Mohammad Hafeez has been “brilliant” over the last few months: Mickey Arthur
While his T20I form has been brilliant, Mohammad Hafeez h

Pakistan’s coach Mickey Arthur has thrown his weight behind the veteran allrounder Mohammad Hafeez who on Tuesday survived the chop as the national selectors named an unchanged 15-man squad for the third and final Test against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi next week.

Since he scored a century on his return to Pakistan’s Test squad in October, Hafeez has tallied 66 runs in six innings. In the ongoing series with New Zealand, the 37-year-old opener has managed scores of 20, 10 and 9.

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His form in ODIs this year has also been patchy. Hafeez scored 1, 60, 0, 80 and 6 in the 0-5 loss in New Zealand in January and when recalled to the team to face the seam team in the UAE last month, he made 0, 27* and 19.

However, his form in T20Is – the format in which Pakistan are ranked No 1 – has been excellent: scores of 39, 40 and 32* in a 3-0 sweep of Pakistan in October and 45, 34* and 53* to be named Man of the Series as New Zealand were beaten 3-0 this month.

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Arthur, who has been with the Pakistan team since 2016, termed Hafeez’s contributions across formats as “brilliant”.

“I cannot speak more highly of Mohammad Hafeez’s comeback to the national side,” the 50-year-old told pakpassion.net. “He has been brilliant, and his performances have been excellent as well. He has been brilliant in the way he has worked and gone about his business and hopefully we will continue to see success for a while from him in the future. From a player who had been left out of the squad to a player who has comeback to win us games in the last few months in the UAE, his performances have been excellent. He has simply been superb in all departments of the game.”

Pakistan levelled the three-match series versus New Zealand with a convincing innings and 16 runs win in the second Test in Dubai on Tuesday.

Concerns over the legality of Hafeez’s action were raised in alarming manner by Ross Taylor during the first ODI when the batsman gestured towards New Zealand’s dressing room. Pakistan captain Sarfraz later slammed Taylor for his “disgraceful” action.