Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur promised his team will give their best to bounce back in the third ODI against Australia in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
The first two ODIs have been a walk in the park for the Aussies as they won both the encounters by eight wickets, chasing targets of 281 and 285 respectively.
Pakistan have rested several of their key players in the series. In addition to an inexperienced side, the form of bowlers has been a major worry for Pakistan, picking just four wickets across two games. The only positives have been Haris Sohail and Mohammad Rizwan, both of who scored centuries in first and second ODI respectively.
But Arthur confirmed there will be no debuts on Wednesday, meaning opener Abid Ali and middle-order batsman Saad Ali will have to wait. Usman Shinwari will replace Faheem Ashraf – who was rested from the final three matches – while Junaid Khan will come in place of Mohammad Abbas.
“We always get castigated for not trying new players and now we are getting castigated for giving opportunities to new players. I think people need to understand that we are a very passionate team,” said Arthur.
“Every time we go on to the field, we go there to win for Pakistan.”
Pakistan have handed ODI debuts to Shan Masood, Mohammad Abbas and Mohammad Hasnain in the first two games. Masood got 40 and 19 with the bat while Abbas returned with the figures of 1-44 and 0-38 in the two ODIs respectively. Mohammad Hasnain, who made his debut in the second ODI, gave away 54 runs in nine overs without a wicket.
“We have called this a tour of opportunities and it is so good to see this boys train and work hard. Yes, they are getting to that standards and they are not there yet. If we can get them there, then Pakistan cricket is going to see some good cricketers, in a good state.
“We will have new players ready to take over when other players are out of form or injured.”
Arthur said new players were doing their best.
“The guys that we have brought in here, their attitudes have been outstanding. I think we got to realise that we have players who are of the international level, the chaps that are here are very good cricketers and will become very good cricketers.
“The other guys have been in the tough system for two years and these guys are only making their way up.
“I’m talking about the likes Hasnain, Abid Ali and Saad Ali. These guys haven’t been in the environment like this before. Shan (Masood) has been in and out of the ODI side, Umar Akmal is back and (Mohammad) Rizwan has also been in and out.
“We are trying to increase the depth of Pakistan cricket.”
Meanwhile, Australia are on a roll after defeating India 3-2 and are leading this series 2-0. They now have five ODI wins on the trot and will be looking to add one more to the streak to seal the series against Pakistan.
Aaron Finch has struck form with back-to-back centuries in the two ODIs, just in time before the World Cup. He hit 116 in the first ODI to help Australia chase down 281 on Friday before striking an unbeaten 153, his highest ODI score, to take Australia home in the 285-run chase on Sunday. Meanwhile, Shaun Marsh and Usman Khawaja have also done well.
But the visitors will be forced to make their first change of the series after Jhye Richardson dislocated his shoulder on Sunday and has since returned home. Pat Cummins, who took 14 wickets in India, will be an automatic choice to replace Richardson. Australia are unlikely to make any other change.
Pakistan: L, L, L, W, L
Australia: W, W, W, W, W
Imam-ul-Haq, Shan Masood, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Umar Akmal, Shoaib Malik (c), Imad Wasim, Junaid Khan, Usman Shinwari, Mohammad Hasnain, Yasir Shah
Aaron Finch (c), Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Nathan Lyon, Adam Zampa