Mickey Arthur backs Sarfaraz Ahmed after whitewash against South Africa

Mickey Arthur backs Sarfaraz Ahmed after whitewash against South Africa

"I thought his wicketkeeping has been outstanding."

Sarfraz Ahmed
Sarfraz Ahmed. (Photo by Shaun Roy/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

It was not long ago that Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur reportedly had a sour encounter with captain Sarfaraz Ahmed after the Asian side met consecutive batting collapse in the first Test of the just-concluded series in Centurion. However, the coach seemed to have prioritised patience over anger and has vowed to find a solution to Pakistan’s problems against fast and short-pitched bowling.

Ahmed’s side lost the three-match series against South Africa 0-3 after losing the final game by 107 runs in Johannesburg on Monday. It is the second successive 3-0 loss that South Africa have secured over Pakistan in a home Test series after 2012-13.

Arthur, who was upset with Pakistan’s batting show at the beginning of the series, said he wanted to build a team which is capable of playing in all conditions by the time the World Test Championship arrives in September. Pakistan are currently ranked seventh in the ICC’s Test rankings. They lost two of their latest Test series’ – 1-2 to New Zealand in the UAE before the drubbing in South Africa.

‘Need to have skill sets to manage bouncing call’

“We play Sri Lanka in the United Arab Emirates in September then we play Australia in Australia straight after that. We have to have our skill sets perfect to manage the bouncing ball. I want to get our batsmen into Australia three or four weeks early, to have camps there to get them ready,” South Africa-born Mickey Arthur was quoted as saying by Pakistan’s The News International.

Pakistan required 228 runs to win when they resumed batting on Day 4 in the third Test on 153 for 3. But they lost two wickets in successive deliveries in the just the third over of the day and lost their remaining 7 wickets for just 120 runs to get bowled out for 273 at lunch and lose the series 0-3.

Arthur took to finding the positives and singled out players like Babar Azam, Shan Masood and Asad Shafiq who batted well in the series and backed Ahmed, whose captaincy came under intense scrutiny from the media.

“This question always arises at the end of a series. Sarfraz goes from strength to strength. He wants to lead from the front. I thought his wicketkeeping has been outstanding. What we need is to get a good core of leaders around him. If we can do that he´ll go from strength to strength,” Mickey Arthur mentioned.

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