Let’s be honest. England’s annihilation of Baba Azam and Co. on the opening day of the run-fest Rawalpindi Test match reminded Team India fans of Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid‘s batting vigils against Pakistan of the early 2000s. Interestingly, former England skipper Michael Atherton also took a trip down the memory lane by giving a special mention to legendary Indian opener Sehwag after the Ben Stokes-led side created a world record on Thursday against hosts Pakistan.

Parting ways with the old traditions of playing red-ball cricket in the second edition of the ICC World Test Championship, England made a memorable return to the Asian nation after 17 years by creating a world record. Stokes-led England registered a record-breaking total of 506-4 on Day 1 of the 1st Test at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. As many as four batters of the Three Lions ended up smashing centuries on Thursday.

ALSO READ: England smash 506/4 on Day 1 against Pakistan in 1st Test; create world record

Speaking to Sky Sports amid the historic Test match between the T20 World Cup 2022 finalists, former England skipper Atherton showered praise on openers Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett. “I think it was England’s most dominant opening two hours of a Test match. That’s a sign of an era that is changing rather than the specifics. I haven’t seen anything more dominant from England. I am thinking back to the really aggressive openers that I’ve seen down the years. Virender Sehwag. I’ve seen him play incredible innings at the top of the order. Mathew Hayden and so they certainly have been dominant openers before,” Atherton said.

Former Indian skipper Sehwag became India’s first ever triple-centurion in Test cricket at Multan. After his 2004 heroics, Sehwag teamed up with Dravid to stitch an unforgettable 410-run partnership against Pakistan in 2006. On Thursday, England openers Crawley (122) and Duckett (107) laid the foundation for record-breaking total with 233-run stand against Pakistan at Rawalpindi.

“These conditions allowed Ben Duckett and Zak Crawley to express themselves to the fullest really, and they both played superbly. Pakistan ran the back foot right from the outset. 500 is still hard to believe,” Atherton added.

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