Asia Cup 2018: Mickey Arthur unimpressed by Pakistan's batting and bowling in India defeat

Waseem Ahmed 20/09/2018
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The Pakistan coach has not minced his words following the defeat.

Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur was not a happy man following his side’s comprehensive eight-wicket loss to India in the Asia Cup on Wednesday.

Pakistan were bowled out for just 162 runs in the final Group A clash before India notched up the target with 21 overs to spare in the end.

Following the loss, Arthur expressed his unhappiness at the manner of dismissals of skipper Sarfraz Ahmed and opener Imam-ul-Haq.

“(For) Imam, it’s not his role to be running down the ground to Bhuvneshwar in the third over. It’s not Sarfy’s (Sarfraz’s) role to be hitting over the top and getting caught out there. We’ve got X-factor guys whose role it is to do that. If Fakhar (Zaman) gets out playing that way, it’s okay. If Asif (Ali) gets out like that it’s okay, because that’s his role. But the other four batsmen certainly need to take responsibility,” Arthur said.

“I just thought we were soft – 158 dot balls out of 258 played, is not good enough. It was just about taking responsibility tonight and we sort of batted outside our roles, which was very disappointing,” the South African added.

While the batting was far below expectations for Arthur, the bowling performance did not fill him with any confidence either.

Arthur was not happy with the manner of Imam's dismissal.

Arthur was not happy with the manner of Imam’s dismissal.

“On a wicket like that, you need to strike really early if you’re going to defend it. We didn’t strike early enough. But, saying that, we went away from our plans too quickly. We said that our batters batted outside our roles and that wasn’t acceptable. With our bowling, we went outside our plans far too quickly. We wanted to bowl hard lengths, hit the top of off stump. It was tough to score then,” said the 50-year-old.

“I think there was a bit of panic when they didn’t strike early. We panicked and went away from our plans. We’re going to sit down and talk about that. It’s not good enough. Not acceptable.”

The meeting was the first of three potential Pakistan-India clashes in this year’s Asia Cup. The two sides will meet again in the Super Four stage with a potential final on the cards too. According to Arthur, Wednesday’s defeat should have no bearing on Pakistan’s upcoming matches against their arch-rivals.

“Whenever we go head-to-head with India I am comfortable that we’ve got a dressing room of players who can stand up to it. I am comfortable we’ve got a dressing room of players who, on any given day, can win. So I still think it’s a 50-50. Lucky this game was inconsequential in the tournament,” he concluded.

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Asia Cup 2018: No rest for Bangladesh while India deal with injuries

Ashish Peter 20/09/2018
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India have been rocked by injuries big time.

After a morale-boosting win against their arch-rivals Pakistan, India will open their Super Four campaign in the Asia Cup on Friday when they take on Bangladesh in Dubai.

With Sri Lanka and Hong Kong knocked out following the culmination of the group stage, four teams remain in contention for the continent’s top crown.

With no rooms for error left for the remaining four teams anymore, we look at the talking points ahead of the Super Four opener.

INJURIES ROCK INDIA

India might have kept a perfect slate in the group stages with two wins out of two against Hong Kong and Pakistan, but it has come at a big cost. Already without the services of their talismanic skipper Virat Kohli for the tournament, India have now lost Hardik Pandya, Shardul Thakur and Axar Patel to injuries.

The three injured players have been replaced by Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar and Siddarth Kaul who flew to Dubai on Thursday to join the team. While Thakur and Patel did not feature in India’s win over Pakistan on Wednesday, Pandya did and his replacement Jadeja will be expected to get match ready just one day into his arrival at Dubai.

It will be interesting to see how Rohit Sharma and his men deal with these late and unexpected upheavals on Friday against the Tigers.

India have lost the services of all-rounder Hardik Pandya.

India have lost the services of all-rounder Hardik Pandya.

NO REST FOR THE TIGERS

While India have to deal with the late change in personnel, Bangladesh have a headache of their own. Less than 24 hours after taking on Afghanistan at Abu Dhabi in their final group clash, Mashrafe Mortaza and his men will have to take the field against India at Dubai.

While the travel time between the two cities is not much, it will still be an arduous task for the Tigers given the lack of down time between the two matches. It is no wonder then that Mortaza has slammed the scheduling of the tournament, especially with regards to India having the luxury of playing all their Super Four games at Dubai.

What’s more, the Tigers fielded a strong playing XI against Afghanistan on Thursday despite the game being a dead rubber. Only two players – Mushfiqur Rahim and Mustafizur Rahman – were granted a rest and that decision could backfire for the side given the heat and humidity currently prevailing over the UAE at the moment.

Mushifiqur is among only two Bangladesh players who have been rested.

Mushifiqur is among only two Bangladesh players who have been rested.

CHANCE FOR BANGLADESH TO AVENGE NIDAHAS LOSS

The last time these two teams met, Dinesh Karthik’s last-ball six broke Bangla hearts and clinched the Nidahas T20 tri-series for India at Colombo in March this year. The two teams have been fairly well matched in the ODI format in recent times with India going on to win three of the last five encounters while Bangladesh have triumphed twice.

The last ODI meeting between the two sides came in the ICC Champions Trophy in England last year with India prevailing handsomely by nine wickets at Birmingham.

India are the No2 ranked ODI outfit in the world currently while the Tigers have improved significantly in limited-overs cricket over the past few years. Bangladesh recently triumphed in the away ODI series against the West Indies and were mighty impressive in their group stage win over Sri Lanka. As such, it will not be an easy task for Rohit’s men who were highly unconvincing in their win over Hong Kong.

EXPECTED TEAMS

BANGLADESH: Liton Das, Mominul Haque, Shakib Al Hasan, Mohammad Mithun, Mushfique Rahim (wk), Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain, Mehidy Hasan, Mashrafe Mortaza (c), Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman.

INDIA: Rohit Sharma (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah.

VENUE: Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai

TIME: 15:30 GST

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Asia Cup 2018: Ravindra Jadeja returns to India ODI squad after three players are ruled out

Sudhir Gupta 20/09/2018
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Jadeja has replaced the injured Hardik Pandya in the squad.

It seems like playing two back-to-back matches in the Asia Cup has taken its toll on India, with Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel and Shardul Thakur being ruled out of the competition due to various injuries.

The trio have been replaced by Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar and Siddarth Kaul. All-rounder Pandya was ruled out of the tournament after sustaining an acute back injury during India’s win over arch-rivals Pakistan on Wednesday.

Pandya had to be stretchered off the field after going down in a heap while bowling. His place has been taken by Jadeja, who put in a good individual display in the final Test against England earlier this month.

Spinner Patel also sustained an injury in the same match while fielding and scans have revealed that he has a torn tendon in his bowling-arm index finger.

Pacer Thakur complained of soreness in his right hip and groin after India’s 26-run win over Hong Kong on Tuesday.

The three replacement players are expected to fly in to Dubai on Thursday and this late upheaval will pose a test for the team management given India begin their Super Four-campaign against Bangladesh on Friday.

Test stalwarts Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin have been out of favour in the limited-overs setup for some time now with India persisting with wrist-spinners like Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, while Axar provides the finger-spin option.

For Jadeja, it will be a chance to play in his first ODI match for India since February last year when he took the field against the West Indies at Kingston.

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