India vs Pakistan (Image: Debasis Sen)
After the crushing seven-wicket defeat to India at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, Mickey Arthur, Pakistan’s team director, bemoaned a ‘timid’ performance, and also took issue with the partisan atmosphere inside the ground, bizarrely pointing out the DJ’s choice of tunes.
“Look, I’d be lying if I said it did not (affect us),” said Arthur of a near-capacity crowd that was a heaving sea of blue. “It didn’t seem like an ICC event to be brutally honest. It seemed like a bilateral series. It seemed like a BCCI event. I didn’t hear Dil Dil Pakistan coming through the microphones too often tonight.
“That does play a role, but I’m not going to use that as an excuse, because for us it was about living the moment. It was about the next ball, and it was about how we were going to combat the Indian players tonight.”
From a positive of relative strength at 155-2, Pakistani collapsed to 191 all out, losing their last eight wickets in the space of 80 balls. Even earlier, though, they never dominated the Indian attack on what looked like a placid pitch. “I would have liked us to really take the game on just a little bit more,” admitted Arthur.
The talk of India’s stranglehold over Pakistan in World Cups – they have now won all eight such contests dating back to 1992 – was mostly a media creation, insisted Arthur, who said: “We approach every game thinking we’re going to win it.”
He called the Rohit Sharma-led side a “very, very good cricket team”, and remained hopeful that his players were capable of meeting them again in the final on November 19.
And while concerns remained over the bowling form of Shaheen Shah Afridi and Shadab Khan, two vital cogs in Pakistan’s rise up the rankings, Arthur wasn’t about to criticise either in public. “The key for us now is getting our players to remain calm,” he said, with a game against Australia, the struggling five-time winners, next on the horizon. “It’s getting our players to focus on the next game.”
After the crushing seven-wicket defeat to India at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, Mickey Arthur, Pakistan’s team director, bemoaned a ‘timid’ performance, and also took issue with the partisan…
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