Andy Flower can be in no doubt he has a major challenge on his hands, to arrest England’s decline in the desert, but he is nonetheless relishing the opportunity.
A tough task awaits England’s limited-over specialists to somehow tame Pakistan’s spinners in four one-day internationals and three Twenty20s, after the Test team’s 3-0 drubbing against the same opponents here.
Flower is under no illusion about the obvious difficulties which await a 15-man squad containing seven of those so soundly beaten over the past three weeks and another two who had to sit and watch it happen at close quarters.
“This’ll be a really challenging series for us,” he said.
“In our last one-day series in sub-continental conditions, we lost badly (5-0) to India.
“The batsmen are lower in confidence after the Test series against this type of bowling, so it will be a serious challenge for us.”
Even so, Flower is up for it.
“It will be really interesting to watch, and really interesting to be involved in – trying to turn things around,” he added.
“I expect better things from the batsmen, and I really expect to see us improve with our knowledge and method of how to combat their spin.”
The influx of England Lions players such as Jos Buttler, unscarred by defeat here but also inexperienced at international level, is another factor which enthuses the coach.
“It’s really exciting,” he said. “I was glad that the Lions came out with a win in that series against Sri Lanka A. To win against good cricketers with international experience was a really good effort. It was nice to see some of those guys have success, Buttler especially. He’s shown he can perform under pressure.”