Graham Thorpe

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Pakistan need to show some fight

It had been hoped that Pakistan would provide England with some stiff competition ahead of the Ashes this winter, but that has not proved to be the case.

 

Waqar Younis's side are in a tricky transitional period with a host of experienced players having departed from the scene, but they must show a lot more guts at The Oval.

 

There were some positive signs of a resurgence from the tourists in the second innings at Edgbaston, but they simply must be more competitive in the third Test for their own credibility.

 

England have been by far the best team in the series so far, and Pakistan need to show that they have more to give than what they have shown thus far.

 

The hosts are a settled unit and have considerably more direction and experience than their opponents, but they must not be allowed to steamroller their way through matches the way they have been.

 

The England bowling attack is firing on all cylinders at the moment, and Pakistan have not been able to compete when up against it.

 

The tourists' bowlers have kept the England batsmen in check, but with the bat they have been unable to post remotely competitive totals.

 

Zulqarnain Haider showed real determination and resolve in the second innings at Edgbaston, and it is a real blow for Pakistan that he is injured for the final two Tests.

 

Along with the dogged Saeed Ajmal, Haider was the only player who really got under the England players' skin and put up a fierce resistance to the hosts' bowlers.

 

Andy Flower and Andrew Strauss have opted to stick with a winning side in ruthless fashion instead of experimenting with other players ahead of the Ashes.

 

I agree with the decision to retain Alastair Cook at the top of the order, as the Essex opener has to be played into form for the winter.

 

Players like James Hildreth, Michael Carberry and Sajid Mahmood still have the opportunity to impress for the England Lions and for their counties, and that is important.

 

With Ian Bell set to return following his injury for the squad to head Down Under, the last thing England need is more uncertainty within the ranks.

 

Strauss and Flower are nurturing a consistent, settled unit and are understandably loath to unnecessarily tinker with a winning formula.

 

The pair will be hoping that they are rewarded for their faith against Australia this winter.

 

Courtesy: Yahoo! Eurosport UK

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