Strauss set to face his biggest test

ENGLAND captain Andrew Strauss admits protecting his side’s No1 Test ranking and turning the current series against Pakistan on its head represents one of the toughest challenges of his tenure.

A miserable 10-wicket defeat in Dubai means England have no margin for error in the two remaining Tests.

Strauss, who inherited the Test captaincy from Kevin Pietersen three years ago, has masterminded the team’s rise to the top of the Test ladder but acknowledged their stay at the summit could be brief if there is a repeat of last week’s false start.

“It’s a big challenge for us, and one that I’m personally looking forward to,” said Strauss, who was among one of England’s frontline batsmen to have struggled against Pakistan’s spinners in Dubai. “You’re not going to get everything your own way, and it’s how you come back that is the true measure of a side.

“We are aware we’ve put ourselves in a difficult position. But there have been plenty of instances in the last few years where history has been against us and we’ve been able to overturn that.”