Sports

We're alive and kicking, says Pakistan head coach

Punjab News Express | June 24, 2019 11:38 AM

LONDON:  Mickey Arthur believes Pakistan's win over South Africa in their crucial World Cup fixture will shut some people for a while who went all guns blazing at his team post their defeat against India.

The entire Pakistan team, including head coach Arthur and captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, had to face a lot of brunt from former cricketers, fans on social media post their 89-run defeat to the Men in Blue on June 16.

However, on Sunday, Pakistan came out with a much improved performance and defeated South Africa by 49 runs, thus knocking them out of the competition.

Speaking at the post-match press conference, Arthur said that guys in the team were "burnt" last week post their defeat to India.

"What I do know is that guys do, when their backs are to the wall, we get some good performances out of them, and maybe, yeah, I just think the guys were burnt last week. The guys were incredibly hurt, by media, by public, by social media, and hopefully we got a proper reaction from them today that can just shut some people up for a little while," said Arthur.

Pakistan now have five points from six games and they need to win their remaining three fixtures against New Zealand (Wednesday), Afghanistan (Saturday) and Bangladesh (July 5) in order to make it to the semi-finals.

Arthur said that the morale in the team is high and that they are "alive and kicking".

"I know we can beat New Zealand," he said. "We are alive and kicking, without a doubt, and we play our best game, we beat anybody. Whether that's New Zealand, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, our remaining games, or England, we showed. We put our three disciplines together, we are as good as any team in this competition," he added.

One thing which Arthur wants his team to really improve is their catching.

Pakistan have dropped as many as 16 catches in the tournament till now. Six of those came on Sunday at Lord's. Mohammed Amir dropped three - off his own bowling, at third man and at long-off.

"We train and we train and we train, and we've put in massive amounts of work," Arthur said.

"That's something we'll be exploring again in the next couple of days because we cannot be dropping that many catches and then expect to beat teams getting into almost a knockout phase for us. So that's something we're going to have to keep working at and keep chipping at."

Against South Africa, Arthur believes Pakistan's batting and bowling were spot-on and it was their fielding which needs to be worked upon.

"I thought we got our bowling and batting spot-on. Our problem is we haven't put three disciplines together yet in any game.

"We bowled well, we batted well. We didn't field well today. So when we put three disciplining together, we'll be exceptional. The closest we've got was when we beat England. We are very firmly in the World Cup. We win our next three games, we'll qualify. So we know that," he added.

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