LONDON: England’s assistant coach Paul Farbrace warned his team that Pakistan will be a far difficult team to beat than Australia, whom they had recently beaten in the Ashes.
Pakistan are unbeaten in a Test series since their home was shifted to the UAE due to uncertain security condition back in the country.
“We’re coming here knowing it’s going to be a very, very tough series,” said Farbrace, quoted by England Cricket Board’s official website.
“I said at the end of the Australian series I expected this to be a tougher series for us to play in.”
The 48-year-old is optimistic that the new-face England side can upset the hosts in what will be a historic series win against Pakistan in the UAE.
“We’ve got senior players who’ve been here and experienced it, and I think there was a feeling that although they lost the last Test series here 3-0 it was one they could quite easily have won,” he said.
“They didn’t, that’s history, it’s gone now.
“But I think we’ve got a great chance with this group to play some really good cricket, and we’re looking to be as positive as we possibly can be.”
Meanwhile, Farbrace also said that England need to work on their catching after they dropped Iftikhar Ahmed twice on his way to unbeaten 92.
“We knew it was going to be tough, very different obviously from conditions we’ve just played in the Ashes,” Farbrace added.
“The application with the ball was outstanding.
“The one thing we’ve just had a quick chat about is that, to win a Test match, you’ve got to take 20 chances and we’ve missed a couple of chances [here].
“That’s something we’ll have to work very hard on, and something we prided ourselves on in the Ashes series.
“We’ve still got a good few days to go, so there’ll be plenty of catching (practice) done over the next few days.
“But generally, I think we had a really good two days. We saw how players adapted quite quickly to the situation and conditions.”
Farbrace also cleared the air about captain Alastair Cook’s partner saying that Moeen Ali opening in the tour game doesn’t confirm him as the ultimate choice.
“Everybody in the 16, I think, genuinely has an opportunity at this stage,” he said.
“I wouldn’t rule anything in or out, and I think we need to keep our options open as long as we possibly can. Mo’s had first go in this practice game, and we were very pleased with the way he applied himself and that first hour was very difficult.”
Farbrace confirmed the presence of two spinners in the playing eleven when they take on Pakistan on the UAE tracks.
“It’s exciting [to have them bowling together],” Farbrace added.
“It’s the way we want to go, and I know [coach] Trevor (Bayliss) is a huge fan of two spinners in the side.”