Our writers have provided incisive analysis over the years on what captains and players should do in certain scenarios. But how will they fare when they have to make the decision themselves? In this new series, Hot Seat, we give them a scenario and ask them to decide about what to do.

Scenario
You are captaining a Test team against Pakistan in Dubai. The pitch is flat and slow, the conditions hot. You have given yourself four sessions to dismiss Pakistan (the target is an unassailable 450-plus), but they have stonewalled and lost only Abid Ali and Azhar Ali till the last session. After tea on day five, they lose Shan Masood and Asad Shafiq. No bowler in your team has taken more than one wicket. Now there are 14 overs left and six wickets needed. Which current Test team would you most like to be captaining in this position, and how would you split the remaining overs between your bowlers?

Andrew Fidel Fernando: India: Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja
Since they refuse to play each other in reality, let's at least have India take on Pakistan in our fantasies. Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja would be ideal here, and I'd split the 14 overs pretty much entirely between them. All three are excellent at targeting the stumps. Shami, in particular, always brings lbws into play (let's hope Virat Kohli hasn't used his reviews up by now). Once the lower order gets in, Bumrah's yorkers, bouncers and pace could make short work of them. And if there is some turn in the final hour, Jadeja is best placed to force a mistake. Let's hope this is happening in a parallel universe untouched by Covid-19 because there will be so many fielders around the bat for Jadeja, it will basically be a moshpit.

Andrew Miller: England: James Anderson and Ben Stokes
I'd quite like to be captaining Pakistan themselves in the early 1990s, with Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram tormenting the toes and Mushtaq Ahmed both sides of the bat. But instead I'll try to make do with England in their current incarnation. With no mystery spinner in the ranks, I'd throw the ball to Jimmy Anderson and Ben Stokes, with their contrasting but complementary seam-bowling styles as likely as any combination to unpick the lock. Despite the usual mutterings about Anderson's overseas impact, his record from six Tests in the UAE stands up to all scrutiny - nowhere in the world does he have a better average (22 wickets at 20.54) or economy rate (2.09). I'd use him in the de facto spinner's role - attacking the stumps with his full repertoire of inswing, outswing and wobble seam, maybe even with the keeper standing up. Then it would be over to Stokes to mix it up with his proven ability to make something from nothing, be it with bouncers, hooping inswing from wide on the crease, or just Botham-esque bravado. It probably wouldn't amount to much. But against a team slipping into a defensive mindset, and armed with an array of close catchers and men back on the hook, it might just prise a few cracks.

Nagraj Gollapudi: Afghanistan: Rashid Khan and Amir Hamza
The Dubai skyline has a beautiful magenta hue. The light is fading fast. Pakistan fans remain confident Babar Azam and Haris Sohail will bat out a draw. But there are hundreds of Afghanistan fans who have rushed into this last hour on Friday afternoon, and they are chanting and urging Khan to do the improbable.

I ask him to attack Azam and have left-arm spinner Hamza put pressure on Sohail. Both have been given a slip, short leg, silly point and a short midwicket. Hamza can land the ball on the same spot consistently and make use of any available rough, and to further mess with the batsmen's minds, I ask him to keep switching between bowling over and around the wicket. Khan, meanwhile, is mixing his pace nicely against Azam, drying the runs up. I remove the mid-off fielder and leave the cover area vacant. Khan floats a legbreak, Azam charges to punch, but the ball turns, and the catch is taken by a diving short leg. Next over, Hamza bowls a straight delivery, Sohail steps back to defend, but the outside edge is taken by slip. Khan polishes off the tail.

Karthik Krishnaswamy: Australia: Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon
It's a situation that calls for raw pace and a bit of reverse swing, which I should be able to generate in the dry heat of Dubai with a second new ball that is now around 25 overs old (if my math is right). I'm captaining Australia, and I'll throw the ball to Starc for four overs from one end - that's about as much as any fast bowler going flat0out can manage in this heat - or three, if he fails to threaten sufficiently, before replacing him with Cummins. From the other end, I'll get Lyon to attack the footmarks that Starc (and Shaheen Shah Afridi) will have surely created outside the right-handers' off stump.

Sharda Ugra: Sri Lanka: Rangana Herath (brought out of retirement)
Fourteen overs, you say? Let's look at the clock and see how to squeeze in a couple more. I'm leading Sri Lanka, and Herath has been brought out of retirement - the president of Sri Lanka made him agree. He has dismantled the Pakistan middle order before. He will drive the batsmen crazy at one end, with his loops, variations, hypnosis, gently, gently. And that's just what he'll achieve with his hands. His feet are creating the Rangana Rough, which will be exploited by Suranga Lakmal and Dilruwan Perera. The ball is in a state of scuffery, so it's one final tilt for Lakmal for about three or four overs. By which time we should be into the lower order, for whom the offie is waiting. All it's going to take is six balls. We've got it. There's only one country that has beaten Pakistan twice in Dubai. Now they're making it three in a row.

Alan Gardner: India: Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav
It's quite hard to look beyond the No. 1-ranked side here - and not least because we all want to see India and Pakistan play Tests again. I'm presuming that Azam is well set, with left-hander Sohail fresh to the crease. R Ashwin has bowled a lot of overs so far, but he'll get a couple more against the new batsman, with Bumrah probing from the other end; the ball is still quite hard and may go through the surface for the quicker bowler. If Sohail can be dislodged, then it's only Mohammad Rizwan left to protect the tail. After Bumrah's burst, Ravindra Jadeja returns to harry Azam with his stump-to-stump line. Time is running out, but there is still a trump card to pull: enter the wristspinner, Kuldeep Yadav, picked for this scenario, whose tricks can help finally break Pakistan's resistance.

Next week's edition of Hot Seat will include reader responses to our scenarios. If you think you have a better response than our writers' to this week's scenario, please send it to fanfare@cricinfo.com. To read more in the series, click here.