catches win matches after all and when a team drops as many as Pakistan, logic suggest they don’t have a hope in hell. Advantage Australia.
For Australia it will be paramount that they capitalise on their great advantage in the field in the second test. To do that the first thing they might try is creating chances for their fielders. It is hard to be completely dominant when your bowlers don’t let you into the game. In hindsight that may have been a tactical mistake. Hindsight advantage Pakistan.
Australia’s tactics in the first game were to create as few chances as possible in an apparent attempt to bore the Pakistan batsmen out. This was the opposite of Pakistan’s tactic of creating lots and lots of chances by bowling well. While Pakistan’s tactics were boring and “old school” it appears they might be onto something. Bowling well and creating chances may indeed still be a solid tactical gameplan even in the modern game. In comparison, Australia’s tactics were innovative and out of the box (Editor’s note: #funkycaptaincy). They are the sort of tactics that push the game forward and Australia should be lauded for their bravery. However, after being so unlucky in the first test its probably time for Australia to go back to basics. In the second test I predict that Australia will put the innovation aside for a moment and simply go back to bowling well and creating lots of chances. This will ram home the huge advantage it has in the field. Advantage Australia.
Lastly, Pakistan definitely out-batted Australia in the first test and you would think that would be a positive for them leading into the second. Well it’s not. Have you heard of regression to the mean? If you haven’t google it because it is likely to be a big problem for Pakistan. The fact their batsmen scored so many runs means that they will surely play worse in the second test as regression to the mean bites. Statistically it is inevitable. In comparison Australia chose not to score lots of runs, meaning they are poised to dominate with the bat. Pakistan are regressing down, Australia are regressing up. Advantage Australia.
Summing up, Australia are clear favouri……….. Fuck me. Who am I kidding. Just read the preview of the first test, the only thing that has changed is that now its even more inevitable. Conclusion: Australia are pretty fucked. It should be a fun test match.
*they didn’t actually get lucky, they just played better
**in fairness is was a pretty clinical performance
***crushing victory may have been a better choice of words