2017 ICC Champions Trophy: Total Insult To Say We’re Playing Even Worse – Mickey Arthur
Pakistan’s poor start to the Champions Trophy has brought the players under heat. The performances against India in the much talked about ‘clash of the tournament’ at Edgbaston was very below par.
Naturally, there has been criticism but head coach Mickey Arthur hasn’t let his team deal with it all alone. Speaking after the game, he defended his players and stated that it was an “insult” to suggest that the squad had regressed under him.
“That’s a total insult to say we’re playing even worse,” said the 49-year-old South African, who took on the role a little more than a year ago, after his team succumbed meekly at a packed Edgbaston ground.
There was a huge bridge between India and Pakistan on the match day. The rain interrupted game was comfortably won by India by a margin of 124 runs. Such a lop sided game was least expected despite Pakistan entering the contest as the No.8 ranked team as opposed to world no. 2, India.
The rivalry and the emotion factor was expected to drive the momentum for Pakistan. Unfortunately, nothing went their way.
“If you have a look at our records over the last year we’ve won two series. We’ve got ourselves from nine to number eight (in the ODI rankings) and our brand of cricket has changed.”
The only thing that went Pakistan’s way was the toss. However, they failed to capitalise on that opportunity too, as skipper Sarfaraz chose to bowl first. Soon, everyone witnessed the Men in Green drop catches, make poor tactical decisions, misfields and batting incompetency.
“We had a poor game,” the former South Africa and Australia coach added. “But we’re obviously trying our best and we’re trying to change it.”
The fitness of two of the lead bowlers also came under the spotlight, as Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz, both struggled with cramps. While Amir managed to somehow complete his quota, Riaz was left nursing his niggle and could not even come out to bat.
“I don’t know why they’re cramping,” Arthur said. “That’s something that I need to take up with the medical team.”
Pakistan will play South Africa in their next Group B match at the same venue on Wednesday.
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