Arthur backs Sarfaraz despite Rizwan’s first Test exploits

Former Pakistan head coach believes healthy competition is always good

Arthur backs Sarfaraz despite Rizwan’s first Test exploits PHOTO: AFP

Former Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur believes that ex-skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed can regain his place in the national side by performing well in domestic cricket.

While talking during a television channel show,

"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,” said Arthur. “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 and I think Rizwan is good enough to play as an out and out batsman."

Rizwan played a fighting 95-run knock in the second innings of the first Test against Australia in Brisbane, something which Arthur was pleased to see.

"That was a standout performance from Rizwan, he's been exceptional in this whole Test match. He shouldn't have been out in the first innings. He kept well, his energy was good and he deserved a hundred," he said.

Despite the team’s below par score, 240, in the first innings of the Brisbane Test, Pakistan bounced well to score 335 runs in the second innings.

"I'm not too worried about the Pakistan batting, they didn't get enough in the first innings but I think they'll bat well in these conditions. We sort of saw that, Shan Masood played well, [Asad] Shafiq, Babar and Rizwan showed their class. You have 4 in the top 7 who will go to Adelaide with confidence," said the South African while talking about Pakistan’s chances in the second and final Test of the series — which is scheduled to begin on November 29.

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Arthur also spoke about the composition of Pakistan’s bowling attack for the next Test match.  

"I'd have to have a look at the wicket before considering four seamers. Adelaide genuinely turns, it has turned for a period of time because it's hot. You have two sessions in the heat and around half a session under lights where the ball swings and seams. You still need a spinner somewhere to bowl your overs. If the wicket showed any sign of deterioration, I would pick Yasir Shah," he said.