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Stuart Dalgleish 2nd Feb 2012 - 19:01

England looking to save face

Pakistan v England third Test - 06:00 live on Sky Sports 1

England's (13/8) bowling was absolutely spot on in the second Test, but their batting was nothing short of embarrassing and now Pakistan (6/4, draw 12/5) have wrapped up the series.

All will not be lost for England though, if they can win the last Test match they will ensure their position at the top of the rankings until at least April.

Not for the first time, England could just not deal with Asian pitches and in particular spin bowlers and are now on the verge of losing a series 3-0 to an average team.

That must be the main grievance for the coaching staff, they might not want to admit it but they are getting heavily beaten by a team that is hardly packed with big name players.

If England's batsmen can play with more a straight bat and on the front foot then they should win the third Test, their bowlers are doing their part the batsmen just need to stand up and be counted.

The player that was most in the firing line before the series started was Kevin Pietersen (5/1 top England batsman), and the batsman has been dreadful having only averaged 4.25, but I imagine he and Ian Bell (6/1), who is also struggling, will retain their places.

Andy Flower has said he's not afraid to drop people, but with only Ravi Bopara (8/1) as a recognised batsman to call upon, he can only really drop one player, and that man is likely to be Eoin Morgan (8/1).

Morgan has really disappointed, considering he's the one player that has a good pedigree against spin bowlers, he has been caught playing across the line way too much and needs to adopt a bit more of a Test match approach.

That's why the last match was so frustrating to watch, if England had just played a bit more conservatively they would've surely won, when you've got two days to score under 150 you can take your time.

At the time, I was appalled with how England played, but if you look past the diabolical second innings showing then there was actually some positives to take from the game.

Monty Panesar (9/4 top England bowler) controlled the ball with perfect flight on his return, Stuart Broad (11/4) kept a superb line throughout, and there was an Ashes-like stand from Alastair Cook (7/2 top England bat) and Jonathan Trott (7/2) that should've been enough to set-up an England win in the first innings.

They have not got to the top of the rankings by luck, England are a quality outfit, now they just need to perform in all departments to make sure they stay for the long-run.

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