ODI series whitewash against Australia is disappointing: Mickey Arthur

LAHORE: Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur on Tuesday termed the 5-0 series whitewash against Australia as “disappointing” but took courage from the promising display of new talent including opener Abid Ali and rookie pacer Mohammad Hasnain.
Addressing a press conference in Lahore, Arthur made it clear that Sarfaraz Ahmed remains the team’s first-choice wicketkeeper, and stressed the importance of giving Asif Ali enough confidence to cement his spot at number six.
“Sarfaraz Ahmed is our first-choice wicketkeeper, he is our captain,” the coach stressed.
“Asif Ali can prove to be dangerous, he has talent. We [are] developing him for the No. 6 batting slot, [we] need to give him confidence.”
“We are very clear regarding our World Cup squad and the preparations for the World Cup. The series against Australia was disappointing, but there were positive takeaways. We gave opportunity to new talent in order to test them. [There were] five centuries [from our batsmen], and we saw a young fast bowler [Hasnain].
“Abid Ali impressed us a lot. He played a very, very good innings. He is hungry [to score] and wants to play for Pakistan,” Arthur said about the 31-year old, who became the 15th batsman, and only the third from Pakistan, to score a hundred on his ODI debut against Australia on Friday.
Although concerned over Mohammad Amir’s lackluster performance, Arthur said the pacer remains a “big match bowler” for Pakistan.
“Amir is a big-match bowler. He’s a wonderfully skilled bowler. It’s just that he’s not in form… It’s not necessarily his form, it’s the fact he hasn’t been taking wickets.”
Arthur shared his disappointment at Umar Akmal’s batting upon his comeback to the team following an impressive run in the recent Pakistan Super League edition. “Umar Akmal trained hard and tried exceptionally hard to impress in all areas. It is disappointing that he didn’t get a big innings,” he lamented.
“We hate losing as a team, it’s not part of our vocabulary. Losing 5-0 was incredibly hard. We didn’t have our best team against Australia, and the conditions in South Africa were very tough,” Arthur responded to a question about the recent dip in the team’s limited-overs performance.
“There will be no compromise on players’ fitness. We will conduct fitness tests around April 14. We will sit down with the selection committee in the next couple of days and make decisions about the World Cup squad,” he said.
The head coach announced that around 18 players will travel to England for the World Cup.
“We have individual player plans for everyone. We will implement the plan for each and every player,” he said, adding that the team camp will start on April 16 or 17.
On Umar Akmal’s latest disciplinary violation, Arthur said he was informed by the media manager about the incident.
“Such attitude is worrisome [for me]. That’s why those players who have been with us for a long time, there is a clear difference in their attitude.”
Commenting on a singing video of Yasir Shah that went viral, Arthur said the spinner is embarrassed about it.
“Yasir Shah is embarrassed about that video. I met him for 5-10 minutes at the airport last night. The whole thing is very innocent though,” the coach clarified.


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