Junaid Khan's No-Ball Was a Genuine Mistake, Arthur
Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur insists Junaid Khan’s no-balls during the third ODI against Australia are not a trend but were a mistake.
"He's not such much of a serial offender," Arthur said during a press conference on Friday, cricket.com.au reported.
The coach, however, admitted the left-arm pacer’s untimely no-ball in Thursday’s Perth ODI cost the team dearly.
Australia should have been three down at 46 after debutant batsman Peter Handscomb was caught at slip in the 11th over off Junaid’s delivery, when his score was zero. Handscomb, however, was allowed a brand new life when replays showed Junaid had overstepped the mark.
Four overs later, Junaid bowled another no-ball and saw Handscomb get dropped at point.
Handscomb ended up making 82 as Australia comfortably chased 264 with seven wickets in hand.
Arthur admitted that Pakistan cannot afford to commit such simple errors if they are to have any chance of winning against the hosts.
"Junaid was battling into the Fremantle Doctor (breeze) a little bit, so that caused him to over stride. But it's still no excuse. We've got to be keeping our foot behind the line,” he said.
Pakistan, who are down 1-2 in the five-match ODI series, will play the fourth ODI at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday.
Arthur said he is confident captain Azhar Ali will be able to return to the side for the Sydney ODI after missing the last two matches due to a hamstring injury.
"He had a good hit (on Thursday), and ran between wickets with the pads on," Arthur said.
"He had a good field too. We're confident we'll get Azhar back for Sunday. It's a massive boost. It gives more solidarity to our top order. I'm looking forward to having him back."
The coach expressed hope that his side can still turn around the series and said he is looking to the spinners to play their role on Sydney’s slower wickets.
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