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Arthur vindicated after Irfan’s performance in Sydney T20I

Pacer seemed off colour during first T20I between Pakistan and Australia

PHOTO: AFP

Former Pakistan Head Coach Mickey Arthur believes that he was right in keeping lanky pacer Mohammad Irfan on the sidelines, during his tenure with the Men in Green.

While talking during television show, Arthur said that Irfan, who conceded 31 runs in his two overs during the first Twenty20 International (T20I) match against Australia, lacked the desired consistency level inorder to be part of the national side.   

"Mohammad Irfan was very rusty. He didn't play much during my time and that was because we didn't think he was consistent enough in his areas and we saw that,” said Arthur. “He was both sides of the wicket, bowled a no-ball. Irfan gives you pace and bounce but is it sustainable over a long period of time? No.”

“He's going to have to bowl very well to maintain his place in the side because he gives runs away in the field. If you're trying to establish a high performance culture, a fitness and disciplined culture, he doesn't give you that. He gives you x-factor, but is it sustainable? Not sure. The lengths he bowls are very good to domestic cricketers but international cricketers take toll on that. That's a dilemma Misbah and Waqar will face going forward," he added.

The 51-year-old also said that Irfan’s below-par performances will make his fellow left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir’s job more difficult.    

"If I was coaching a batsman, I'd say you go deep in the crease for Irfan and look to hit him square because of the extra bounce. That played a bit with Irfan, we saw him miss his lengths. That makes Amir's job harder. Bowling in partnerships, we didn't see that at all," he said.  

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The Johannesburg-born was also of the opinion that rookie pacer Mohammad Hasnain should be given a chance in the second T20I against Australia.

“I'd bring Mohammad Hasnain in the next match to bowl in the middle-overs and open with Imad and Amir," he said.

Arthur also backed Pakistan head coach-cum-chief selector Misbahul Haq to keep country’s cricket on the right track.

"Misbah will be good, he's a quality human being. He knows the game and Pakistan cricket inside out, I'm sure he'll work it out quick and he'll get that team going in the right direction," he said.

The first of three T20Is between Australia and Pakistan on Sunday in Sydney was abandoned due to rain, with no result declared. The series moves to Canberra on Tuesday and a final game in Perth on Friday.