Pakistan decided to bench their key players for the upcoming series against Australia.
Dubai: Pakistan is gearing up to take on Australia in the five-match ODI series and Mickey Arthur, the coach of Pakistan has said that the team still has four spots up for grabs for the World Cup.
"We designed this series for our players for the simple fact that we want to test our best bench players. We know our major players for the World Cup. After this series, we go to England and we go there with a very settled squad and the roles will be defined. We want to know where the squad stands. We feel that we have done everything possible to be the best possible prepared team for the World Cup, International Cricket Council quoted Arthur as saying.
For us, it is not so much about Australia, this is about those positions for the World Cup and the opportunity created for a lot of players because, for us, we need to find who our players are for every position. If we could do that out of this series, then it would be good for us, he added.
Pakistan decided to bench their key players for the upcoming series against Australia and the coach believes that the series won't serve as a good chance for the youngsters to prove themselves. Sarfaraz Ahmed, the captain of Pakistan has also been rested for the series and Shoaib Malik will be leading the side in his absence.
"It is a new squad. This is a series of opportunities. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to work out that a few positions are available for the World Cup. There are probably four available. Inzamam-ul-Haq and I have discussed that. So, these young players need to raise their hands up and try to make those places their own. It’s an exciting time going into the World Cup," Arthur said.
The coach believes that Australia is a quality opposition and Pakistan cannot afford to take them lightly at any point.
"Australia is a fantastic side and they have bubbled away, they have gone through much-publicised crises and they seem to be playing some very good cricket at the moment,” said Arthur.
“To win the series [against India] from 0-2 down was a fantastic achievement. They have got some fine players, (Usman) Khawaja is in good nick, Pat Cummins is in good nick. They have some good young guys. I am sure they will rotate their players through the series as they also need their major players firing," he added.
Pakistan would look to change their fortunes in the ODI format and go into the World Cup with winning momentum.
Pakistan takes on Australia in the first ODI of the five-match series on Friday, March 22.