England have two big incentives to win final Test with Pakistan
Defeat may already be confirmed in the three-Test series with Pakistan, but England have far more than pride to play for when returning for the final encounter in Dubai.
England started their series slump in Dubai when going down by ten wickets and it is largely expected that the pitch and conditions will be similar for the final Test.
It would be easy for England to roll over and simply accept that they struggle on the sub continent, instead focusing their attentions to their next Test series back on home soil with the West Indies.
However, England have never suffered a whitewash series defeat to Pakistan and will not want to endure this unwanted statistic when supposedly the number one-ranked Test team in the world.
Meanwhile, a defeat would put this position in doubt and a victory would confirm that they would remain top of Test rankings when the standings are next assessed on April 1st.
Therefore, with England’s batting line-up being largely unchanged since taking over top spot, the players will want to fight tooth and nail to only lose the series 2-1.
In the four innings so far in the series England’s batsmen have massively underachieved, especially the middle-order trio.
Kevin Pietersen has managed a combined 17, Ian Bell 36 and Eoin Morgan just 41, while captain Andrew Strauss has hardly led by example with his 68.
But England are set to allow the same players an opportunity to slightly redeem themselves by passing up the option of picking either Ravi Bopara or James Taylor instead.
England are 7/4 in the cricket odds to win the third Test, with the draw that would prevent the series whitewash available at 2/1.
Furthermore, if Pietersen decides to break free from his shackles and take to the crease in all-out attack mode, 5/1 could be good value that he his England’s top runscorer in the Test.