Defeat against India a `reality check, admits Arthur
London [UK], June 5 (ANI): After Pakistan slumped to a humiliating 124-run defeat in their opening Champions Trophy clash against India, head coach Mickey Arthur has admitted that his side's performance was below par and that the loss had given them the reality check of where they stand in one-day cricket.
"We were below par. It's as simple as that. And it's a reality check of where we are in our one-day cricket at the moment," ESPNcricinfo quoted Arthur as saying.
Pakistan displayed a poor fielding performance as they missed several catches and their ground fielding was also sloppy. And Arthur admitted that the early errors set the tone for a bitterly disappointing performance for them.
"The worrying thing for me – and it has been for a period of time – is we just do the basics wrong. We do the simple things wrong. We drop simple catches. We don't run well enough between wickets. We don't hit the keeper with our throws and we don't understand when to bowl our variations. We bowled a really good over and then we bowled a variation with our sixth ball and that's the ball that ended up going for a boundary. So it's the simplicity of those things that are worrying me at the moment," he added.
Insisting that "the magnitude of the occasion" had got to his side, the former South African cricketer admitted they did the simple things wrong which cost them badly.
"We talk about setting the tone up front. But we didn't set tone up front. We had a couple of guys that were in the clouds at the start and that sets tone. For us to have a performance as tentative as that right from the start is a worry and the only thing I can think of is the magnitude of the occasion got to them," Arthur said.
The Sarfraz Ahmed-led side now require victories from their final two games against Sri Lanka and South Africa to stand any chance of making it to the semi-finals of the eight-team marquee event.
"My issue is fear. My issue is them getting out there and really looking to take the game on and just believing in themselves and believing that they can take the game on."
Chasing a revised target of 289 runs in 41 overs, Pakistan were bundled out for 164 runs with Wahab Riaz not coming to bat because of an injury he sustained during India's innings.
Except opener Azhar Ali, none of the Pakistani batters could stay for a long time at the crease and cope up with the pressure – both of the target as well as of the Indian bowlers.
Earlier, the Indian top-order came out with all guns blazing as they posted a humoungous 319-3 in 48 overs.
Rohit Sharma (91), Shikhar Dhawan (68), Yuvraj Singh (53), Virat Kohli (81*) and Hardik Pandya (20*) all tore apart the Pakistani bowling and didn't give them any chance to bounce back into the game.
The Men in Green will now lock horns against South Africa at the same venue on June 7. (ANI)