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Cook targeting first ever series win against Pakistan in UAE

Alastair Cook in a press conference ahead of the second Test against Pakistan in Dubai.
Alastair Cook in a press conference ahead of the second Test against Pakistan in Dubai.
©REUTERS / Action Images

England captain Alastair Cook expressed his desire to see his team become the first team ever to beat Pakistan in a full Test series in the United Arab Emirates.

Pakistan have played eight full Test series in the UAE and have won four campaigns between 2002 and 2014.

Ever since the boycott of international cricket in Pakistan began, Pakistan have made the UAE their adopted home for hosting bilateral series.

Making his intentions of clinching a series win clear, Cook stated: "Two good sides in their home conditions, no one has beaten Pakistan here yet and it would be great to be the first side to do it.”

The first Test in Abu Dhabi had very little in it for the spinners in the first four days, but began to turn on the last day which saw the fall of 15 wickets. 

The second game of the ongoing series will be played in Dubai from Thursday, on a pitch that generally offers more support to the spinners.

Hoping for a sporting wicket in the second Test, Cook opined that the pitch at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium will have quicker turn compared to the Abu Dhabi wicket.

"It will turn more and a bit quicker - last time (2012) there was more for the seamers.

“It's a unique stadium, the shadow is still there at 10am and that allows for dampness in the wicket and movement.

“It should be a better cricket wicket.”

Meanwhile, after escaping with a tight draw in the first game, Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq has urged his team to improve upon their performance in second Test match.

"This is a very important Test for us.

“So we are positive and have to improve our performance.

“We are looking forward to good cricket.”

For most part of the fifth day of the first Test, a drab draw seemed the most likely result until Pakistan collapsed in the second innings for a paltry 173.

With a target of 99 runs to win the Test, England tried their best to chase down the total but were stopped in their tracks by bad light.

Misbah once again iterated that England are a different team who have learnt from the mistakes they made in the 0-3 series loss of 2012.

“We have to take them seriously and we already are.

“I think it maybe is different in perception for the viewers but I am saying this from the first day.
“They are a professional team and are very determined.

"They have learnt from their mistakes of the past and are a totally different team and that they have shown (in Abu Dhabi).

“So we have to lift our performance if we want to win."

The only time Pakistan lost a series in the UAE was the three-match campaign against Australia, which was partly hosted in Sri Lanka.

© Cricket World 2015