Pakistan vs England 2015: Teams hoping for responsive pitch in Dubai

Related Link: Pak vs Eng Series 2015 Schedule

The first four days of the Abu Dhabi test match were arduous ones for players and spectators alike and as the teams headed into the final three sessions, few would have believed that a result could have been possible. As we know, England came close to forcing that unlikely victory but we are we set for another ‘War of Attrition’ as the sides meet in Dubai? The Dubai Test Match which is the 2nd Test of the Pakistan vs England 2015 Series for the Haier Cup 2015 will begin from Thursday, that is October 22nd at the Dubai Sports City Cricket Stadium.

Home Side Ahead | Dubai Test Match

Despite coming so close to losing the first game, Misbahul-Haq’s Pakistan head the markets coming into the second test. The hosts will be hoping that Yasir Shah regains his fitness after a back injury and the spinner could be key to a better showing from Misbah’s team.

Leggie Yasir has taken 61 wickets in just 10 tests and although the Abu Dhabi pitch gave little assistance to the slow men, his quality will give Pakistan greater penetration and if he is fit, England will face a much greater challenge this time around.

The home team will, however, be concerned at the nature of their batting in the first match. Shoaib Malik was outstanding in the first innings and the double centurion received great support from Mohammad Hafeez and AsadShafiq but it all went wrong second time around.

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Image Caption: Dubai Sports City Cricket Stadium

Getting Out of Jail – Pak vs Eng Highlights, Abu Dhabi Test Match

Pakistan should have batted through that final day and secured a comfortable draw but a mixture of poor shots and, in Hafeez’s case, some bad running gave England a sniff of victory. Misbah and his men certainly have the quality to bat through without losing 20 wickets but do they have the discipline?

There is concern over the lower middle order which allowed England’s spinners – Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali – to set up that run chase of 99 so it’s imperative that the top six stay strong.

The Teams for Pakistan vs England 2015 – Dubai Test Match

With Yasir Shah set to come in, Pakistan’s one remaining concern surrounds opener Shan Masood who made just three runs in two knocks and looked vulnerable to England’s seamers. Sadly Azhar Ali has been forced to return home for family reasons but Ahmed Shehzad looks a logical inclusion for Dubai.

Don’t expect England to make any changes for the second test match. There are no real concerns in this side and with Rashid taking 5 second innings wickets on debut, his place is safe. In the batting line up, Jonny Bairstow is under pressure however and his mixed run of Ashes form continued with a first innings 8 in Abu Dhabi.

After a stunning season in English county cricket, Bairstow will get another chance but if he fails in Dubai, James Taylor – a high-quality player of spin – is likely to step in for the third test in Sharjah.

Crucial Factors for Haier Cup 2015 – Pak vs Eng 2nd Test

The real key to the game surely lies in the wicket and if Dubai’s surface is similar to the unresponsive road in Abu Dhabi, we seem set for another five days of high scoring and an inevitable draw. England coach Trevor Bayliss has been particularly vocal in his request for a pacier surface and although Pakistan have a serious threat in WahabRiaz, it’s unlikely that the curator will set things up for English seamers.

Spin is the real key here and in the continued absence of Saeed Ajmal, Yasir Shah has a real chance to prove himself as the long term successor. That’s the likely battle in Dubai – England’s batters against Yasir and the Pakistan spinners – and if the tourists can bat as comfortably as they did in the first game, a draw seems the most logical outcome once again.

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