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The Dot Ball Debate

February 15, 2021

Published in Bol News Weekly Print Magazine on February 13, 2021


Pakistan's Chasing Ghost

Pakistan failed to chase down a get-able target yet another time in Tests. The margin this time came down to 4 runs - and as they say - the closest defeats are the bloodiest.

Winning and losing is part of the game. Unpredictability is what differentiates sports played by humans from a game performed by robots. It all reverses when a particular outcome - be it winning or losing - starts to become predictable with robotic accuracy. This has what it become in case of Pakistan’s handling of run chases.

For Pakistan in the recent times, chasing in 4th innings of a Test has become like being chased by ghosts. Whenever Pakistan is put to chase, it looks more like its Pakistan team that is being chased, by the ghosts, rather than Pakistan team chasing a target.

It can be argued that Pakistan was never a side good at innings 4 of a Test. Such arguments can only be settled by looking at the related facts across the eras of Pakistan Test Cricket history. So let’s have a look at it.

In all, Pakistan has batted 4th in a Test on 140 occasions where it managed to come out winners on 59 occasions, mustered a draw 32 times while failed to save the Test 49 times. In percentages, Pakistan has won 42% of the run chases, drawn 35% and lost only on 23% occasions.

If the targets and results are broken down into ranges, here’s the picture that it paints:
Pakistan's 4th innings run chases Summary

The overhauling of Pakistan Test side goes a step further

England vs Pakistan at Hedingley, Leeds, June 1, 2018
Usman Salahuddin becomes the 9th Pakistani to make his debut in the last 12 Test matches, in a period of roughly 19 months. Here are some more interesting stats about this recent overhauling of Pakistan Test side.


Asad Shafiq in Tests since 4th innings 100 in Australia

Asad Shafiq in Tests since that famous 4th innings 100 in Australia


Sarfraz Ahmed's batting average drops below 40

Sarfraz Ahmed's Test Batting Average drops below 40 for the first time since November 2014


Azhar Ali in Tests since 200 in Australia

Azhar Ali in Tests since his double hundred against Australia in Australia


50 and a wicket for Pakistan on Test debut

Faheem Ashraf becomes the first Pakistani to score a 50 and take a wicket in his first over on Test debut.


TV, Radio and Web Shows

On Samaa News - 30 March 2022

On Dawn News 26 Feb 2022

On Samaa News 21 Feb 2022

On Dawn News 14 Feb 2022

Radio Caravan - 17 May 2019

On Radio Caravan - 4 May 2019

On Dawn News TV -- 24 April 2019

On Hum News Live - 28 March 2019

On Radio Caravan - 20 April 2019

On BBC Urdu

On BBC Urdu
Discussion about ICC Rankings Update