England determined to continue attacking approach against Pakistan

Published: Saturday 3rd October 2015 by The News Editor

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England remain intent on taking the attack to Pakistan this winter – whatever the final line-up entrusted to do so.

Alastair Cook and coach Trevor Bayliss were not minded, in their joint press conference after England’s first practice at the ICC Global Academy in Dubai, to shed any light on who will open the batting with the captain on this three-Test tour of the United Arab Emirates.

But as they seek to avenge the 3-0 drubbing handed out here in early 2012 – a jolt to the system for the Andy Flower regime which had just taken England to the top of the world rankings – Cook and Bayliss made it clear the tourists will stick to the same adventurous approach which delivered the Ashes over the summer.

England hardly needed any reminder of the task facing them over the next month, but they got one anyway when Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah served further notice of the threat he poses by taking six for 26 on Thursday in a 131-run one-day international rout of Zimbabwe in Harare.

Nonetheless, while their ‘hosts’ continue to warm up impressively overseas, England insist they will allow no one to dictate proceedings to them here.

Bayliss said: “As with any international team, playing away from home has been a little bit of a struggle over the last few years. But we have some young, enthusiastic players.

“A lot of them have not been overseas that much to play … they’re used to winning in this last six months.

“I’m sure they’ll be coming out and playing with the same type of approach and attitude, obviously in a little bit different conditions, which they’ve got to get used to.”

England’s youthful team will express itself, come what may, and avoid the constraint that proved costly four winters ago.

“We’ve got some inexperienced players but players with a lot of ability and skill,” said Bayliss.

“Youthful enthusiasm combined with their skill, there’s no reason they can’t play some good cricket and we’ll be hard to beat.”

Cook insists England must not dwell on their previous defeat in this arid country, where Pakistan are unbeaten in seven series.

“There’s four or five of us from that tour here now, so it’s for other people now,” he said.

“We had our time then to win. But we didn’t, so we have to make sure we focus on what we can do to win this series rather than what happened three years ago.

“We’ve got a young side, an exciting side. We’re very clear in our mind how hard it is going to be, but what a challenge it is for us.”

Before it starts – and time is short before the first Test in Abu Dhabi on October 13 – Moeen Ali and Alex Hales are expected to have at least one last opportunity to press their claims, in next week’s two warm-up matches in Sharjah, to open alongside Cook.

Published: Saturday 3rd October 2015 by The News Editor

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