Hafeez has been brilliant, and his performances have been excellent: Mickey Arthur
Hafeez was not picked in the squad for the high-voltage Asia Cup in the UAE in September.
Updated - Nov 28, 2018 3:47 pm
Months ago, Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur was reportedly not in favour of including experienced all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez in the team’s scheme of things for the World Cup in England next year. However, it’s changed times now and the South African coach has now thrown his weight behind the 38-year-old and he has made it to the Pakistan squad for the deciding Test against New Zealand starting in Abu Dhabi on December 3.
Hafeez, who made the headlines for his alleged tussle with the team management earlier this year and was not picked for the high-voltage Asia Cup in the UAE in September, returned to the national side only after the team’s debacle in the tournament. He scored a Tests century on his return against Australia but has managed just 60 runs in last five Test innings since that knock. He has scored just 39 runs in three innings in the ongoing series versus New Zealand. In the ODIs against New Zealand, too, he had an ordinary outing.
Hafeez has been more consistent in T20Is
Hafeez has been more consistent with the bat in the T20Is. He has been one of Pakistan’s key architects behind the No.1 side’s consecutive 3-0 wins over Australia and New Zealand in the 20-over series at home. He was also picked as the man of the series against the Black Caps after scoring 132 runs in three games with one fifty.
Arthur, however, certified Hafeez as a batsman whose contributions across formats have been “brilliant”. Speaking to pakpassion.net, the 50-year-old said: “I cannot speak more highly of Mohammad Hafeez’s comeback to the national side. He has been brilliant, and his performances have been excellent as well. He has been brilliant in the way he has worked and gone about his business and hopefully we will continue to see success for a while from him in the future.”
Pakistan made a thumping comeback to the Test series by winning the second match against New Zealand by an innings and 16 runs in Dubai on Tuesday. They had lost the first match by just four runs despite being in a strong position. Hafeez made the headlines during the series when Kiwi batsman Ross Taylor raised questions over the legality of the former’s bowling action towards the dressing room, earning a backlash from Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed.