‘We just didn’t play well enough, individually or collectively’ . England’s No1 ranking at risk if they do not win third Test.
Andrew Strauss admitted that England’s batsmen are no closer to solving the mysteries of playing spin in subcontinental conditions as another humiliating collapse against Pakistan left them in danger of losing their hard-earned ranking as the world’s No1 Test team after only three matches.
Needing only 145 to win the second Test in Abu Dhabi and square the three-match series after their heavy defeat in Dubai last week, they were skittled for 72, their lowest ever total against Pakistan, whose spin trio shared all 10 wickets inside 22 overs of mayhem – led this time by Abdur Rehman, the left-armer who took six, with Saeed Ajmal playing a skilful second fiddle.
England are now 2-0 down with one to play and therefore condemned to their first series defeat in 10 since they lost in the West Indies in early 2009, when Strauss linked up with Andy Flower, the coach, for the first time. This total was their lowest since they were all out for 51 in the first Test of that series in Jamaica, and was also the first time they have lost consecutive Tests under Strauss and Flower.