Former England fast bowler, turned broadcaster, Jonathan Agnew believes England will need to play two spinners if they are to stand any chance of beating Pakistan in the Middle East.
In recent years, even those more interested in online scratch cards will note how England have opted only to play the one spin bowler, with Graeme Swann currently the man holding down that role.
But with Monty Panesar having taken eight wickets in the final warm-up game, Agnew believes that the two could form a lethal attack.
Writing in his column for the BBC, Agnew said: “Bowling the opposition out twice has proved to be almost impossible, with large totals taking a long time to accumulate on the slow pitches of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
“It would be nice to think England might be imaginative and pick five bowlers: three quicks supporting Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar.”
Despite this, Agnew says he doubt it will happen, as it goes very much against the ethos that has led England to the top of test cricket.
But he says it is essential that England adapt to whatever conditions they are playing in, and look to add that bit of creativity that is the hallmark of all the top sporting sides.
He added: “I really believe that for England to remain number one will require more innovation and flexibility. Their argument is that large first-innings scores set up Test victories.
“Surely Matt Prior is more than capable of batting at number six – even more so in these benign conditions – which would enable England to have spinners operating at both ends.
“We shall see if there is a last-minute change of heart on Tuesday morning, but I am not holding my breath.”
Meanwhile, England suffered something of an injury scare, when Stuart Broad was struck on the foot with a cricket ball in training at the weekend.
The 25-year-old required treatment to his left foot, but things were not as bad as initially thought, with him just suffering from “heavy bruising”.
Broad was not required to go for a scan afterwards, and is believed to be back in training already in preparation for the first test against Pakistan.
He said on Twitter: “Afternoon with my foot up being iced. Jimmy [Anderson] got me with an in swinging yorker. Bowling tomorrow so no worries.”
And Anderson himself added: “It’s just part and parcel of cricket. You do get the odd knock from time to time.
“Unfortunately, the ball is quite hard – and it was a bad shot! But I think he’s fine.
“It’s not ideal preparation for him not bowling today, but we’ve done plenty of bowling over the last couple of weeks, so we’re in good condition as a bowling unit, and I don’t think Stuart will be too worried.”