We need to be tougher in the crucial moments, says Mickey Arthur after series loss against Kiwis
Another tough test now awaits Pakistan as they are set to tour South Africa.
Updated - Dec 8, 2018 7:03 pm
Pakistan’s fortunes in Test cricket have been getting worse with every passing series. Not very long ago, the UAE, their adopted home, was nothing less than a fortress for Pakistan in Tests. Almost every team that toured UAE ended up on the losing side. But the last two years have changed almost everything. In fact, Pakistan have alarmingly lost 4 of the last seven Tests and two series in two seasons in UAE.
The latest defeat came against New Zealand which also fired the visitors to their first away Test series win over Pakistan in 49 years. New Zealand’s knack of upsetting the opposition was in full swing in the UAE as Kane Williamson & Co. won the first and third Test to cap off a remarkable year for themselves. The visitors had won the first Test before Pakistan won the following to level the series. But New Zealand bounced back in style in the series-decider, thrashing their fancied opponents by 123 runs to bag the series.
As far as Pakistan is concerned, inexplicable batting collapse was once again the reason behind yet another dismal batting show in the longest format of the game. They did well with the ball by bowling out the tourists for a modest 274 and they looked primed to take a sizeable lead when the scoreboard read 286 for 3. However, they lost their last 7 wickets for just 62 runs to hand New Zealand the moment.
In the fourth innings, Pakistan had to chase down 280 on the final day. However, they suffered yet another collapse right at the start which pretty much ended their hopes of saving the game. Half of the side was back in the hut for just 55 before the team was all out for 156.
Mickey Arthur rues missed opportunities
Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur expressed his disappointment over his side’s latest debacle in Tests. The former South Africa and Australia coach rued that his team failed to capitalise on the opportunities in the first and the third Test.
“We missed opportunities and despite winning most of the sessions in the two losses we could not grab the moments to force a win,” Pakistan coach Arthur was quoted as saying on TOI. “It was our series to win but we ended up as the losing side and that’s highly disappointing.”
He further said Pakistan not gaining big leads in the first and third Tests was something they need to look at. “We have to have a look at our batting on the last day and that is tough in the UAE,” said Arthur. The coach, however, is confident that the players would bounce back.
“The quality is there as they are the best players in Pakistan who are working very very hard and I back them to the hilt,” said Arthur. “But we need to be tougher in the crucial moments and that comes to us grabbing moments and being tough and we could not do this in this series which is disappointing.”
Another tough test now awaits Pakistan as they are set to tour South Africa. The first of three Tests starts in Centurion from December 26.