Panicked and didn't stick to plans: Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur after defeat against India

Panicked and didn’t stick to plans: Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur after defeat against India

Pakistan lost the Asia Cup game by 8 wickets against India on Wednesday.

Pakistan Mickey Arthur
Pakistan. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur was disappointed to see his batsmen fold against India in their Asia Cup clash in Dubai on Wednesday. Pakistan, playing in the UAE which is their adopted home, were favourites to win against the arch-rivals. Electing to bat first on a batting-friendly track, Pakistan lost early wickets and failed to build partnerships. They were bundled out for a meagre 162, which India chased down comfortably with 21 overs to spare.

There was much talk about the India-Pakistan game since their last meeting in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy, in which Pakistan thumped India by 180 runs to lift the coveted trophy for the first time. Due to political issues, the two teams only meet during ICC tournaments, or the Asia Cup.

Mickey Arthur was particularly disappointed by Pakistan’s batting. Indian pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar sent the Pakistani openers back into the hut with his opening spell, reducing the Men in Green to 3 for 2. Although Babar Azam and veteran Shoaib Malik pulled things back to a certain extent, India’s spinners came into the attack and made an immediate impact. Pakistan’s middle-order batsmen weren’t able to stay at the crease and they eventually ended the innings with 162 on the board.

Batted outside our roles: Arthur

“We sort of batted outside our roles, which was very disappointing,” said Arthur. “Imam-ul-Haq, it’s not his role to be running down to Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the third over. It’s not Sarfraz’s (Ahmed) 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 OK. If Asif (Ali) gets out like that, it’s OK, because that’s his role. But the other four batsmen certainly need to take responsibility.

“(It was) the pressure that told on Imam. As I said, out of his role, he had two off eight balls or whatever, but Fakhar had just faced a maiden. He tried to have a go, he tried to hit the ball that’s not in his area. I do think there was a little bit of pressure,” he added.

Although Pakistan had a strong line-up of seamers as well as spinner Shadab Khan, India’s openers got off to a flying start. Skipper Rohit Sharma batted with a sense of urgency, reaching his 50 in just 36 balls. India lost its openers in quick succession, but Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik saw the Men in Blue through without any further hiccups.

“India played better than us today. They put us under pressure for longer periods of time,” Mickey Arthur said. Both sides will play each other once again in the Super 4 phase of the tournament on Sunday.

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