Rival captains Misbah-ul-Haq and Andrew Strauss expect tough work for bowlers on a batting-friendly pitch at Abu Dhabi Stadium where the second Test starts today.
The two Tests played here were drawn with three double hundreds and two centuries, and the last one saw Pakistan letting Sri Lanka off by dropping seven catches in the second innings. Pakistan also drew with South Africa here.
But despite that Pakistan clearly have edge with off-spinner Saeed Ajmal in good form. "Ajmal got 10 wickets which created so much pressure on England so I think that is really an edge for us but at the same time I think the nature of the pitch here will make it tough to get 20 wickets," Misbah said yesterday.
Misbah said his team was ready for a backlash from England, who have not lost a Test series since January 2009. "There is no doubt that England, being the world No 1 team, will try their 100 percent and stage a strong comeback. We are ready for them," said Misbah, who has not lost a series since taking over as captain in October 2010.
Meanwhile, England will wait on the fitness of paceman Chris Tremlett who has a sore back. England captain Andrew Strauss agreed that the pitch looked good for batting, but realised it would be a tough challenge for them. "It's a big challenge for us. We clearly let ourselves down at Dubai, we got to hold up our hands and say there are no excuses for that," said Strauss who will open with Alastair Cook in their 100th innings.