ISLAMABAD, Nov 24 (APP): Former Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur believes that Pakistan team “could surprise” Australia in the second Test in Adelaide.
With the match in Adelaide being a day-night Test, Arthur feels that “it brings Pakistan’s seamers a bit more into the game”. “When the decision was being made about the day-night Test, some of the players were apprehensive about it. I thought it was a good opportunity for Pakistan to put Australia under pressure. It brings Pakistan’s seamers a bit more into the game, there’s more margin for error in the Pink ball Test. I think Pakistan could surprise them in the next Test match,” Arthur said while talking to private sports channel.
Arthur believes that batsmen Haris Sohail and Iftikhar Ahmed could be dropped for the second Test. Haris made scores of one and eight, Iftikhar, meanwhile, made seven and a duck. He also conceded 53 runs from the 12 overs he bowled.
“Iftikhar got a really good ball, he hasn’t done too much wrong. He hasn’t gotten himself in, that could happen to anybody. Not sure that his place is secure. Two batsmen under pressure are Haris and Iftikhar,” Arthur said.
Arthur said that the national team should include opener Imam-ul-Haq in the playing XI for the second Test. Imam has featured in 10 Tests thus far, where he has scored 483 runs, which includes three half-centuries, at an average of 28.41.
“I think you need to get Imam in the team, he’s a very good player who has developed his game considerably. He’s a confidence player, I’d get him back,” Arthur said . Arthur further said that Babar Azam is “starting to believe that he can be the best”.
“Babar Azam wants to be the best. I think for the first time now, he’s starting to believe that he can be the best. When he starts to believe that, he’s going to be so powerful because he’s such a good player,” “I don’t think Babar will bat at number 3, I think he’ll bat at 4 for Pakistan and that’ll be his best position going forward. It’s not too much of an issue right now whether he is at 4 or Shafiq, but in the long run Babar Azam will be at 4”
“Babar Azam dominated, he’s almost dominated the best bowling attack in world cricket in their home conditions, he never looked like he was struggling, he put the bowlers under pressure and punished the loose balls. It was the complete Test match innings. I’m hoping it kick-starts him. He got a 100 at Adelaide in an ODI in 2017 so he loves batting there. Hopefully Pakistan win the toss there and then Babar Azam and whoever else in the batting can dominate and give Pakistan that 1st innings score to put Australia under pressure,” Arthur added .
Arthur further said that he absolutely loved Babar Azam’s celebration upon scoring his century. Arthur said that ex-captain Sarfaraz Ahmed could make a comeback into the national team at any time.
“You can never count Sarfaraz out, he’ll be working hard to get his place back. He’ll have to do well in domestic cricket. Healthy competition is always good. It was Sarfaraz with Rizwan as number two pushing him, those roles are reversed a bit now. I wouldn’t count Sarfaraz out, he’ll keep pushing. They can both play in the same side, I think Rizwan is good enough to play as an out and out batsman,” Arthur said.