ABU DHABI: Pakistan are currently engaged in a 2-Test series against Sri Lanka. This will be their first series without Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan for years. Pakistan are in a position of strength after Day One of the first Test at Abu Dhabi. After the end of days play, coach Mickey Arthur, opened up in the media interaction about first days play, the importance of spin and the emergence of the likes of Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq and Babar Azam.
According to Indian Express, Arthur said: “I was disappointed that they took a little bit more of grass of the wicket than I wanted to take. No regrets of not going in with another spinner. I think we have gone in with what we think is our best attack. The ball got pretty soft and it didn’t reverse for us. All and all I would say we held us pretty well today. The two areas where I think we lacked a bit was probably the first six overs today and then the last eight of the day. The two booking parts of the day I felt we were very average and that was disappointing as that’s when we had the new ball. I think between that we did some good things and we managed to control the rate which gives us another crack tomorrow.
”I think there was enough there for Yasir to attack and he has done that. Yasir’s role in the first innings is just to hold for us. Today he became that striker because there was enough. We were good and okay through those periods of time. If we go bang-bang tomorrow morning then we can restrict them under 300 which is going to be good for us.”
Talking about the absence of Misbah and Younis, Arthur said, “You lose two fantastic players you will need some time but I’m confident we got the quality to make that transition fairly easy. If we have a look at our middle order now, I know Azhar Ali has had a phenomenal last year in Test cricket and been quite brilliant.
“Asad Shafiq is a very good player and so is Babar Azam. Those are the three guys I expect to fill the boots in terms of the runs. Between them we got the opening pair whom I’m hoping goes well. Sami Aslam has played well and Shan Masood is there in the whereabouts and he needs on innings to break through. Harris Sohail I think is a good player and we need to take our time with them and make them grow because Test cricket is tough.” Agencies