Asia Cup 2018: Mickey Arthur feels Pakistan are suffering from a 'confidence crisis'

Asia Cup 2018: Mickey Arthur feels Pakistan are suffering from a ‘confidence crisis’

Pakistan suffered two humiliating defeats against India.

Mickey Arthur
Pakistan coach Micky Arthur. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur feels his side is suffering from a ‘confidence crisis’ in the ongoing edition of the Asia Cup hosted by the UAE. Although Pakistan were favourites going into the tournament, the Men in Green haven’t been at their best of late. They kicked off their Asia Cup campaign with a convincing win over Hong Kong, but have since lost to India on two occasions, and narrowly won against Afghanistan.

On Sunday, Pakistan took on India for the second time in this year’s Asia Cup. But like the first encounter, it was a one-sided affair as Rohit Sharma’men trotted to a comfortable victory. Winning the toss, Sarfraz Ahmed once again elected to bat first. However, lack of partnerships upfront meant his team found it hard to keep the scoreboard ticking.

It took veteran Shoaib Malik and Sarfraz himself to stitch together a valuable century-stand to bring their team back into the game. But Pakistan eventually ended with just 237 runs on the board with Jasprit Bumrah doing the bulk of the damage in the death overs.

India’s openers almost won them the game, both scoring centuries against what seemed like a lacklustre Pakistan bowling line-up. The coach Mickey Arthur wasn’t pleased with the overall performance and felt it’s high time his side pulled its act together.

We will get better and stronger

“They’re suffering a confidence crisis at the moment, there’s a little bit of fear of failure in the dressing room, there’s a bit of a reality check for exactly where we are as a cricket team,” Arthur told reporters in the post-match press conference. “In terms of the worst performance, nine wickets, it’s got to be up there but we’re on a journey, we’ll get better and stronger than this.

“It’s a confidence thing. Certainly, in terms of the amount of work these guys have put in, it’s second to none. These guys work every day on their catching, but the minute one goes down, it’s kind of like a disease. It catches off and catches on. It takes one good catch, one good innings or a five-for to turn it around and we will get the confidence back then. We’ve got to trust the skills to come out in the end. We’ve banked the work. It’s time for that to pay off,” he added.

Pakistan will next take on Bangladesh in a virtual semi-final, the winner of which will meet India in the final on Friday. Mickey Arthur, however, feels that the pressure of a do-or-die match will help Pakistan put up a better performance. “That’s when we’re at our best, that’s when Pakistan come to the party,” he concluded with a ray of hope.

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