England could play three spinners in the first game of their five-match series against Pakistan in Southampton on Wednesday, said one-day captain Eoin Morgan.
A fixture guaranteed to make history, because the third umpire will call front foot no-balls, will take another interesting twist if England field Liam Dawson alongside Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid.
The Hampshire left-arm spinner is hoping to play on his home ground, particularly in dry conditions in the day-night game at the Ageas Bowl.
“Having Liam Dawson brings the option of playing three spinners and that is something we might have to take into consideration as we look ahead to the winter tours of Bangladesh and India,” said Morgan.
“It will be a very tough series against Pakistan especially as the recent warm weather means conditions may suit them more than they suit us initially. It is a good test leading into the winter.”
England go into the game full of confidence after their series victory over Sri Lanka earlier this season.
All-rounder Ben Stokes and his Durham team mate Mark Wood are back from calf and ankle injuries respectively although the former will play as a batsman only for the first two games.
Pakistan, who this week rose to number one in the test rankings after their 2-2 draw with England, look to improve a dismal recent record against opponents who have beaten them in eight of their last nine games.
“We have very good potential in one-day cricket also, we’ve certainly got belief,” said Azhar Ali who has replaced test captain Misbah-ul-Haq as skipper.
“It’s really important going into any series, you need to have belief and trust in the ability of the players. If we bring our A game we definitely will compete.”