Pakistan’s victory over England in the first test of the summer was a triumph for the 6.20 price pre match underdog, in a climate where Test Series have been totally dominated by the home sides in which relatively evenly matched sides have just been totally unable to cope in overseas conditions and everything from the pitch’s, climate, different balls and generally under prepared to take on a country in alien conditions to where they have played and succeeded in the vast majority of their cricket.
The biggest factor in home dominance is away sides arriving for an overseas tour with little to no warm up games and totally ill prepared for playing conditions of 40-degree heat and pitch’s that spin and break up in India from day one and the flip side being sub-continent team arriving to play in England on wickets that seam and swing and are about as different as they could ever face in Asia.
This had led to the home side being too short to back and the visitors too unlikely to pull off an upset with them being too handicapped by too many factors at the outset. This series saw Pakistan seriously attempt to buck this trend and as such offer very good value going into the first test with their unheard of preparation of having a two week camp for the Pakistan team in Pakistan on wickets that were left with extra grass on and tailored made to be as near to playing in English conditions as possible and to train with the Duke made ball as opposed to the Kookaburra used in home Pakistan games.
This was before Pakistan arrived in the UK well before the first test match. Managed to play three full first-class game against English county sides as well a full 5-day test match in Ireland against the Irish. This led to the bizarre situation of the visiting Pakistan side being far better prepared and having had far more time in English conditions than the home team who had the majority of the side not playing cricket after the tour of Australia and New Zealand and some players flying into England having played no red ball cricket at all for months after playing in the IPL and asked to pitch up go straight into a test match.
It did seem there was a big discrepancy in how both teams were going into the first test, even more so with the knowledge that England had just been battered 4-0 in Australia and lost the following series against New Zealand and quite a misjudgement from the bookmakers who were looking at England’s previous results at home as opposed to sides build up and preparation for the fixture.
Pakistan went on to dominate the match from start to finish and certainly offered hope and potentially a template as to how to reverse the home dominance
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