100 Opening partnerships is a big milestone for England openers.
Andrew Strauss and Alistair Cook will celebrate their 100th opening partnership when they take to the field for the Abu Dhabi Test against Pakistan and if there was a time when one of these two class acts needs to pass three figures then this is it.
The last two tests played at this ground have both ended in draws and the pitch is devoid of life so I expect a high scoring game. Over 1,300 runs were scored in the last test between South Africa and Pakistan so that gives you some idea of the run fest that should ensue.
Strauss last scored a test 100 over fourteen months ago so you could say he is due a big one.
England are going to face a barrage of spin in this game and both Bell and Pietersen need to get to grips with Ajmal and get their feet moving quickly if they are to avoid another ignominious innings. England have been working hard in the practice nets on this aspect of the game and I fully expect them to get it right.
Should Monty Panesar play?
The spin wizard is bound to be in contention but Graham Onions is likely to step in for Chris Tremlett who is struggling with a back injury. LBW is going to be the main dismissal and Onions' wicket to wicket bowling could be vital to the England Cause.
Ajmal's Spin is the main threat from this Pakistan team and England have been warming up for it by throwing the ball in the nets to try and replicate the spinner's action. There is no doubt that this is where the game is going to be won and lost and so a big score from one of the openers would come in very handy indeed.
Get your bet on the English batsmen to put up a much better performance this time around and a draw looks the most likely result.