Media wrap: Yasir, skippers, and Jonny-B-Good

Blog Opinion

The Test series in England between the Three Lions and Pakistan ended in a two-all draw after the visitors won the fourth Test at The Oval inside four days, and the pundits reacted with some thoughts.

Many looked at England's batting failures, especially in the middle order, while Yasir Shah and Mohammad Amir also got a few mentions.

Jarrod Kimber wrote on Cricinfo about Pakistan being embodied by Yasir: "Yasir became the darling of England after one Test, was destroyed, tried to fight back unsuccessfully and then was good enough to hold his own when it really mattered. He is not the complete package, there is work to be done, but he fights, and he comes back. His story is Pakistan's."

Mark Nicholas, also on Cricinfo, looked at the two skippers: "Misbah is a formidable man, whose batting has improved out of all recognition since he emerged on the Test scene as a late-enough developer 15 years ago.

"His calmness is a lesson worth absorbing for it reminds us that very little comes from over-reaction. In Urdu, Misbah means the 'lamp' or 'light' and fits Misbah's ability to lead other men with his serious but always considerate nature."

Former England skipper Nasser Hussain was full of praise for Chris Woakes and Jonny Bairstow in the Daily Mail: "(Bairstow) Looks a complete batsman now. He’s got some serious fight and proved himself to be the man for a crisis. His glovework will be tested in the winter.

"(Woakes is) a transformed cricketer. He’s gone from looking like he couldn't buy a wicket, to looking like taking one every ball. He is undroppable now."

Former England coach David Lloyd wrote in the Mail that the top ranking was not England's due yet: "This Test should stay with England, and you can look at it two ways. Either: ‘It’s just one of those games. Write it off.' Or they can make the team watch it over and over again, as a reminder to cut out the inconsistencies which they are trying to shake off. To be No 1 you just simply cannot afford these lapses. Alastair Cook was right: they're not ready yet."

The Guardian's Vic Marks feels the England selectors will have a few tough choices to make: "There is no shame in being dropped yet in this era that prospect seems to be viewed – by the selectors as well as the players – as a traumatic experience to be avoided at all costs.

"Changing the team in order to improve it is a good idea despite the inevitability of denting the confidence and darkening the mood of the player omitted. It is not, however, the end of the world."

The Independent's Derek Pringle was impressed with Bairstow: "He won't have enjoyed England’s defeat or the unedifying nature of his dismissal in England’s 2nd innings, a sloppy pushed catch to short extra cover off Wahab Riaz. Yet, that apart, he essentially ended the summer's he began it, batting with class and purpose."

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