It seems that there must always be at least one member of the England team fighting for their place in the side with their selection under threat, or that is simply how it is perceived.
England's best performers during their rise to the top of the Test rankings have all endured torrid patches of form with their status as international players put under intense scrutiny.
Alastair Cook and Stuart Broad, in particular, have had to put up with hearing countless suggestions: that they step back into county cricket; forget about representing their country for a while; and completely change their games.
The man under the cosh right now is Andrew Strauss - with Kevin Pietersen never far behind - and the England captain continues to face growing calls for his head in what represents an inauspicious run of form with the bat.
The speculation centres around the fact that the captain in waiting, Alastair Cook, could be handed his chance to take the reins with a new batsman able to slot in and make a fresh impact, but this is all nothing new.
Indeed, Strauss saved his England career back in 2008 with a gritty 177 against New Zealand in Napier when the Middlesex batsman was facing a certain dropping had he not delivered at the final opportunity.
Since that defiant and career-saving knock, Strauss has excelled with the England captaincy, leading his side to two successive Ashes series victories - home and away - with the team assuming top spot in the Test rankings under his stewardship.
Strauss has not scored a century for England in 14 months, a run that stretches back to the second innings of the first Ashes Test in Brisbane.
It is a period that has coincided with great success for his team, which has helped gloss over his own contribution, but also at a time when England have faced some of the weakest attacks in world cricket.
Strauss prepared for this tour by breaking up his five-month break from cricket with a trip to India with the performance squad in December.
The objectives of his preparations were to refine his technique on pitches in the subcontinent - a region where the low, slow bounce is not overly conducive to his natural strengths of cutting and pulling.
In Dubai, Strauss was caught out playing an ugly carve in the first innings, before he was snaffled down the leg side in the second. In the context of a chastening defeat for his side, it was not the leading role he had envisaged playing.
But those jumping down the captain's throat need to look further into his recent failings.
In fact, the problem has not been so much as not getting runs, as not converting his starts (a different, more complex problem altogether); in his last 26 Tests, though he averages only 33 and has made a single ton, he has scored as many as 11 half-centuries.
Importantly, the manner of Strauss's dismissals are of a batsman devoid of certainty and frustratingly out of nick; the sloppy, careless shots played by many of his team-mates in Dubai and Abu Dhabi should surely be of greater concern.
Strauss may be short of runs of late, and he may be rapidly closing on his 35th birthday, but the double Ashes-winning skipper still has a great deal to offer his side.
The more prolific Cook may well be waiting in the wings, but his inauspicious tenure in charge of England's one-day outfit suggests that the grass is not always greener.
Strauss has a great deal more to achieve in leading this England side; it is wholly disrespectful for anyone to attempt to hasten his departure. He deserves better.
STAT OF THE DAY: Strauss and Alastair Cook became the fourth pair to open the batting 100 times together in Test cricket as they began England's first innings in Abu Dhabi.
TWEET OF THE DAY: "Most Test match runs with no sixes. Trott, Richardson, Hayward, Maclaren, Russell, Tavare, Robinson, Brearley, Jackson, Jardine." (LegsideLizzy)
USER COMMENT OF THE DAY: "Cook and Strauss are on course for the highest opening partnership of all time!" (The General was incredibly excited about the potential of England's opening partnership with 25 runs on the board.)
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