Former England captain Michael Atherton is of the view that England will be taking a huge chance by opting to open with Moeen Ali in the upcoming Test matches against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.
England are outsiders to beat Pakistan in the UAE with William Hill offering 11/4 on a series victory. England are 9/4 to win the first Test, whilst it is 11/4 that Joe Root is England’s top run-scorer.
In England's year of seemingly endless Test cricket, they move from the green, lush comforts of home to the arid and searing heat of the United Arab Emirates for a three Test match series against Pakistan.
The last time England were in the United Arab Emirates they were ground to dust. Now they face the same adversary from Pakistan who are brimming with the confidence from a rare away series win against Sri Lanka under their belt.
Sir Ian Botham recalls how his cricketing career began with his parents making sacrifices to get him to games all around Somerset, and eventually his "fun trip" would see him travel all over the world.
England coach Trevor Bayliss admitted that Moeen Ali will be the preferred player to partner Alastair Cook at the top of the order in the upcoming three-match Test series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.
England fast bowler Steven Finn has asserted that he has made a strong case for his selection for the Pakistan Tests after taking a four-wicket haul in the second practice game against Pakistan A in Sharjah.