England have been branded "stubborn", "inflexible", "bloody-minded" and "short-sighted", but is a rigid belief in a system and the make-up of the ideal Test XI something to be criticised?
Andy Flower and Andrew Strauss have been lauded for the way they have galvanised and led a group of players in their successful partnership; but with every strength lies a potential weakness.
Would England have less apparent revulsion at the concept of picking a second spinner if they had one of greater ingenuity and guile than the current cab on the rank, Monty Panesar? It is hard to speculate.
But there was no doubt that England lacked support in the spin department on day two as the seamers trudged back to their marks, striving and straining in tandem with Swann.
England warmed up for the Test series with a 100-run win against a Pakistan Cricket Board XI with left-arm spinner Panesar staking claims to partner Swann with eight wickets in the side game.
England last played two spinners in a Test against Bangladesh in March 2010, with another off-spinner James Tredwell partnering Swann. In the fast-paced world of international cricket, that is a very long time ago.
Swann, England's frontline spinner for some time now, backed the idea of playing with two spinners on the slow, turning pitches in United Arab Emirates and remains totally convinced.
"Yes I would, I've always advocated the use of two spinners and I love the rhythm and tempo the game takes when there are two spinners," he said.
"You have all the men round the bat and with everyone in close you can make shot suggestions to the batsman that he might not otherwise do," said Swann of the action when two spinners are employed in a Test.
But this argument is a complex one.
The way Abdur Rehman, Mohammad Hafeez and Ajmal combined to build pressure as a spin unit was hugely effective in the first innings - albeit with England's batsmen contributing to their own downfall.
Indeed, it was arguably the collective economy of the trio (pictured, above) which enabled Ajmal to lure the England batsmen into taking on the raft of rash strokes which proved to be their undoing.
Pakistan delivered 24 overs of pace; England's quicks have already rattled through a staggering 69.3 overs (and no, that's excluding Jonathan Trott's slow-medium trundle).
Not only do spinners help lift the burden of arduous spells in taxing conditions, but working in tandem a captain can set fields that act to build pressure from both ends, as Swann so desires.
It is perhaps rather churlish to scrutinise performances in one Test too much, but it's a wider point: should England be more flexible about the composition of their bowling unit?
It would be entirely wrong to be overly critical about Flower and Strauss's approach, given that the duo have steered England to the top of the game in the longest format.
But if England are to improve and continue to progress and develop as a side, surely it is important to increase the number of options at the coach and captain's disposal in terms of team selection.
Undoubtedly, England's success under Strauss and Flower has been built around continuity and consistency of selection; such an approach is admirable and fruitful.
The question remains whether there is a limit to such consistency of selection with the constant clamour for a 'horses for courses' strategy.
Flower and Strauss will never be able to please everyone but, after 104.3 overs of gruelling toil in the field, it may not be only Swann pleading with the England management to rethink their approach.
The second spinner debate: Do you think England should play a second spinner for the remainder of the series? Is Panesar good enough to support Swann in that role? Do England need to be more flexible in the make-up of their side?
Have your say by posting your opinions in the comments' section below...
STAT OF THE DAY: Excluding the forfeited game at The Oval in 2006, England have won just one Test in the last 20 years after having made less than 200 in their first innings.
TWEET OF THE DAY: "Given the ECB's lack of PR spin on calls for a second spinner, we can't be surprised that actual "spin" remains a cause of concern." (Testing Times)
USER COMMENT OF THE DAY: "One of Pakistan's three spinners is an all-rounder, which we don't have - the closest being KP! So yes, we should definitely have picked Monty instead of either Tremlett or Broad. Though now, of course, Broad has performed well so everyone will say Tremlett should go with hindsight." (LD)
SHOT OF THE DAY: Following on from day one's 'Spot the Fan' contest, here's a heart-warming image demonstrating the way in which this series has captured the local public's imagination.
And one from the nets: A six-year-old English cricket prospect has already netted a sponsorship deal thanks to his incredible skills. Young Charlie Allison shows all the shotmaking skills of a young Sachin Tendulkar in a video posted on the internet by his sponsor PiriPiri cricket bats, who proudly announce him as "their latest signing".
Have a look at Charlie's amazing shotmaking skills and let us know if you see him as a star of the future.