Harry Brook remains confident England have the skills to take 20 wickets, despite Pakistan reaching 181 without loss at the end of day two on a very docile Rawalpindi pitch.
Openers Imam-ul-Haq and Abdullah Shafique both moved towards centuries in looking comfortable on 90 and 89, respectively, as the tourists toiled in the field in the afternoon and evening sessions after being bowled out before lunch for 657.
Captain Ben Stokes constantly tinkered with the field, keeping several players close to the bat, but they did not create many chances on the flat deck.
Ollie Pope had two half-chances while standing in as wicketkeeper for Ben Foakes, missing a tough chance which appeared to catch the edge of Imam’s bat, and shortly afterwards failing to take the ball cleanly to miss a stumping chance off Will Jacks.
“It’s a pretty nice wicket to bat on, as you can tell by our score,” Brook said.
“It’s gonna be tough to get 20 wickets but we’re going to give it a crack and hopefully it can go in our favour.”
He added: “We went through a few (bowling) plans there, (we will) probably stick to bowling straight.
“It’s going to start getting lower I think and it’s going to start going underground.
“If we start there, hopefully, we can get a few lbs which keep low and, obviously, we tried the bouncers; it’s just about striking at the right time and going bang, bang really.”
Liam Livingstone was forced to leave the field due to a left knee problem sustained while fielding on the boundary and did not bowl on day two; however, he is expected to recover quickly, the PA news agency understands.
The all-rounder was one of the members of England’s successful T20 World Cup campaign, and white-ball captain Jos Buttler believes he was rushed back potentially too soon for the tournament in Australia.
“I think he was rushed back probably a bit ahead of schedule,” Buttler said in the Sky Sports studio.
“It was touch and go to get him to a point where he was fit enough to play.
“He didn’t do much running before the tournament actually started.
“It’s a bit of a worry for him, something he’s been managing and, making his Test debut, he’ll be desperate to get back out there.”