‘Confidence crisis’ hurting Pakistan, admits Arthur

Pakistan coach believes recent results shows team’s stature in the limited-over cricket

‘Confidence crisis’ hurting Pakistan, admits Arthur PHOTO: Reuters

Pakistan Head Coach Mickey Arthur has admitted that the team is going through confidence crises after the Men in Green suffered another demoralising defeat against arch-rivals India.

The Sarfraz Ahmed’s XI suffered a crushing nine-wicket defeat against the Men in Blue in the Super-Four tie on Sunday in the ongoing Asia Cup 2018.

Talking to media following the match, Arthur admitted that Pakistan’s poor show with the bat is due to a 'confidence crisis' within the team.

"Yes, they are suffering a bit of confidence crisis at the moment but we are not abandoning them,” said Arthur. “There is fear of failure in the dressing room. This is a bit of reality check of where we are as a cricket team.”

Arthur citing the example of opener Fakhar Zaman said, “We know cricket is a confidence game. Look at Fakhar Zaman, he's an incredible player, he's an X-factor player and we expect him to take the game on at the top of the order, but he's doubting his game a little at the moment. We've got to just ride the wave with him. If we do that, when he comes out, he'll be a better player. We've banked the work, the work is all done."

The 50-year-old went on to praise India’s pacer Jasprit Bumrah's death-bowling skills, who took two wickets for 15 runs in his four-over spell at the end of Pakistan’s innings.

"We had an optional session the other day where we sat for 20 minutes and I watched Jasprit Bumrah at the nets next to us, executing yorker after yorker after yorker, and he put that into practice here,” he said. “In our review, we definitely will be showing our young bowlers his execution in the death overs, it was very good."

The coach also disagreed that Sarfraz's captaincy was the reason for Pakistan defeat and also revealed that the decision to bat first was a collective one.

"I have heard from the outside how we should've bowled first here, bat first there, but honestly, we look at how best we can win," said Arthur. "We believe if we can get runs on the board and strike with the new ball, we can put India under pressure. We don't want to expose our middle order against their spinners in a run chase, it's going to just get bigger and bigger and bigger and our batsmen are going to get under pressure even more."

Pakistan will now face Bangladesh in a virtual semi-final clash on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi.