Mickey Arthur breaks silence after disgraceful defeat from India in Asia Cup 2018
DUBAI: Mickey Arthur, the Pakistan coach, rued the fact that his batsmen played out of character against India in the Asia Cup game, and said they needed to take more responsibility.
After all the build-up, the India-Pakistan game ended up being a one-sided affair, with India dominating proceedings in Dubai on Wednesday, 19 September. They first bundled Pakistan for 162 in 43.1 overs, and then chased that down in 29 overs, with Rohit Sharma, the captain, scoring a 39-ball 52.
More than the result, it was the batting that disappointed Arthur. After opting to bat, Pakistan were reduced to 3/2, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar sending back the openers within five overs. That put quite a bit of pressure on the middle order early, and they couldn’t really fight back.
“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.”
Such is the strength of Pakistan’s bowling attack that there remained hope that they could yet defend that total. However, Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan (46 off 54) absorbed the pressure and ensured there were no early wickets.