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Pakistan look to bounce back in third ODI


  • Mickey Arthur: “We always get castigated for not trying new players and now we are getting castigated for giving opportunities to new players”

Abu Dhabi, 26 March 2019:

Pakistan’s head coach Mickey Arthur has promised his team will give their best to bounce back in the third match against Australia in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, reiterating every time his players go on the field they want to win.

Pakistan are using the series to provide further experience and exposure to their bench strength, a ploy that has produced decent results with Haris Sohail and Mohammad Rizwan scoring centuries and fast bowler Mohammad Hasnain making an impressive debut.

Arthur confirmed there will be no debuts on Wednesday, meaning opener Abid Ali and middle-order batsman Saad Ali will have to wait. Paceman Usman Shinwari will replace Faheem Ashraf – rested from the final three matches – while another left-arm paceman Junaid Khan will come in place of Mohammad Abbas.

“We always get castigated for not trying new players and now we are getting castigated for giving opportunities to new players. I think people need to understand that we are a very passionate team,” said the coach.

“Every time we go on to the field, we go there to win for Pakistan.”

Pakistan have handed ODI debuts to opener Shan Masood and, fast bowlers Mohammad Abbas and Mohammad Hasnain in the first two matches.

They are trailing the five-match series 0-2 after losing the first two matches by identical margins of eight wickets, both in Sharjah.

“We have called this a tour of opportunities and it is so good to see this boys train and work hard. Yes, they are getting to that standards and they are not there yet. If we can get them there, then Pakistan cricket is going to see some good cricketers, in a good state.

“We will have new players ready to take over when other players are out of form or injured.”

Arthur said new players were doing their best.

“The guys that we have brought in here, their attitudes have been outstanding. I think we got to realise that we have players who are of the international level, the chaps that are here are very good cricketers and will become very good cricketers. 

“The other guys have been in the tough system for two years and these guys are only making their way up.

“I’m taking about the likes of (Mohammad) Hasnain, Abid Ali and Saad Ali. These guys haven’t been in the environment like this before. Shan (Masood) has been in and out of the ODI side, Umar Akmal is back and (Mohammad) Rizwan has also been in and out. 

“We are trying to increase the depth of Pakistan cricket.”

Australia are on a roll after winning a tough series in India 3-2 and are leading this five-match series 2-0 on the back of eight wickets wins in each of the first two matches. That has given them five wins in a row.

Skipper Aaron Finch is in sublime form as he hit 116 to help Australia chase down 281 on Friday and an unbeaten 153, his highest ODI score to date, to anchor the 285-run chase on Sunday.

Australia will be forced to make their first change of the series after pace spearhead Jhye Richardson dislocated his shoulder on Sunday and has since returned home. That will bring in Pat Cummins, the most successful bowler with 14 wickets in India.

Cummins went wicket-less in the first match in India, before taking four for 29, three for 37, five for 70 and two for 38, and has been in great wicket-taking form.

The final two matches are in Dubai on Friday and Sunday.

Upcoming fixtures:

Wednesday, 27 March – 3rd ODI (d/n), Abu Dhabi. Michael Gough and Asif Yaqoob (on-field umpires), Kumar Dharmasena (third umpire), Shozab Raza (fourth umpire); Jeff Crowe (match referee)

Friday, 29 March – 4th ODI (d/n), Dubai. Kumar Dharmasena and Rashid Riaz (on-field umpires), Michael Gough (third umpire), Ahsan Raza (fourth umpire); Jeff Crowe (match referee)

Sunday, 31 March – 5th ODI (d/n), Dubai. Michael Gough and Ahsan Raza (on-field umpires), Kumar Dharmasena (third umpire), Shozab Raza (fourth umpire) ; Jeff Crowe (match referee)