The intense focus on high fitness standards under the coaching tenure of Mickey Arthur has set Pakistan on a new journey towards becoming one of the most athletic sides in the world. His zero tolerance policy towards lapses in the fitness benchmark has meant that even talented players, who lack the requisite vigor in the field, are sidelined as a result.
This strictness has attracted criticism from legendary leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed, who believes that fitness should not constitute the sole credential in selecting a worthy player for the squad. Giving the example of South Africa’s Hashim Amla, Mushtaq claimed that talent alone should be the criterion of selection.
“Players like Abid Ali and Muhammad Rizwan have the temperament, which is essential for big tournaments. Fitness tests are necessary but we must give some relaxation to our match-winners. As we can see Hashim Amla is the best batsman but he is not fully fit," he said recently.