Arthur slams Wahab's 'work ethic' | cricketnetwork.com

Arthur slams Wahab's 'work ethic'

13 April 2018

Following his omission from Ireland and England Test squad, Pakistan quick receives some sharp feedback from national coach

Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur has delivered a pointed message to paceman Wahab Riaz, questioning his work ethic and suggesting he's fallen short of expectations over the past two years.

Wahab shot to prominence at the 2015 World Cup after a hostile spell against Australia that sparked a memorable battle with Shane Watson, but now finds himself on the outer of the national side as Pakistan gear up for Tests against Ireland and England in the coming months.

'15 World Cup: Wahab's magnificent spell

Over the past two years, only leg-spinner Yasir Shah and fellow quick Mohammad Amir have taken more Test wickets for Pakistan than Wahab, whose bowling average (32.85) and strike-rate (55.3) trumps both those of those bowlers.

But after the 32-year-old was left out of Pakistan's initial 25-player squad for their Tests on the British Isles, Arthur declared he expects better.

"He has not won us a game in two years," Arthur told ESPN. "I expect players that have been around for a long time to be winning us games and setting standards. 

"Otherwise we will invest in younger players who have long futures. We have good youngsters around. 

"(Dropping) Wahab is a big decision but we have chosen a squad according to the time of year, country and conditions. The guys need to push themselves and get out of their comfort zones."

2016: Wahab wows with sizzling reverse-swing spell

With Pakistan set to host Australia later this year in the UAE, Wahab's Test squad omission – combined with Arthur's parting shot – paints a bleak picture for his international future.

The left-armer was Pakistan's leading wicket-taker on their 2016-17 three-Test tour of Australia and collected five scalps in their most recent Test in October, a 68-run defeat to Sri Lanka in Dubai.

An astonishing period of play in that Test though left Arthur visibly exasperated when Wahab suffered a bizarre case of the yips during a spell on day two.

Wahab's run-up 'yips' leave Pakistan perplexed

Wahab pulled out of his run-up five times in a row and took nearly five minutes to bowl the fifth ball of the 111th over of Sri Lanka's first innings.

On the white-ball front, he has not played a limited-overs game for Pakistan since conceding 0-87 from 8.4 overs against rivals India in their Champions Trophy group-stage clash (who they would later defeat in the final) and subsequently suffering a tournament-ending ankle injury.

"I cannot fault Wahab when he has a ball in his hand but his work ethic around training is something needs to be looked at," Arthur said. 

"I am changing the culture in this Pakistan environment and I am not interested in players doing just the bare minimum. I want players winning us games of cricket and pushing themselves to be the best they can be. 

"This is a high-performance environment, not a environment where mediocrity is accepted. Unless you are winning games consistently, you are under pressure for your position."

Pakistan will also be without Yasir for their upcoming Test series, after the star leggie was ruled out with a hip injury.

Arthur's side travel to Dublin for Ireland's historic inaugural Test match beginning May 11 before hopping over to the United Kingdom for Tests against England at Lord's from May 24 and then at Headingley from June 1.

Pakistan will also face off against Australia in a T20 tri-series in Zimbabwe in July.

Pakistan's initial squad for Ireland and England Tests: Sarfraz Ahmed, Azhar Ali, Sami Aslam, Haris Sohail, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Usman Salahuddin, Fawad Alam, Saad Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Bilal Asif, Mohammad Asghar, Shadab Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Abbas, Hasan Ali, Rahat Ali, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Rizwan, Faheem Ashraf, Hussain Talat, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Musa Khan