The task awaiting England in their three-Test series in Pakistan is chalk and cheese to the one we faced when we won in the dark in Karachi 22 years ago.
It was a different era and we had a different mindset to the England team under Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum who will take to the field in Rawalpindi on Thursday.
The England team of 2000 was trying to rebuild under myself and Duncan Fletcher and, having beaten West Indies the previous summer, had started to go in the right direction.
Nasser Hussain celebrates England’s dramatic win in near darkness against Pakistan in 2000
We had not played much in the Subcontinent at all and we set off for Pakistan needing to build bridges after the Mike Gatting-Shakoor Rana affair on England’s previous Test tour there 12 years earlier.
Pakistan had a great side and were particularly strong at home. To use football terminology, for us it was like going away to Manchester City.
So we decided our best chance was to sit in for as long as possible on flat pitches and then try to nick it 1-0 at the end. Which is exactly what happened.
The pace of the game then was incredibly slow and judging by Australia’s series in Pakistan earlier this year that might still be the case for England now.
But things can suddenly happen very quickly towards the end of Tests in Pakistan and you have to react.
My mantra to the England players was simply to ‘just stay in the game’ which sounds a bit negative but it worked for us even when some of our media were giving up on our chances of winning, decrying our efforts and calling it one of the dullest Test series of all time.
The first two Tests were drawn and it looked as if the final match in Karachi, where Pakistan had never lost a Test, was going the same way.
Hussain (centre) admitted his team had to dig in at the crease to emerge victorious in Karachi
Once Pakistan had scored 405 in the first innings and we had replied with 388, Pakistan could not really win — but we could. And they panicked, with Darren Gough and Craig White in particular bowling beautifully to bowl them out for 158.
You could just see Pakistan succumbing to the pressure. They were thinking, ‘Could we really lose in Karachi?’
It left us with 176 to win on the final day and I knew light would be an issue because it can close in quickly there. So as we walked off I said to Mike Atherton: ‘Do you think you should open? We need to score at fours and fives an over here.’
And Athers, who was having an excellent series, turned to me and said ‘I’m f****** opening’ and walked off. I replied: ‘I’m glad we discussed that then,’ and let him carry on.
Atherton was one of the key men on that tour, as was Graham Thorpe, who was phenomenal in making an unbeaten 64 in what was to become a famous win. Thorpey was at his gritty best and we were always confident when he was out there.
No wonder Thorpe got on so well with Stokes when he was on the England coaching staff because they are players for a pressure situation.
Ben Stokes will lead his England side in a three-match Test series against Pakistan in December
On this occasion Thorpey was to lead us home in the most dramatic of circumstances.
By the time I joined him in the middle with 20 needed it was pitch black and Waqar Younis was steaming in with a reverse swinging ball.
I couldn’t see a thing and nor could Inzamam-ul-Haq in the field, who ran completely the wrong way when Thorpe hit one through deep cover.
Pakistan captain Moin Khan had been trying to slow things down drastically but Steve Bucknor was the sort of umpire who would become stubborn once he saw someone messing with the game.
And the more Moin started waving his arms round and indulging in histrionics the more Bucknor vowed to keep us out there until the end.
England’s white-ball side beat Pakistan in the final of the T20 World Cup earlier this month
In those days it was up to the batting side to appeal for bad light so I just said to the players: ‘Let’s keep going for it until we are eight or nine down. Then if it goes wrong we can appeal for the light.’ In my mind we couldn’t lose.
Then Thorpey inside edged one, no one knew where it had gone, and we ran through for the winning runs and ran off together in one of my favourite moments on the field.
I looked back on the pitch black ground and said to myself: ‘How on earth were we playing five minutes ago?’
Then we all sang Who Let the Dogs Out, which had become our team song because Fletcher loved it. We went on to Sri Lanka after Christmas and won there too.
It will be fascinating to see how this series plays out. Yes, England will be a lot more attacking with the bat than we were but they will need the same skills with the ball.
England have emerged a more dynamic and aggressive batting side under Brendon McCullum
Mark Wood, if fit, will be vital for reverse swing and pace and do not forget how well Jimmy Anderson bowled cutters and wobble seam in similar conditions against Pakistan in the UAE.
Joe Root is key. He wants to buy into Bazball and do all the ramps and tricks but if he is ruthless and bats long as he has done in India and Sri Lanka then England can make the big scores that will enable them to dictate terms.
It is an intriguing prospect.