Shane Warne set to make an appearance as the fine-tuning starts for England

Published: Friday 30th October 2015 by The News Editor

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England will begin fine-tuning selection on several fronts for the must-win third Test, once they have first sight of conditions in Sharjah.

The tourists, expected to be joined in practice on Friday morning by Shane Warne, have been pondering the possibility of adding a third spinner into the mix as they try to square the series against Pakistan.

But coach Trevor Bayliss, who invited Australian great Warne to work with leg-spinner Adil Rashid, is mindful of the sterling service provided so far by England’s pace bowlers.

It seems there will therefore have to be compelling reason to draft in Samit Patel to bowl his left-arm orthodox alongside the off-spin of fellow all-rounder Moeen Ali, and Rashid.

England embarked on a campaign, in which they trail 1-0 with one to play, with the contingency to field all three spinners if necessary.

Bayliss said: “Our plans before seeing the pitch, there was a bit of a thought that we might go with three spinners.

“I think New Zealand and Pakistan both played three spinners in their series here (last year). So that is an option, I suppose.”

A seam department led by James Anderson has, however, so far outbowled Moeen and Rashid – occupying the top three positions in England’s tour averages.

Only Stuart Broad lags behind the spinners, and Bayliss added: “The one thing that could go against [playing three spinners] is that our pace bowling has been outstanding.

“As a quartet of pace bowlers … it’s been excellent.

“So on one hand, you might want a bit of extra spin – but on the other hand, you’re then taking away from your strength in your bowling on this tour.

“So we’ve got to sit down and analyse that and make a decision.”

Rashid appears set to benefit, meanwhile, from an hour or so of mentoring from Warne – who is in the United Arab Emirates on other business until the weekend, and has already fitted in a similar tutorial with Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah.

It is not just England’s bowling personnel which may see changes on Sunday.

Out-of-form wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler could be left out, with Jonny Bairstow his ready-made replacement behind the stumps – leaving room, most likely, for James Taylor’s recall three years after his previous two Tests.

Published: Friday 30th October 2015 by The News Editor

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