Champions Trophy: Pakistan’s pride at stake against South Africa
June 7, 2017SportsComments Off on Champions Trophy: Pakistan’s pride at stake against South Africa125 Views
BIRMINGHAM: Mickey Arthur has no doubt Pakistan will be “up for the fight” when they face his native South Africa in the Champions Trophy on Wednesday after facing 124-run defeat against India.
Yet, worryingly for Pakistan coach Arthur, there is the potential for an even more lopsided match when they return to Edgbaston on Wednesday — and that’s not simply because South Africa are top of the International Cricket Council (ICC) One-day International rankings while Pakistan are eighth.
Pakistan were outplayed in every department by an India side who were nowhere near their best.
Having conceded 319 for three as India’s top order ran riot, Pakistan were dismissed for just 164, having never once threatened a rain-adjusted target of 289 in 41 overs.
It led former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi, to slam the current team’s “clueless” batting and “abysmal fielding”.
Now, in the space of just a few days, Pakistan must somehow raise their game to beat a South Africa side who defeated Sri Lanka by 96 runs at the Oval on Saturday in their opening Group B fixture if they are to have any chance of reaching the semi-finals.
‘ISSUE IS FEAR’
Arthur suggested too many Pakistan players had suffered ‘stage fright’ against India in front of a capacity crowd of more than 24,000.
“My issue is fear,” he said. “My issue is getting out there and really looking to take the game on.
“The worrying thing for me…is we just do the basics wrong.
“We drop simple catches. We don’t run well enough between wickets. We don’t understand when to bowl our variations.” But Arthur, a former coach of both South Africa and Australia, was adamant all was far from lost.