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

Waseem Ahmed 20:04 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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