In an interview to ESPN Cricinfo Micky Arthur expressed his opinion of playing 5 bowlers in on going test series in South Africa. Pakistan has lost the first two test in the series. The third and final test will be played from 11th Jan.

“I am a big fan of the five-bowler strategy,” Arthur said. “It gives us the added option of providing our frontline seamers with a rest while still maintaining control of the innings. But to do that, we need a fully fit Shadab Khan, who is a genuine allrounder. With Faheem batting at seven, we feared the tail would be just a bit too long.

“Make no mistake, I’m a huge admirer of Faheem Ashraf, and I said so in England. I am confident he will develop into a proper allrounder for Pakistan, but there is a process of natural evolution that needs to take place. In what are very challenging conditions, we need runs on the board, and we weren’t confident that if we played Faheem at 7, followed by four bowlers, we were giving ourselves the best chance of making enough runs.”

“In England, we did play Faheem Ashraf, but the situation there is different. Over there, we could have the two spinners, Yasir Shah and Shadab Khan, bowling long spells, which provided the rest our fast bowlers needed. Here in South Africa, we can’t go into a game with two spinners, which makes Shadab, a spinner but also a genuine allrounder, so valuable. The bowlers will of course be fatigued if there’s no fifth option.”


“Shaheen was a bit fatigued on the back of the first Test, which is normal; he’s still only 18,” Arthur said. “It could have gone either way with Hasan Ali or him. But he had bowled well in Centurion and we wanted to keep the momentum going here in Cape Town.”

“Shaheen was a bit fatigued on the back of the first Test, which is normal; he’s still only 18,” Arthur said. “It could have gone either way with Hasan Ali or him. But he had bowled well in Centurion and we wanted to keep the momentum going here in Cape Town.”

“Fakhar struggled with the short ball here, as we feared since he’s played none of his cricket on these surfaces,” Arthur said. “But he earned his chance to be in the side with what he did on debut and how he had performed recently.

“I also must stress, the team environment is absolutely fine. The way the guys batted on the third day is testament to that. The old Pakistan would have come out and been rolled over for 170-something again, and that would have been that on the third day. But we played to the end, and I draw great encouragement from that.”


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