x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Andrew Strauss wants England to show character

'How you come back from setbacks is the measure of a side' says the captain, look to make-up for the first Test loss.

Andrew Strauss wants England to fight back against Pakistan in the second Test.
Andrew Strauss wants England to fight back against Pakistan in the second Test.

ABU DHABI // Under Andrew Strauss, England have been good at bouncing back after defeat. Misbah-ul-Haq's Pakistan, on the other hand, prefer sitting back once ahead.

Strauss's men have come back from defeats to Australia in Headingley (2009), Perth (2010) and to Pakistan at The Oval in 2010 to win the next Test resoundingly and the captain is hoping for a similar response today to their 10-wicket defeat in Dubai.

"It's a big challenge for us," Strauss said. "We clearly let ourselves down at Dubai, we hold up our hands and say there are no excuses. It's how you come back from setbacks which is the true measure of a side. This gives us a good opportunity to show our resilience and character and our fight and our hunger."

Meanwhile, Pakistan have often reacted to Test wins by trying to sit on a series lead, most recently in Sharjah against Sri Lanka, where rain saved their inertia from a potential last day collapse. It is Misbah's way and it has brought them success, although he insisted that Dubai would be of no consequence to how they approach the game.

"We just go match by match and forget what happened in the last match. It's a totally different ball game now, This is the second game, it's a different wicket, different conditions and it's important to just play just good cricket here."

The surface at the Zayed Cricket Stadium will have a considerable role to play. Talk is of it being similar to the one Pakistan and Sri Lanka fought out a stalemate on in October; that is, it does not necessarily guarantee a draw.

Pakistan should have won the game comfortably by the fourth day had there not been seven dropped catches in the second innings.

The first morning may be kind to the pacemen, though it will not deteriorate as much for spin.

"Here the pitch is not that helpful for spinners and is conducive for the batsmen," Misbah said. "I think it comes down to whichever team bats with discipline and then bowls with the same discipline."

England are likely to be forced into one change with Chris Tremlett struggling with a back injury. That could mean a place for Graham Onions.

What is looking less likely, even accounting for Pakistan's generally nervy handling of left-arm spin, is that England play Monty Panesar as a second spinner. That is not their way. Asked whether he might be in the mood to gamble on that formation to win this Test, Strauss said that he was "in the mood to pick the right side to win a Test match".

Pakistan may ponder bringing in Junaid Khan and Umar Akmal, for Aizaz Cheema and Asad Shafiq, but, if everyone is fit, they are unlikely to go beyond just pondering.

The chasing will be England's but only thrice have they ever come back from 1-0 down to win a three-Test series. "We find ourselves in a difficult position," said Strauss. "But there's been plenty of instances in the last two years where history has been against us and we've been able to overturn that."