Pakistan will be hard pressed to stage a comeback in the third Test starting at Edgbaston from Wednesday which marks the 500th Test in England.
The visitors clinched the opening Test at Lord’s by 75 runs but had drastic change of fortunes in the second at Old Trafford where England thrashed them by 303 runs.
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq admitted their newly inducted coach Mickey Arthur was right in showing indignation at team’s miserable show.
“I think his anger is appropriate,” said Misbah. “I think players are also unhappy that after an outstanding performance you were nowhere in the next game.”
But Misbah gave England credit for the win, who amassed 589-9 declared to set the tone for a series-leveling win.
“You have to give creidt to the opposition that they play so outstandingly that they got you out of the match. I think we could have played that game in a better way, winning or losing does not matter but you want to play better cricket, put some fight and at the end of the day you know that you put up some fight and the rival team won by playing well.”
Pakistan have lost four of the seven Test they have played at Edgbaston and were bundled out for 72 the last time they played here in 2010.
But Misbah felt his team can quickly change the fortunes.
“If you talk about the Pakistan team then its always like that, we play well and then suddenly play as bad as the last match,” said Misbah. “The good thing is that we become good after a bad show, we can come back soon because we are mentally strong.”
“Obviously its a new game, new pitch and a different team (from 2010) so whatever challenges come before us, whether we bat first or bowl, we have to focus on that and make our performance better without worrying or thinking about 2010 or before.
“I think for us tomorrow is important and the first day will be important that how we set the tone for this match.”
Although Misbah celeverly did not reveal Pakistan’s eleven but said they were sure in their minds who to play.
“The pitch is good and the history here is that the pitch helps the seamers. We have decided who to play but we want our rivals to keep guessing,” said Misbah in a mischievous manner.
England, though, were open about their eleven with captain Alistair Cook announcing paceman Steven Finn will replace the injured Ben Stokes.
It will be another seamer Chris Woakes who will be in the limelight again at his home ground, having taken 9-56 for Warwickehsire against Durham in May this year.
Woakes has 18 wickets in two Tests in this series as compared to his 16 in his first eight Tests.
Cook warned Pakistan will have to give answers to questions his team poses.
“I think it’s shown that in all four innings that, as a bowling group, if we put a lot of balls in the right areas, we can put Pakistan under pressure. They have to answer a lot of questions if we bowl well.”
“Maybe not in the first innings, but in every innings since we’ve managed to do that. Them scoring only 400 runs on a good wicket at Old Trafford shows that, if we carry on doing it, they’re going to find it hard to score runs.
“Clearly they’re going to want to counter that and play better than they did. But we know that, if we get a couple of wickets and get that going again, we can put them under pressure.”
Cook hoped his team marks the occasion — 500th Test to be held in England – a memorable occasion.