It was not the kind of day and the surface to try bravery but Pakistan did, and at the cost of looking unpragmatic, perhaps. Pakistan won the toss at Headingley yesterday morning and decided to bat first, against all expectations and understanding. Maybe, they had some Big-Bang-Pakistan theory envisioned but there is a reason why it was an unwise decision by the captain Sarfraz Ahmed. Leeds has always come across as a bowl first ground and Pakistan has always been two world-class batsmen short in such conditions.
The moment Pakistan lost Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq early, the fear came to reality. The young inexperienced batting line up struggled against the swing, in the air, and off the deck from Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson and they got bowled out for a very modest 174. Modesty is a fine quality to exhibit but best not shown with a batting score. It was indisciplined batting by a team whose rise at its core has been built by the values of hardwork, dedication and discipline. Wearing them like a badge of honour, won Pakistan the first Test at Lord's.
They eventually reached 174 because of a fine late order hand with the bat from the wrist-spinner Shadab Khan. Shadab got a very fine 56, filled with his typically free-flowing shots that have made him a favourite against the Pakistani fans. He would want to be more known for his bowling, though but this knock has given his team a fighting total in tough conditions.
Shadab after pushing his team to 174, was heard saying, "There was seam and swing when I was batting. I was only trying to do what I know, Whenever I go in to bat, I take it as my last innings. I try to go as long as I can. Because the more time you spend on the crease, the more you will score. I try to punish the ball that is in my area,"
England is currently looking very well placed with only 68 runs behind their opponent at 106/2 at the end of day 1, but they would know, and the first day showed it as well, Nobody does a Pakistan like Pakistan does it.