Pakistan’s head coach, Mickey Arthur has all praise for the returning Umar Akmal for his improved discipline and for the way he has prepared to make a comeback into the national side.
Umar Akmal put up an inspiring show with the bat during the fourth season of the Pakistan Super League, playing for the champions Quetta Gladiators, which paved way for his national call.
He played a courageous inning of 49 runs in the first ODI, while he contributed 16 runs in the second ODI of the series against Australia in the UAE.
“Discipline-wise, there is a change, definitely,” said Mickey Arthur. “I can’t sit here and fault as the way he has come into the team. The way he has prepared, he has been very good. He has done a good job while being in this environment. He knows the standings are to be in this environment to be in contention for a berth going forward. I can’t fault his attitude.”
Arthur stated that Akmal has to pass a fitness test to be eligible for a World Cup spot. It is important to mention here that a week before Champions Trophy 2017, which Pakistan won, he was pulled out of the squad on fitness grounds.
“The fitness has got better but has work to do in fitness. The fitness test is on 14 April and to be eligible to go for the World Cup, you need to pass that fitness test,” he added.
Moreover, the head coach expressed his concerns over the left-arm pacer, Mohammad Amir’s lack of form, but he backed the 26-year-old for his skills.
“Yes, Amir’s form is a worry and nobody is more worried than Amir,” said Arthur. “I still think he is an incredibly skilled bowler and has all the attributes to be successful. He has got a big match temperament and we will see how we use him going forward.”
The multi-nation cricket tournament will be played from May 30th to July 14th in England, where Australia will defend their title against nine other teams.