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Arthur urges Pakistan to rediscover winning formula

Former Pakistan head coach was disappointed with the team’s performance in Australia T20Is

PHOTO: Reuters

Former Pakistan Head Coach Mickey Arthur has urged the Men in Green to stick with to what had worked for them in the past, after the world’s number one ranked Twenty20 International (T20I) side suffered a series defeat at the hands of Australia.

While talking during a television show, Arthur said that, bearing in mind the next year’s T20 World Cup, Pakistan don’t have time to chop and change things.

“Babar said that Pakistan are learning. A couple of months ago, they were the number one ranked side and went 11 series unbeaten. I'm not sure that what got us to number one was worth changing,” said Arthur. “Learning is not for me now, we're a year out from a T20 World Cup and Pakistan are still the number one side. Put the learning away and go back to what's worked for you, because what worked got you to the top.”

The South African also questioned Pakistan’s, who lost their second consecutive T20I series, decision to drop some of the key members of the side.  

“There were some key players who played big roles for us, the likes of Sarfaraz, he's ahead of the game in T20 cricket. Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, bit of experience. Shaheen Shah Afridi and Hasan Ali, these are big shoes to fill. Those guys are there, apart from Hasan,” he said.  

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The 51-year-old also heaped praise on captain Babar Azam and, especially, middle-order batsman Iftikhar Ahmed for being the only two Pakistan batsmen who left the series with their head held high.

"Iftikhar and Babar are the only two batsmen who leave the series with their heads held high. Iftikhar will be used in a powerhitting role. He may be found out a little bit with the short ball but he's played very well and justified his position,” he said. “He came out and he was positive, he wasn't scared to get on the front foot, he showed guts and courage. I was impressed by his commitment off the front and back foot.”

Arthur also questioned Pakistan’s strategy to pack their top-order with the likes of Imamul Haq, Mohammad Rizwan and Haris Sohail.

"You can't have Imam, Haris and Rizwan batting after eachother, you need to mingle it up with an attacking player. Use the powerplay overs a bit more and that can't be left to Babar alone,” he said.

With the conclusion of the T20I series, Pakistan and Australia will now lock horns in a two-match Test series — which begins with the first Test in Brisbane on November 21.