KARACHI: Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur has said that it would be wrong to consider Australia a weak side despite a depleted squad for their upcoming tour of United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The Kangaroos will go into the series without former captain Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner. The duo is currently facing suspension for their part in the ball-tempering scandal which rocked the cricket world earlier this year in the series against South Africa.
They will not going to be the only major absentee for the visitors in the series, as fast bowlers Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood are nursing an injury. Even then, Arthur, who served as the coach of the Baggy Greens till 2013, feels visitors will do a good job in the series. “Australia are never weak,” said Arthur while talking to The Age. “I have been reading all that stuff but no Australian squad is weak.” Following that controversy, Australia visited England for a limited overs series, but faced humiliating against the home side.
On the other hand, the Men in Green are on an impressive run as they registered impressive results in the five-day format in Ireland and England, whereas also won the T20I tri-series and five-match ODI series in Zimbabwe. Speaking about Pakistan’s plans to tackle the Aussies, Arthur backed spinners to produce the goods in the series. “That’s not going to be any secret [that spin will be our main weapon]. Hopefully, we will get it to turn,” said Arthur. The 50-year-old was also disappointed about the fact that negotiations between PCB and Australian Darren Berry for the fielding coach role proved unfruitful.
Earlier Berry — who was part of Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchise Islamabad United coaching staff in the first and third edition of the league — was primed to replace fellow Australian Steve Rixon as Pakistan’ fielding coach after being recommended by Arthur himself. “I am looking at several people at the moment but I was really disappointed to have missed out on Darren because he would have been great,” he said.