Misbah ul Haq believes that the dry conditions on offer at Emirates Old Trafford could persuade Pakistan to go into this week's first Test against England with a twin-spin attack, alongside a trio of fast bowlers who are all adept at bowling reverse swing.
Speaking in the build-up to Wednesday's series opener, Pakistan's coach rued the fact that the bio-secure arrangements for the series meant that none of the three Tests would be played at his side's favourite venues of Lord's and The Oval - where they have won each of their three Tests since 2016. However, he reckoned that the week's hot and dry forecast would play into his team's hands.
"If you want to win a game against a good team then there are challenges always in your way," Misbah said. "It's not like you go out and win it with ease. When you are playing in other's conditions, you have to beat them in all departments to win a match.
"Obviously our favourite hunting grounds are in London - Lord's and The Oval - but recently at Southampton and Old Trafford, the pitches are showing help for spinners. There is some dryness, like you get when it turns at The Oval, and later on there is the chance for some reverse swing."
Pakistan struggled in their most recent visit to Old Trafford, on the 2016 tour, claiming just nine wickets in a 330-run loss with their legspinner Yasir Shah proving especially ineffective. Having claimed 10 wickets in the first-Test win at Lord's, he returned match figures of 1 for 266 in 63 overs.
Misbah, however, was encouraged by the evidence of the recent West Indies Tests, in which Roston Chase and Dom Bess found assistance at various stages of both games, and in which Rakheem Cornwall played as a second spinner in the series decider, in spite of the damp conditions that dominated for the week.
"The scenario is different now," Misbah said. "For spinners there was absolutely nothing in 2016, but now when we see matches they are totally different and it looks like it's in our favour and we are going to play our chances.
"Our bowlers are in good form and there are encouraging signs but it depends how we play those conditions and how we play the game, and exploit them in our favour."
Pakistan's victories in the first two Tests in 2016 and 2018 were part of a wider pattern from England, who have now lost the first Test of a series in eight of their last ten outings. However, coming so soon after the completion of the West Indies series, Misbah acknowledged that their opponents would likely be very well prepared this time around.
"That was their first Test in a long, long time and obviously after that they played consistently," he said of England's four-wicket defeat at the Ageas Bowl last month. They've played three Test matches now.
"That [losing habit] might be due to a Test match after a long time, we're aware of that and that this time it might not happen, so we should be ready for an England team that have already had three matches of experience and they won their last two Test matches.
"We have to really come in this Test series right from the word go at our best if we want to win a Test series or a Test match here. We are aware that England have a slight advantage, but if we are alert and go 100% in the first Test match, that is the only way we can beat England otherwise we will find ourselves in difficulty."
Pakistan's extended 29-man squad has been in the UK since June 28, and Misbah said that he was satisfied with both their acclimatisation and their match preparation, having played a series of warm-up games during their month-long conditioning camps at Derby and Worcester.
Sohail Khan claimed two five-wicket hauls in those matches, including their one first-class fixture, and in so doing overshadowed the experienced Mohammad Abbas, who picked up five wickets in two outings but is still expected to lead the attack in the Tests.
The broader debate centres on the No. 6 and 7 spots where Pakistan are likely to play Mohammad Rizwan and Shadab Khan, whose solid batting will length the tail while also providing a second legspin option. Khan has played just one Test since the 2018 tour, on which he made three consecutive half-centuries against Ireland at Malahide and against England at Lord's and Headingley, but he appears to have snuck ahead of Fawad Alam in the pecking order.
However, Misbah said that while the practice matches had been useful for getting the players match-fit, he and his fellow selectors would not be focussing too heavily on the actual stats from those games.
"Obviously these performances and current form are very important, but at the same time wickets aren't the only thing that decides what and how anyone is bowling," Misbah said. "[Khan] is bowling good, but there are a lot of factors involved in deciding what team combination is effective in whatever condition.
Going forward, the pitches are going to get drier and with no grass on them. So we will evaluate everything to make a final decision accordingly."
Pakistan's last Test was against Bangladesh in Rawalpindi in February, and Misbah admitted there would be a few nerves when the players get back to competitive cricket after such a long break. However, he was confident that his players were motivated and in good health after a month in their bio-secure bubble.
"Everybody is good, the mental health, they look good and they are enjoying as a team," he said. "But Test cricket is different. Once you are in, pressures just build sometimes, but we'll try to keep it so they ae mentally fresh regardless of the results. As the management and coaches, we'll try to give them that space and keep them motivated until the series is over."