MANCHESTER: Pakistan Head Coach Mickey Arthur Saturday said that his team were capable of beating any side in the world provided they put together three disciplines (batting, bowling and fielding) together in a match.
During a pre-match press conference at the Old Trafford here Saturday, he said the management needed to give the players optimum space to perform in the match against India on Sunday, adding the dressing room was very comfortable and confident for India fixture.
On overpowering Indian top-order batsmen, he said If you can rattle Indian top-order with the new ball, you can create a lot of havoc in the lower order batting although they were a very strong side, adding Pakistan bowlers would try to do that tomorrow.
About any pressure, the Head Coach said the World Cup matches were all pressure games as these carried 2 points while a lot of pressure was created by the media, adding that the team was comfortable and excited about the opportunity tomorrow.
On plans, he said: “We have not put a perfect game together while the dressing room is very very confident, expressing the hope perhaps tomorrow is the time for a perfect game”.
When asked about the dressing room atmosphere, Mickey said there was immense amount of excitement in the dressing room for the kind of opportunity tomorrow offered to the young team, adding the careers of many might be defined by one moment of greatness tomorrow and the boys were upbeat to grab it.
On the fan-following of the Pak-India tie, he said he did not claim Pak-India was the biggest rivalry in sports, adding the statistics revealed that the Soccer World Cup attracted 1.6 billion viewers while some 1.5 billion viewers are expected to watch Pak-India match tomorrow.
He said the tomorrow’s Pak-India match provided a huge opportunity to the team Pakistan, adding it was an opportunity for the side to make their mark and see how did they want to be remembers in the annals of history.
About the team strategy for tomorrow’s match, Mickey Arthur said the pitch looked pretty brown and flat but the decision regarding the final eleven would be taken before the toss.
Defending the decision to play four fast bowlers in Taunton, he said Taunton pitch was green and moist and one would have been silly not to play four players and even the Australians did the same, adding he was not sure there was a lot of amount of moisture in the wicket at Old Trafford.
About previous team performances, Pakistan Head Coach said the team batted very well but we were found short a little in the bowling area against Australia, adding Pakistan had been very close in most games even in the series against England prior to this tournament.
On the ‘unpredictable team’ tag, he said he did not like when the commentators talked aout Pakistan being an unpredictable side, adding Pakistan were an exciting young team which had become well-structured.
About the preparations, he said the team was fully prepared for the tomorrow’s match, adding that they had done every things under their control but they had no control over the weather.
To a query, he said one should not forget that Pakistan is a young side with many young players and they augur well for the future of Pakistan cricket.
Defending Shoaib Malik, the Head Coach said Shoaib Malik had played more than 200 matches, adding the veteran all-rounder was not played in against West Indies, got batting in last three overs against England while he brings a lot to the dressing room.
He said Malik was an incredible team-man, adding Shoaib Malik and Muhammad Hafeez’s experience and skill would go a long way to help this young team tomorrow.