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Update Mapping Pakistan's downfall in Tests: Domestic discomfort, vanishing pace attack

[Image: pak-cricket-1575296638.jpg]

Imagine an alternate universe keeping recent Test cricket results in perspective - Sri Lanka whitewash Australia at home and Pakistan draw England in England to maintain and in the process become the No.1 Test team. If I say, these were all a reality even three years back, even avid Pakistan cricket fans would have a hard time to recollect. The year was 2016, Misbah-ul-Haq was the skipper and on August 22, Pakistan had claimed the No.1 spot in Test rankings following India's washed out Test against West Indies in Trinidad, but largely on the back of an unbeaten run in Test cricket from August 2014. They had beaten Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh in Bangladesh, whitewashed Australia in the UAE and drew against New Zealand (in UAE) and England (in England).

Three years hence, Pakistan have managed just eight Test victories in 26 matches, better only to Bangladesh among top-9 full-member nations, and have slipped well below to No.8 spot in the ICC Test rankings. Their only Test series win came against West Indies (home and away) and against Ireland which was a one-off encounter while also securing a praise-worthy draw in England (1-1). They were whitewashed five times in that period one of which was in the UAE (against Sri Lanka).

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