England lost the toss yet again, third time in a row, in the ongoing test series in the Emirates and had to bowl first on another hot day at the Sharjah Cricket Ground, but, this time around, they did not let Pakistan get away from them as they bundled them out for just 200 odd runs.
Now, they would like to make sure they bat big in the first innings and take a substantial lead so that they don’t have to chase down too big a total later on as the surface is surely going to be hard to bat on in the last innings of the test match.
It has already started to turn quite a bit and it would only get worse from here.
Earlier, England made a couple of expected changes in the playing XI.
James Taylor was drafted in on the place of a struggling Jos Buttler, while, the spinning all rounder Samit Patel made a comeback in test Cricket after a long, long time to replace Mark Wood.
Patel made an impact with his left arm spin on the first day as he took a couple of crucial wickets. The England team management would be expecting him to contribute with the bat as well.
As far as Taylor is concerned, he is a great player of spin and his selection was on the cards in Dubai too, but, eventually, he was kept sidelined.
However, another Buttler failure in that test match left no option for the selectors other than dropping him and giving Taylor a go to see what he has got to offer on these slow, tough surfaces of the subcontinent.
Taylor would probably bat at 5 with Jonny Bairstow, who would take the gloves in Buttler’s absence, moving down to no. 6.