Series defeat in South Africa a reality check, reckons Mickey Arthur

Series defeat in South Africa a reality check, reckons Mickey Arthur

Pakistan will be hoping their fortunes change when they take on the high-flying Proteas in the upcoming five-match ODI series.

Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur and captain Sarfraz Ahmed
Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur and captain Sarfraz Ahmed attend a press conference. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

In the wake of the dismal show in the recently-concluded Test series against South Africa, Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur is hopeful the 0-3 loss will serve as a reality check for Sarfraz Ahmed & Co. The Proteas won the third Test by 107 runs on Monday to complete a whitewash. The series has also extended Pakistan’s recent woes in the longest format of the game. In their last six Test series, they have managed to win just two with one coming against Ireland and the other against a touring Australian side.

The Asian team had traveled to South Africa after losing the home series 2-1 to New Zealand. In the process, they lost against New Zealand at home for the first time in 49 years and they did little in South Africa to show that the defeat was a one-off. In conditions that were perfectly suited for fast-bowlers, South Africa were all over Pakistan. Batting failure was once again Pakistan’s Achilles heels. In six innings, the visitors could cross the 200-run mark only twice, a stats that pretty much sums up their struggle with the bat.

On Monday, Pakistan resumed their innings on a promising 153 for 3 in pursuit of an improbable 381. However, they lost their remaining seven wickets for 120 runs to be bowled out for 273. Duanne Olivier, Pakistan’s bogeyman in the series, all but ended the visitors’ hopes when he took two wickets off successive balls in the third over of the morning, dismissing Babar Azam and skipper Sarfraz. Pakistan never recovered from the setbacks and were eventually all out for 273.

Speaking after the game, Arthur said the series is a wake-up call for the side before expressing his disappointment over the team not being able to capitalize on the chances. At the same time, he took nothing away from the hosts for their victory.

“It obviously is (a reality check),” he said. “I am extremely disappointed. We’ve had our moments and we did not take them. Having said that, South Africa were outstanding. Their bowling kept coming at us and one thing I know that was going to be tested was our young batting group. There are a lot of positives in that department.

Arthur blames batsmen

The former South Africa and Australia head coach further said that the coaches have nothing to do with Pakistan’s dismal show and instead blamed the batsmen for the team’s miseries. “Leave the coaches alone. The amount of work that Grant Flower puts in with these batsmen, it would be harsh (to blame him),” said Arthur.

“Certainly, the batsmen need to analyze their batting technique. There’s a reason why no subcontinent team has never won in South Africa. Simply because the Asian guys here stay leg side of the ball which sees them get out to short-pitched balls. They need to be at the off side of the ball. We have got to develop a game-plan around those batting techniques. To a certain extent, we scored. But, there’s a lot of work that has to be done,” he added.

Pakistan will be hoping their fortunes change when they take on the high-flying Proteas in the upcoming five-match ODI series.

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