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Arthur hints at inclusion of all-rounder for final Test

London (Online): Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur spoke about the possible inclusion of an all-rounder for the final Test against England and the disappointing loss in the third Test after collapsing on the final day at Edgbaston.
Pakistan’s all-rounder problem has been a recurrent theme during the series with Mohammad Hafeez unable to bowl and Arthur spoke about rectifying it with the inclusionof Iftikhar Ahmed.
“Yes, he is an option,” Arthur said. “He bowls offspin and decently, England have a lot of left handers so he does give us an option as a fifth bowler if he comes in. But we have to be dead certain he can come into our top six and get runs, because we’ll be asking for runs first and bowling second.”
Iftikhar is likely to come in for Hafeez after his poor show so far but that might not be the only change for the final Test at The Oval. Although he thought that a fifth specialist bowler was a “very positive option”, Pakistan’s tail has made that all but unlikely.
“It’s certainly one of the options, but whoever comes in somebody has got to bat middle order, which makes it a particularly long tail,” he said. “That’s a very positive way to go. It’s one that we’ve thought about and one I lay in bed thinking about it last night. That’s a very positive option because we’ve got to get 20 wickets in this Test match. We’ve got to work through that one.”
Speaking about the third Test, he said: “There were a lot of good things for us out of the last Test. I certainly did not feel that we ever rolled over there. We were in the contest for most of that game. I’ve taken a lot of positives out of that and reinforced the positives with the chaps.
“I counted we probably won five sessions, England won three. The sessions England won, they won convincingly.”
He also added that the Jonny Bairstow and Moeen partnership changed the game and spoke about the diminishing returns of Yasir Shah, who has picked up 4 for 502 in his last two Tests after claiming 10 for 141 in the first Test.
“They have played the legspinner very well but we have to remember he’s been used in a defensive role,” Arthur said. “We bowled first at Edgbaston, there wasn’t a hell of a lot on offer, and at Old Trafford so he hasn’t had the luxury of bowling with runs on the board.
“I’m hoping we can get runs on board here, it turns a bit and there’s a bit of bounce – and that’s a legspinner’s best friend. I actually think he’s bowled extremely well in both roles – attacking and defending.”
Although Younis Khan has scored just 122 in this series, Arthur is confident of him performing in the final Test.
“I’m very confident he can make a contribution,” Arthur said. “He’s been very open to us speaking about some technical things, he has trained the house down and the hunger is there. I’ve been really impressed with how he’s handled it.
“Watching him train and go about his business, he still tops the fitness charts, he’s one of the fittest in the team, his diet is exemplary. He’s so professional on and off the field. Put it this way, he’s giving himself the best chance to perform and I’ll take my hat off to chap like that any day of the week.”



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