However, despite the fact that Pakistan were bowled out for 234, the trio returned combined figures of 4-175 from 46 overs, while in contrast seamers Stuart Broad and James Anderson went for little more than a run an over.
"Anderson and Broad have been outstanding. Apart from that, England have bowled poorly. The pitch has taken a huge amount of spin," the former England skipper told BBC Sport.
"You can understand Samit Patel because he hasn't played a lot of cricket, but Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid have bowled too many bad balls. Pakistan's 240 is probably worth 280. If Yasir Shah and Zulfiqar Babar get it right, there's a low score out there."
England will resume on day two with openers Alastair Cook and Ali at the crease on 4-0.