Ahead of the second Test match starting from today, England skipper Alastair Cook said he wanted his side to become the first team to beat Pakistan in United Arab Emirates. After having successfully passed the Indian challenge in 2012, Cook looks determined to win the series and enhance England’s reputation as travelers in Asia. Incidentally though the series victory against came after England faced a 3-0 drubbing in UAE.
“India and Pakistan are two good sides in their home conditions. Pakistan is unbeaten in UAE and it would be great to be the first side to have defeated them here,” he said on the eve of the second Test against Pakistan to be played in Dubai.
After the 2009 terror attack on the touring Sri Lankans’ team bus en route to the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, top cricketing nations have chosen not to tour Pakistan. As a result, UAE is where Pakistan plays its home matches now and in the seven series played since 2010 they are yet to concede a series defeat.
Last week England a great opportunity to take a 1-0 lead but they fell short by 25 runs while chasing a modest total of 99 on an eventful final day when umpires called off the play due to poor light. Cook suggests that the Dubai pitch may offer more assistance to the spinners.
“It will have more turn and will be quicker. Unlike last time (2012) it would be more conducive to the slower bowlers. Hopefully it would be a better cricket wicket,” said Cook.
On the other hand Cook’s counterpart Misbah-ul-Haq said he will not take England lightly. “I am saying this from day one that they are a very professional team and a very determined one as well. They’ve learnt from their mistakes and are a changed side from last time and that was evident from their performance in the first test in Abu Dhabi.”