Pakistan head to Southampton ahead of the second Test needing a win to keep their series against England alive.
The tourists came out of the blocks quickly and looked well set to win the first Test on several occasions across the opening days. Yet, ultimately, they were unable to defend 277 in the fourth-innings, with Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes doing the damage for the hosts.
Trailing in the series, Azhar Ali’s side have no choice but to dust themselves off and look to the positives.
Shan Masood showed real ability with a big first-innings hundred while the bowlers all impressed. Mohammad Abbas with his accuracy and skill, Shaheen Afridi and Naseem Shah with their pace and Yasir Shah with his big-turning leggies.
However, there’s a glaring weakness in their side that is putting them at a major disadvantage.
A lack of batting depth.
Masood showed his class at the top, while world-class player Babar Azam looked a cut above during his first-innings 69.
Meanwhile, skipper Ali and trusted lieutenant Asad Shafiq have bags of experience.
Below that, though, there’s very little of note.
Mohammad Rizwan was outstanding with the gloves at Old Trafford, but the keeper-batsman is inexperienced at this level and looks a spot too high at number six.
Shadab Khan was selected to play in the all-rounder mode and while he has a lot of talent, right now, he’s a good tailender rather than a reliable number seven.
Shadab isn’t helped by the fact that below him is arguably the longest tail in international cricket.
Yasir Shah has a Test hundred against Austalia and delivered a few lusty blows during his side’s second innings at Old Trafford, but he’s doesn’t have much of a defence and is just as likely to be castled first ball as he is to pull-off a cameo knock.
Beneath him are Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Abbas and Naseem Shah, all of whom would be nailed on number 11s if they were wearing England colours.
The fact is, England know if they can take just four wickets, then at one end, there will be a player with little pedigree in Test cricket.
The tourists gave it a good crack at Old Trafford, but after securing a 107-run lead ahead of the second innings, their batting badly let them down.
Weather looks likely to play a big role in the second Test but Pakistan surely need to strengthen their batting if they are to have a chance of levelling the series.
It would be harsh on Shadab Khan if he were dropped but surely a player like Fawad Alam – who averages 56.78 from 166 First-Class matches – must come into contention in Southampton.