Head coach Mickey Arthur has predicted that the third edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) will unearth at least two young stars for the country as he hopes to build a strong squad for the upcoming 2019 50-over World Cup.
“I feel the PSL has been wonderful in developing talent,” said Arthur, as quoted by PakPassion. “The first edition of the PSL unearthed pacer Hasan Ali while the second edition brought to the limelight the talent of leggie Shadab Khan. I am hoping that PSL3 will unearth another two players for Pakistan and that will complete the jigsaw for our 2019 World Cup squad.”
Arthur, who is coaching Karachi Kings in the PSL, however had a few suggestions for the players who would want to become a part of the Pakistan national team in the future.
“What I would like the new players to be able to do are two things that will give them an opportunity to play for Pakistan,” he explained. “They cannot be good in just one discipline. So, if you are a bowler, you have got to be fielding properly. Similarly, if you are a batsman, you have to be good in the field as well. So, players that aren’t good in the field will have to battle very hard to get into the team as they won’t fit into the brand of cricket we are looking for.”
On Sarfraz’s captaincy
Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed is currently leading the national side in all three formats and the South African believes he will eventually need rest to ease off the pressure on him.
“I think he will be fine with captaining Pakistan in all formats,” he said. “He is a captain who leads by example, which is very good. What we have to do now is to manage Sarfraz through the tours so that when the going gets tough, we will need to try and find him a time where we can give him a little bit of a break. But, as I said, Sarfraz can handle captaincy in all three formats without a problem and go from strength to strength as a captain.”
On Misbah, Younus’s replacements
Pakistan only test in the longest format since the departure of veterans Misbahul Haq and Younus Khan has been the series against Sri Lanka, where they were whitewashed 2-0.
So it’s reasonable that when Pakistan do resume bilateral cricket after the PSL, questions over suitable replacements for the duo will once again present themselves and Arthur admits it is not easy to fill the duo’s shoes.
“It’s a fact that we need to find batsmen to replace Younus and Misbah but it's not that easy a task,” said Arthur. “We have Asad Shafiq and also Azhar Ali, but what we need now are more guys who can do the job for us in the same way that Misbah and Younus did. So, we need a dependable batsman to open for us as well as a good number three and someone to bat well at number four also.”
Arthur believes left-handed batsman Haris Sohail has the best chance of claiming one of those spots. “Haris made some great strides during the series against Sri Lanka. I have a lot of faith in his ability and I think he will come through exceptionally well in Test cricket.”