Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur has hinted at selecting leg-spinning all-rounder Shadab Khan ahead of leg-spinner Yasir Shah in the third and final Test against South Africa in Johannesburg.
Pakistan’s plans were hampered by injury to Shadab in the first two Tests and Sarfraz Ahmed‘s team ended up a bowler short in both Tests. Also, Yasir ended up bowling lesser overs than all seamers as the Tests did not go into the fifth day.
Having lost the series 2-0, coach Arthur said he is keen to have five bowlers with space for all-rounders Shadab and Faheem Asharf.
“If we go with the five bowlers – which is a strategy I really, really like in these conditions – it would give us two all-rounders and three out-and-out pacers. For that to work, we need Shadab at seven. And, he has come back to full fitness now. So, his return gives us option,” Arthur was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
“If everything’s equal at Johannesburg, I’d like to go with the five-bowler strategy. Because, Shadab and Faheem combine as the sixth batsman and it gives us five out-and-out bowlers – which is a luxury we needed at Cape Town.”
When asked specifically who will be picked first among Shadab and Yasir, Arthur said: “It will be Shadab because he is a genuine all-rounder. It allows us, like we did at Lord’s [last year], to have him at seven, Faheem at eight, and then three bowlers which can be any of the quicks or even Yasir if the we think the pitch is going to turn.”
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