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England openers have done very well - David Lloyd

England openers have done very well - David Lloyd
Alastair Cook (left) and Moeen Ali (right) added 56 runs before stumps on day two of first Test in Abu Dhabi.
©REUTERS / Action Images

Former England coach David Lloyd is pleased with the performance of the opening batsmen Alastair Cook and Moeen Ali after Pakistan declared at 523 for eight on day two of the first Test in Abu Dhabi.

With little more than 20 overs left in the day, Cook and Ali came out to bat and managed to get through to stumps without any alarms.

Lloyd observed that the way Cook and Ali played towards the end of the day was sensible given that they were out in the field for over five sessions.

“Same as yesterday, the pitch is winning," Lloyd told Sky Sports.

“I don’t think it will be any different tomorrow either.

“There was always that tricky time when England had to come out and bat after fielding and bowling in demanding conditions for 151 overs.

“They (England) have done very, very well tonight.

“The openers have come through unscathed (it was) very sensible.”

The 68-year-old is confident that there is nothing in the pitch for the bowlers and the England batsmen will reap dividends if they play sensible cricket.

“I will say it again – you can rein your game in because there’s absolutely nothing in this pitch – either in the air or off the pitch itself – that is going to trouble you.

“So you can play really sensibly, play straight and get your pads out of the way, I don’t think you will get hit often on the pads.

“I am really pleased for both the openers.”

Pakistan managed to make merry on the pitch upon which England struggled to hit the right length for the most part of the innings.

It was only towards the start of the final session on day two that England were able to pick up wickets in quick succession.

Urging the England batsmen to emulate Pakistan’s efforts with the bat in this Test match, Lloyd thinks that the batsmen are in for plenty of runs if they can play the waiting game.

“There’s nothing as yet that would show us that there’s going to be anything of any alarm for batting on this pitch in the next three days, it looks exactly the same.

“We don’t think this is going to change too much.

“There don’t seem to be any run-off footmarks from the faster bowlers.

“There is absolutely nothing there.

“Just play sensibly, play straight, there is no need for any reverse sweeps or anything silly.

“The way that Pakistan have played, (they) have showed the way.

“You can play sensibly, knock it around, play for the bad ball and you will just tick along very nicely.”

Despite getting off to a good start, England are currently staring down a deficit of 467 runs, which could have a daunting effect on their mindset.

Nevertheless, Lloyd is of the notion that the situation is perfect for a batsman like Cook to settle down and aim for the big score.

“Well, I think they have settled the game down tonight.

“This is absolutely perfect for Cook.

“I’m really pleased for Moeen Ali, who has bowled all the overs.

“He was out in the field, he is a makeshift opener, and he’s done absolutely fine.”

Shoaib Malik was the leading batsman for Pakistan with a score of 245 runs on his Test comeback after a gap of more than five years.

Malik, along with Mohammad Hafeez and Asad Shafiq, did not take many chances and played each ball on its merit which helped them reap rewards.

For England to pose a challenge to Pakistan’s first innings total, Lloyd has advised them to see through the first session watchfully and pile on the runs once the ball gets old.

“I reckon that right now the dressing room will be very calm.

“Start tomorrow, get through that (first) session.

“They’ve seen the pitch; it’s not ripping square for the spinner (Zulfiqar Babar).

“He (Babar) is 36 years of age, he is vastly experienced.

“There’s no movement in the air for the quicks.

“Pakistan will have a burst at England with the new ball, then England can get down to business.”

At stumps on day two, England were positioned at 56 without loss after 21 overs, with Cook batting on 39 and Ali on 15.

© Cricket World 2015