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Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur has revealed that all-rounder Faheem Ashraf was snubbed for the first two Tests against South Africa as he isn’t a good enough batsman.
Arthur admitted that he was concerned about Pakistan’s tail being too long if Faheem had been selected, and thus opted to overlook him.
“I am a big fan of the five-bowler strategy,” Arthur told ESPNcricinfo as quoted by the Business Recorder. “It gives us the added option of providing our frontline seamers with a rest while still maintaining control of the innings. But to do that, we need a fully fit Shadab Khan, who is a genuine all-rounder. With Faheem batting at seven, we feared the tail would be just a bit too long.”
While Arthur is confident that Faheem will develop into a useful all-rounder, he currently feels that the 24-year-old isn’t the solution to Pakistan’s predicament of getting more runs on the board.
“In what are very challenging conditions, we need runs on the board, and we weren’t confident that if we played Faheem at seven, followed by four bowlers, we were giving ourselves the best chance of making enough runs,” Arthur said.
Faheem has featured in three Tests thus far and scored 123 runs at an average of 30.75. He has also taken five wickets at an average of 37.60.