It would perhaps not be an exaggeration if one were to make the conclusion that the pitches have grabbed more limelight during the three-match Test series between Pakistan and Australia than the players’ performances. After Rawalpindi’s pitch was rated below average by the ICC panel, Lahore surface too behaved in a similar pattern and was considered batting-friendly but escaped the scrutiny from the apex body.
Even Australian players were seen taking things in their hand as skipper Pat Cummins and David Warner took the hammer and attempted to fix the pitch during the 2nd Test in Karachi National Stadium. And now Pakistan pace spearhead Shaheen Afridi, who has been brilliant with bowl on Day 1 of 3rd Test, joined the league of players in the series who turned on the “Thor mode” and wielded the surface to fix it.
The moment came during 65th over of the first innings when Hasan Ali was bowling the over but complained of some issues with the landing area. Afridi instantly got into action, called for a hammer from the groundsman, and started repairing the pitch. Even Hasan Ali could not control himself and took the hammer in his hand and pounded the ground to ensure he has made a good landing area for himself.
Check out the video of the incident here:
— Aakash Srivastava (@Cursedbuoy) March 21, 2022
As far as the match is concerned, Australian skipper Pat Cummins opted to bat first, but little he knew of Shaheen Afridi, who was planning to blow away visitors’ top-order. Afridi trapped Warner and Marnus within three balls in the 3rd over of the game and reduced Australia’s total to 8-2 in 2.5 overs.
However, Steven Smith and Usman Khawaja steadied the innings by adding 138-runs for the third wicket. Smith got dismissed by Naseem Shah’s 57th over after adding 59 runs in 169 balls. Usman Khawaja* (89 off 210) alongside Travis Head* (17 off 46) are batting at the moment to post a competitive total in the first innings of the game.