With under four months to go for the World Cup in England, Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur has said the selectors and team management will look at the upcoming PSL and the ODI series against Australia before finalizing a squad of 15 for the global tournament. Pakistan play 10 ODIs before the World Cup – five against Australia in the UAE after the PSL and five in England in May – and Arthur said he and chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq had 19 players in mind and would want to have two game plans in place for the conditions in England during the summer.
“Inzi and I have been on the same page for a long while here. And I’m going to be honest because I’ve told the boys in the dressing room the same thing the other night,” Arthur said in Lahore after returning from South Africa. “I think we’ve got probably 19 players for 15 positions. PSL always throws up one or two good individual performers, so we are going to have a look at some of our borderline players, the guys that we are not sure about. We have to look at them during the Australian series and then we will make our minds up leading into England, obviously we will be taking 15 there. The key is players get clarity in terms of their roles and role clarity is particularly important.”
“The other thing that’s important for us is having an option with two game plans,” Arthur said. “I’m saying two game plans because the weather in England at any given time is very unpredictable, so we need an option where we have our spinners, who are able to suffocate through the middle [overs] because the key for us to win one-day games is about taking wickets through that middle period.
“Either we do that with two spinners or little bit of reverse-swing if the weather stays dry, or if the weather is wet over that period of time there we have to have an option of a seam-bowling allrounder who can come in and bat at No. 7 for us. So we’re very close, we’ve covered all our bases in terms of our personnel at the moment.”
Looking back at the South Africa tour, where Pakistan lost the Test series 3-0, ODIs 3-2 and T20Is 2-1, Arthur said he was proud of the way the team showed their “passion” and “intensity”.
“Our planning is done. We’ve got our schedules, we’ve got everything in place leading up to the World Cup. Myself, Inzamam and Sarfaraz [Ahmed] have been completely united in the process that we are going forward.”