'Confident' Pakistan want 2-0 win
Misbah-ul-Haq, Pakistan's captain, said that his side would not "leave any stone unturned" to finish the series with a 2-0 margin of victory. He was however on guard against the expected backlash from England as they attempt to square the series.
"It's over," said Misbah about the cliffhanger endings in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. "People ask about the kind of impact it would have on our next game and I said that we don't think about the previous game and once we go in the next game it's different. We won the last game at the end, that was a close game but a win is a win and we are looking forward to this Test.
"Obviously you have to think positively and we will do our best and will not leave any stone unturned to play well and win. Your confidence is high after winning the last game and our team's confidence is high, so it's an important match for us and we will do our best to win it."
In Abu Dhabi, England came hard on a dramatic fifth day to snatch the game but were beaten by fading light. In Dubai, the Test came to an even more thrilling finish as England's lower order, inspired by Adil Rashid's maiden Test fifty, a 172-ball innings of 61, resisted hard to take the game deep into the final hour. That was proof, Misbah said, that England have been tougher than Pakistan's recent opponents in the UAE.
"I think looking at England you can clearly say that they are a better side than Australians here in these sort of conditions, they are putting a good show in batting, playing the spin well," he said. "Maybe there is a difference in pitches but you have to give credit to England, the way they are applying themselves, getting runs. As far as New Zealand are concerned, they improved after the first Test and in the second and third Test they gave us tough times, playing spinners.
"[England] have been playing really well in terms of their batting and in terms of discipline in their bowling and they have been really putting a good show in the previous two Tests, so we have been looking forward to a tough game. We know they can come down hard because they have to win this game so we have to be mentally ready for them."
Pakistan have played seven Test matches in Sharjah and lost three, including the last one played in 2014 against New Zealand by an innings. The pitch traditionally is a flat deck that aids batting but recently the top two inches of soil have been replaced. The surface looked brand new and has not yet hosted an international match.
Since 2011, every game played at Sharjah has lasted all five days but previously the ground witnessed a two-day Test in 2002, when Pakistan were thrashed by an innings and 198 runs by Australia. Right from the start of their series against England, Pakistan have wanted turning tracks but Misbah said it would be hard to prejudge the behaviour of the pitch and suggested that playing a third spinner was unlikely.
"Just like you, we also don't know much about the pitch because they have changed the pitch, the upper layer is changed so let's see. We hope for the best, that it helps our bowlers and it spins," Misbah said. "We have been thinking about it [playing three spinner] but the pitch doesn't look like that sort of a turner where you can go with three spinners so that's the thought at the moment, let's see tomorrow how it looks."
Before the England series, Misbah was pondering whether to retire from Test cricket and end his international career. But, after the first Test in Abu Dhabi, PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan requested him not to retire before the return series in England in eight months' time.
"As I have said earlier, there is a long gap between the next series," Misbah said. "I was trying to make a decision before this Test but now I think I will just leave it for that period and I will really think once more what I have to do. They have requested but I have to rethink and then decide. I think there is much time before the next series so I am taking more time to take a decision."
The injury to Imran Khan will force Pakistan to pick between Junaid Khan and Rahat Ali, with both seen working equally with the coach, Waqar Younis, ahead of the Test. Rahat is the favourite to return while Azhar Ali is also back in the XI after missing the last two Tests. "Obviously Azhar will come in," Misbah said. "We will see who opens but definitely he is our main player and we value his previous performances and he is our key batsman, especially in Test cricket so he will be back."
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. @kalson