Cricketing legend Mark Taylor believes Pakistan failed to capitalize on a dominant position in the first Test.
The hosts won the toss and went to bat on a pitch at Pindi Stadium which looks flat and dry – a bowler’s nightmare.
Pakistan reached 4-476 before declaring. That leaves the Australians in a tough spot in the game, with a huge tally ahead of them and just three days remaining.
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But Taylor says Pakistan didn’t do enough yesterday to build on a big opening day tally, and thinks Australia can still win the game.
“I think the Pakistanis were a bit slow to score,” Taylor told Wide World of Sports.
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“It’s great to win the toss, a big advantage, but to make 476 from 162 overs is not very fast.
“When you’re at 1-245 overnight, I would have thought an absolute minimum of 300 runs on day two should have been their goal.
“If they end up not getting the win they’re looking for in that first test, they’ll regret the way they hit, especially on day two.
“When you have nine wickets in the shed, I think a minimum of 300 runs on day two, minimum. I thought they were going very slowly.
“Now Australia only have to do 280 to avoid the sequel. If they beat well enough in their first innings and do more than 350, they are going to find themselves in a situation where they should at least be able to save the game, if not potentially win.
“They really didn’t put themselves in as strong a position as they could have.”
It has been suggested that Rawalpindi’s wicket split and offer bowlers more later in the match.
But Taylor isn’t convinced that will change much.
“It’s not surprising, the type of terrain they offer. It’s a little disappointing, I think, because it kind of looks like a road,” Taylor said.
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“It would have been a good draw to win this one, for sure.
“I don’t think they tend to shift as much as they used to. They’re usually a bit tougher and they don’t tend to break as much.
“But I think the Pakistani wrist spinners will be able to extract a bit more spin than, say, Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith. There’s a bit more variety in this Pakistani attack.”
Australia were criticized for choosing only one specialist spinner, Nathan Lyon, for this game.
They used eight bowlers on day one, including part-time spinners Travis Head, Smith and Labuschagne.
“Obviously hindsight is a wonderful thing. If you know you’re going to play first, you really have to think about your options,” Taylor said of the Australian squad selection.
“It’s not always easy to drop one of your fast bowlers. But in Pakistan you need variety. You need people who can take wickets from you on those really good batting decks.
“If you’re looking to make an aggressive decision, it would have been a better option to play (leggie Mitchell) Swepson than Hazlewood or Starc.”
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