After two consecutive thumping losses, Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur has defended giving new players a chance to prove themselves in the one-day international series against Australia currently underway in the United Arab Emirates.
Pakistan are trailing the five-match series 0-2 after suffering defeat at the hands of Australia by eight wickets each in the first two ODIs, both of which were played in Sharjah.
“We always get castigated for not trying new players and now we are getting castigated for giving opportunities to new players,” said a press release by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) quoting Arthur.
Pakistan handed ODI debuts to opener Shan Masood and fast bowlers Mohammad Abbas and Mohammad Hasnain in the first two matches.
They are also using the series to provide experience and exposure to their bench strength, “a ploy that has produced decent results with Haris Sohail and Mohammad Rizwan scoring centuries and fast bowler Mohammad Hasnain making an impressive debut”, the PCB statement said.
But Arthur said there would be no debuts in the third ODI in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, meaning opener Abid Ali and middle-order batsman Saad Ali will have to wait. Left-arm paceman Usman Shinwari will replace Faheem Ashraf, who has been rested for the final three matches, while Junaid Khan, another left-arm pacer, will come in place of Mohammad Abbas.
The head coach was optimistic his team will give their best to bounce back in the third match, which they must win to keep the series alive. “Every time we go on to the field, we go there to win for Pakistan,” Arthur said.
Terming the UAE series a “tour of opportunities”, Arthur emphasised the importance of giving new players chances.