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Pakistan hints Iftikhar inclusion for Oval Test

OVAL: Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur has given a hint on all-rounder Iftikhar Ahmed’s inclusion for the final Test against England at Oval.

While speaking to media today (Tuesday), Arthur hinted that Iftikhar Ahmed, who bowls offspin, could come into consideration.

“Yes, he is an option,” Arthur said. “He bowls offspin and decently, England have a lot of left handers so he does give us an option as a fifth bowler if he comes in. But we have to be dead certain he can come into our top six and get runs, because we’ll be asking for runs first and bowling second.”

If Iftikhar was to come in for his Test debut it would be Hafeez who would likely make way after his twin failures at Edgbaston, completed with an horrendous shot in the second innings when he pulled to long leg. That would probably entail Azhar Ali being promoted to open alongside Sami Aslam, ESPNcricinfo reported.

Arthur even floated the notion of a fifth specialist bowler, calling it the “very positive option”, but it is hard to see that happening with the length of tail Pakistan already have and which England exploited twice at Edgbaston.