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Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen believes that the national team will excel on their upcoming tour of the United Arab Emirates, but only if they play Pakistan’s spinners well.
England are heading into the series on a high as they defeated Australia 3-2 to regain the Ashes. However, England are in for another tough challenge as Pakistan have never lost in the United Arab Emirates since moving all their ‘home games’ to the country after the Sri Lankan national team were attacked by armed militants in Lahore in March 2009.
Pietersen pointed out that England were whitewashed 3-0 when they last played Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates in January-February 2012. But, he believes that the outcome can be a lot different this time around, especially if England mirror their performance against Australia.
“England will take a lot of confidence after beating Australia and fingers crossed they do a lot better than when we were in UAE,” he told Sky Sports. “I think I averaged 11 in that series which was rubbish.
“We got hammered there last time we went. We didn’t play spin well. If the guys play spin well – and there are some really good players in that batting line-up – then hopefully they’ll do well. I really want to see them do well.”
With England scheduled to tour South Africa after their series against Pakistan, Pietersen stressed that it is highly important for the national team to keep their positive run of form going by handing Pakistan their first defeat in the United Arab Emirates.
“You have got to win, don’t you? A draw or losing is no good,” he said. “Winning away from home means a lot and we haven’t travelled well for a while. I’m sure they will do well. Cooky will lead the side well and the management structure is pretty good.”
Pietersen also conceded that he was impressed that England had managed to rope in former Sri Lanka batsman Mahela Jayawardene and ex-England all-rounder Paul Collingwood as consultants for the series against Pakistan.
“The structure is brilliant,” he said. “Paul Collingwood and Mahela Jayawardene have come in too which is brilliant. There’s a lot of knowledge there and great men.”