Coach Arthur wary of “dangerous” Australia ahead of second Test
Australia coach Justin Langer (L) shakes hands with his counterpart Mickey Arthur. (Getty Image)

Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur believes that Australia’s revival in the first Test in Dubai has sparked a confidence that will make them a dangerous team to face in the second Test. Brushing aside the first-innings failure that saw them getting bowled out for 202 in reply to Pakistan’s 482, Australia, led by an inspiring 141 from Usman Khawaja, battled their way to escape with a draw as they finished the fifth and final day on 362 for eight.

The second Test starts in Abu Dhabi on October 16 and Arthur feels Australia will surely come hard at Pakistan with a view of taking the series 1-0.

“Of course, Australia will be dangerous after the fight they put up, no doubt about that,” said Arthur. “But I am confident that we are playing good enough cricket and we will come harder.”

“For me it was really disappointing that we did not cross the line,” he said. “But the good thing for us is that it has hurt the players as if we have lost and that for me is a good sign. It shows that the boys are getting mentally tough and maturing and do not settle for second best any more, and that culture we want to create is getting through to our players and we will be raring to go in the second Test.”

Arthur was equally impressed by Pakistan’s performance in the first Test. Mohammad Hafeez and Haris Sohail scored centuries in the first innings, after which debutant Bilal Asif took 6 for 36, and fast bowler Mohammad Abbas picking up 4 for 29. Formerly a coach of Australia, Arthur credited the resilience of Khawaja and skipper Tim Paine, who resisted to score unbeaten 61 and batted till the end to ensure Australia held on.

“We certainly got some good runs in the first innings, golden runs as there were some good knocks. We then bowled well in the first innings but not very good in the second innings on a fifth day pitch,” said Arthur.

“I think we have got to hand it to them, on a day five wicket with Yasir Shah and Abbas – two world class bowlers in your attack – we backed ourselves to win the Test. We can win nine times out of ten on a fifth day pitch, but Khawaja played exceptionally well, and Tim Paine played pretty well too and took away the game.”

Arthur also weighed in on Imam-Ul-Haq’s injury. The left-handed opener scored 76 and 48 before suffering a fractured finger that ruled him out of the second Test.

“Imam has been batting very well so it’s a loss,” said Arthur. “But that gives an opportunity to another player to show his talent.”