“Three is nothing painful,” but Saqlain does not see a “huge gap” between Pakistan and England

Pakistan’s 3-0 defeat in the Test series against England is not evidence of a “huge gap” in quality between the two sides, according to Saqlain Mushtaq, who confirmed that Pakistan were in position to win two of those three matches.

“If you look at the score 3-0, it’s shocking. But if you decipher it session by session, Pakistan played amazing cricket,” Saqlain, the Pakistan coach, told Geo News. “We could have won the first two matches. There wasn’t much of a gap between those two sides. If we had taken the lead we would have won. The second test hurt me, but we have to respect the referee’s decision, even though the whole world knew it wasn’t a problem.” .

The “catch” Saqlain referred to was that of Saud Shakeel, who was taken off the leg side when on 94, with Pakistan just 64 away from winning with four wickets in hand in the Second Test in Multan. Babar Azam felt that “the ball has been stopped”. England went on to win a close Test by 26 runs, and took a 2–0 lead in the series, which they swept in Karachi.

Echoing much of what Babar had said after the defeat in Karachi, Saqlan lamented his team’s inexperience, a factor that, he says, exposed the weaknesses of Pakistani cricket.

For Pakistan, the players who took part in the series played a combined 254 Tests before it began; For England, that figure was 531. At several key moments, Saqlan felt that a chasm in experience had been exposed.

“We played with great courage. We had a vision to qualify for the final of the World Tennis Championships, but we couldn’t move that way,” he said. But there were a lot of positives for Saud, Salman Agha and Muhammad Waseem.

“Nothing hurts me. I too would hide in a corner and cry, but if you look at the bigger picture, they’ve had a lot more experience than us. These are not excuses, but experience guides you in key situations, especially in long cricket. When you don’t have experience You get stuck somewhere.

“Our dressing room has fewer matches. In the longer version, all your weaknesses are exposed. Tactics, technical, mental and physical aspects can be hidden in the shorter formats, but not in the longer format. That’s part of the game. When you enter the career, you know “There will be good days and bad days. If you look at the bad days and think it’s the worst day of your life, you can’t move on. Of course we didn’t expect 3-0, but we’ll learn a lot from this.”

England’s gritty style under captain-pairing Brendon McCollum and Ben Stokes has overseen an astonishing turnaround, as the side have gone from winning just one of their previous 17 Test matches to nine of their last ten.

He garnered much attention—particularly for combativeness in a batting approach to the side—and doubts about his potential for success abroad were resoundingly answered by the result in Pakistan.

“England put this strategy in place; it wasn’t as if McCollum said play this way and they suddenly did,” said Saclan. “They thought about it and said, ‘We’ll try it.'” But in this series, we saw they forced into some traditional spanking, too. [and] They’re all on the same page, but only time will tell if everything goes in the right direction.

“Our last Tests were against Sri Lanka and we suddenly got into this series of a lot of ODI and T20I cricket. You can’t suddenly change things. After the first innings [of] All [Test]we were on equal terms, but we couldn’t bat the same way [in the second innings] Even though we play our way and they play their way.

“To change strategy, everyone has to be on the same page. But their strength is that everyone joins them collectively. We lost, but there were a lot of positives.”

Daniel Rasool is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. Trustworthy

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