Arthur backs Pakistan to mount World Cup challenge

By Sports Desk April 22, 2019

Mickey Arthur believes Pakistan can "go all the way" in the Cricket World Cup despite their one-day international slump.

Pakistan were whitewashed 5-0 by Australia in the United Arab Emirates following a 3-2 series defeat to South Africa.

There are also concerns that leg-spinner Shadab Khan could miss the World Cup after he was ruled out of the ODI series against England next month due to a virus.

Yet coach Arthur feels Pakistan can achieve more glory in England and Wales, two years after winning the ICC Champions Trophy.

Speaking at a news conference before Pakistan's departure for England, Arthur said: "We leave very, very well prepared.

"We leave with a team that has both the talent and attitude to be successful. Our preparation over here has been outstanding, and our preparation leading into the World Cup is brilliant with a series against the world number one side in their own conditions.

"That will give us an opportunity to test ourselves and to test our combination, and to head to the World Cup with a lot of confidence. We know if we play to our potential, we have the ability to go all the way."

Arthur has challenged Yasir Shah – who was not included in the World Cup squad – to grasp his opportunity to face England in the absence of Shadab.

"We wanted a wrist spinner [for the England series]," Arthur said. "Wrist spinners are in vogue in cricket at the moment, all teams have good wrist spinners.

"The key for Yasir is to challenge both edges. If Yasir's challenging both inside and outside edges of the bat, he becomes a different beast. If he only challenges the outside edge, players can line him up and hit him one side of the ground.

"That means he has to bowl his googly more often. In the UAE, the wickets were especially flat and didn't turn. If we get on a wicket that just grips a little bit, Yasir is a bowler we still feel can be a weapon for us. But time will tell on whether we decide to pick him for the final World Cup squad."

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