Pakistan v England: Jonathan Agnew column

By Jonathan AgnewBBC cricket correspondent in Abu Dhabi
England celebrate a wicket by Stuart Broad (far left)
England will be looking to wrap up the Pakistan tail early on day two

This is turning into a much more interesting series between England and Pakistan than many of us thought it might have been.

The pitches have offered more for the bowlers than we thought - and the opening day of the second Test was fascinating.

The positive result that England need is there for the taking, but they haven't helped themselves by dropping four catches, particularly Misbah-ul-Haq, and he is still there with the chance to add valuable runs in the morning.

That chance was probably the easiest of the lot and one James Anderson should have taken low to his right off the bowling of Monty Panesar.

If the Pakistan captain had been dismissed then, England would have been in the box seat. Now it is vital that they wrap up the tail in the morning.

Even so, England have had the better of the day, especially when you think the records on this ground show that about 450 is the average score.

After Andrew Strauss lost the toss, nothing much happened for 19 overs. So to have Pakistan 256-7 at the close will make the tourists very happy.

Having said that, they will also be wary that this is a potentially low-scoring game where the spinners could do the most damage. However, there was also plenty of seam movement for Stuart Broad, who I thought bowled magnificently.

Broad has turned into a serious cricketer and has shown that, when he pitches the ball up and moves it around, he is very dangerous.

He is of course, one of only two seamers in the England side and I think that's the right decision because it's not very hot so the pace bowlers will not be flogging themselves into the ground.

The make-up of the attack has allowed England to include a second spinner in Panesar and I thought he bowled fine.

It was interesting that Strauss bowled him almost twice as much as he bowled Swann, although the wind would have been one reason for that.

It was quite a strong cross-breeze that was not conducive to off spin from that end but was to left-arm spin.

Panesar did take some punishment from Misbah, while I loved his tactics of hitting the spinner for six as soon as Strauss bought the field in.

Even in the last over, he realised that runs could be very important in this game and he twice hit Panesar over the ropes.

It was the right thing to do but I guarantee you would never see an Englishman do that. They would have been happy to play for the close.

Misbah showed that, if you bat well and with discipline, runs can be made because this is definitely not a bad pitch.

Whatever England do get Pakistan out for, it will be all about how they play the hosts' spinners, Ajmal in particular.

It depends how their confidence is and how they respond after the first Test, when two dreadful batting performances cost them the match.

It's down to them to show application and a great deal more patience than they did in Dubai.

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