Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur says the team management has made it clear to opener Mohammad Hafeez that his primary role in the team remains that of a batsman, even if he is allowed to bowl again.
Hafeez was banned by the International Cricket Council for 12 months after his bowling action was reported twice within one year.
“The new bowling coach worked with Hafeez for two days and we are confident that Hafeez is close to getting back to where he needs to be,” said Arthur. “He gives us the balance and an edge against left-handers. But we made it clear to him that for us, his batting remains a priority.”
The South African also demanded consistency from Misbahul Haq and co.
“We dissected Manchester and we want consistency,” he said. “We were outstanding at Lord’s but poor at Old Trafford. We want to become more consistent.”
When asked about leggie Yasir Shah’s failure to inspire the team in the second Test, Arthur said he still believes in the spinner’s ability.
“Yasir is a world class bowler and he can perform on any surface,” said Arthur. “He was bowling a little too quickly at Old Trafford.”
The 48-year-old said Pakistan have also prepared a plan for England captain Alastair Cook and middle-order batsman Joe Root. “We analysed our plans against Root and Cook and what we need to do against them [at Edgbaston].”
Veteran batsman Younus Khan had received a lot of flak for playing rash shots at Old Trafford, but Arthur thinks the veteran’s professionalism will earn him plaudits in the third Test.
“Younus works extremely hard on his game and is extremely professional,” he said. “He knows exactly what he is doing. He is ready and I hope he will get some reward in the next match.”
Moreover, Arthur also backed the Inzamamul Haq-led selection committee for not selecting opener Ahmed Shehzad and middle-order batsman Umar Akmal in ODI and T20 probables.
“Ahmed and Umar were dropped for the right reasons and I hope they can improve to show us that they still want to play with us,” said Arthur.