Leon Wobschall: England v Pakistan - Old hands Anderson and Broad show they still have the tools for the job

IT WAS Headingley at its capricious best.

LET'S GET AT IT: England captain Joe Root leads England out to the field against Pakistan at Headingley on day one of the second Test match. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

A good day to bat was the theory, with it hard not to concur as the sun started to burn through thin mid-morning cloud and Pakistan openers Azhar Ali and Imam-ul-Haq walked to the crease with purpose.

Perhaps wisely, those armed with local knowledge kept their powder dry. Eminently sensible.

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After losing the toss, Joe Root, doing it tough after Lord’s, struggled to keep out a look of deflation as he wondered if he might borrow a hard hat worn by builders working on the nearby South Stand.

BACK IN THE GAME: England's Stuart Broad is congratulated on dismissing Pakistan's Azhar Ali. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

Thankfully, the England captain was feeling a bit better when he pouched a catch at third slip to provide Broad with his first wicket off the day’s 12th delivery to dismiss ul-Haq for a duck.

It set the tone as England – berated in many quarters – showed the heart and mongrel that was so absent in London.

Root led his troops off in determined fashion at lunch with the tourists rocking at 68-4.

He rather sensibly resisted any urge to imitate his fellow Yorkie Harvey Smith in flicking a V-sign to any critics who might have happened to be around.

England huddle as captain Joe Root talks prior to taking the field against Pakistan at Heaidngley on day one. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

By the end of Pakistan’s innings, England’s leaders of the bowling pack in Broad and James Anderson would have felt like doing the same. Never wind up a Yorkshireman or a Lancastrian. And certainly not Broad.

A prince of petulance at times in his career, Broad’s sole moment of disquiet arrived when he looked towards the Western Terrace scoreboard which was showing a replay of ul-Haq’s successful review. His expression possessed a touch of frost on a sultry morning.

Broad need not have worried.

Anderson got in on the act to provide a nice post-lunch settler after Pakistan captain Safraz Ahmed’s stumps were castled, the prelude to the first chants of ‘Oh, Jimmy, Jimmy’.

Headingley patrons renewed acquaintances with an old friend from over the hills, with half of the Pakistani team back in the pavilion for 78 ... like old times.

A bit more from Broad, whose lunch must have tasted nice after making the ball talk in the first session, soon arrived and the old stagers enjoyed an entertaining mini-afternoon retro party in lipsmackingly good seam bowling conditions.

Overcast and muggy, perfect for a bit of swing and three wickets fell for a derisory one run. A good toss to lose then as Pakistani looked likely to be dismissed well before the regular tea interval.

That Pakistan did was down to the choice clubbing of Shadab Khan, who led the tail-wagging and highlighted that at Headingley, you are not that far away from being back in a game.

When it needed to be disciplined when it came to their turn to take guard, England were largely that, enjoying the benefit of some pleasant late-afternoon conditions with the sun on their backs and all seemed well again.