Former spin bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmed has insisted England will struggle to return to the helm of the Test rankings without an effective specialist slow bowler.

The prolific Graeme Swann retired from international cricket late last year, leaving left-armer Monty Panesar at the fore of the spin-bowling attack in a historic five-nil series whitewash to the Australians.

Leg-spinner Scott Borthwick, Kent's James Tredwell, Lancashire's Simon Kerrigan and the uncapped Danny Briggs and Stephen Parry, meanwhile, remain on the outskirts of selection.

"England or for that matter no team can expect to be number one in Test cricket or retain their top position for long without having a wicket-taking spin bowler," said Mushtaq, who was appointed appointed as a spin bowling consultant with the Pakistan Cricket Board this week.

"Swann was a wicket-taking spinner and with Panesar he helped England win not only in India after some 29 years but also played a key role in Ashes success in the United Kingdom."

The English have since replaced head coach Andy Flower with Lancashire's Peter Moores and selector Ashley Giles with Nottinghamshire's Mick Newell, fired batting coach Graham Gooch - and hired former Sri Lanka head coach Paul Farbrace as assistant coach.

"Moores is a brilliant coach and a good person. He is very good at man management. I have played under him at Sussex for four years. But even he will find it difficult to turn around England's Test ranking."

"I have had a great time working for the ECB and I have told them about my applying for a coaching position with the PCB. I just feel it is time to now focus on giving something back to Pakistan cricket."