Zayed Cricket Stadium
The magnificent Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi will host the first Test match between Pakistan and England.Reuters

Pakistan are set to host England in an intriguing three-match Test series in the United Arab Emirates, with the first Test match starting on Tuesday at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. The second and the third Test matches are going to be held in Dubai and Sharjah respectively.

Both teams come into the Test series with a spring in their stride, after some sensational performances in their respective last Test series.

England defeated Australia 3-2 in the prestigious Ashes series, while Pakistan beat Sri Lanka in the island nation 2-1. Hence they are not going to be short of confidence when they square off against one another in the UAE.

Pakistan and England, who lie third and fourth respectively in the ICC Test rankings, will also have their sights on the second spot, which is a possibility depending upon the series results. Rankings will take care of themselves if they play some quality cricket in the series, which promises to be exciting.

England will want to take revenge, after they suffered an embarrassing whitewash against Pakistan during the last Test series in the UAE in 2012.

Pakistan are aware that a similar result might be difficult this time around, especially with the form England showed against the Aussies, where they were superb in all departments of the game.

The England team resemble a well-balanced side with seamers such as James Anderson and Stuart Broad set to take the new ball, while Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali, latter expected to play an important role with the willow, will be the key spinners of the team. They have great experience in their batting lineup, with the likes of Alistair Cook and Ian Bell, along with the special talent of Joe Root, who could prove to be England's best bet.

Pakistan also have some big players in their ranks, and are going to be well supported in their "home venues" in UAE. Leggie Yasir Shah, who has been earning a big name of late, will be Pakistan's main bowler, while Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hafeez and Ahmed Shehzad need to shoulder responsibility in the batting department.

With such an array of stars in both the teams, one cannot wait for the series to start. If these Pakistan and England players get their act going, one can expect some quality cricket, which can be enjoyed by fans world over.

Squads: Pakistan : Misbah-ul-Haq (c), Ahmed Shehzad, Shan Masood, Azhar Ali, Mohammad Hafeez, Fawad Alam, Asad Shafiq, Younis Khan, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Yasir Shah, Zulfiqur Babar, Wahab Riaz, Imran Khan, Rahat Ali, Junaid Khan

England : Alastair Cook (c), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Zafar Ansari, Jonny Bairstow, Ian Bell, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler (wk), Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, James Taylor, Mark Wood.

Test series schedule

1st Test: Pakistan vs England 

Venue: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi

Date: October 13-17

Time: 10am local time ( 11:30am IST, 11am PKT, 7am BST)

2nd Test: Pakistan vs England 

Venue: Dubai international stadium

Date: October 22-26

Time: 10am local time ( 11:30am IST, 11am PKT, 7am BST)

3rd Test: Pakistan vs England

Venue: Sharjah international stadium

Date: November 1-5

Time: 10am local time ( 11:30am IST, 11am PKT, 7am BST)

TV listings: Ten Sports (India, Pakistan and UAE), PTV (Pakistan), Sky Sports (the UK).

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