Fitness, fielding main focus for West Indies tour: Pakistan coach

Adeleide, Jan 27 (IANS) Pakistan coach Micky Arthur on Friday said fitness and fielding will be the main priority for the team’s upcoming tour of the West Indies next month.

He said the team worked really hard on their fielding but they are still lacking in some areas.

“Believe it or not, we’ve worked extremely hard at our fielding. Me and my support staff have been around for about seven months, and that’s been a focus and priority — fitness levels have improved dramatically in terms of our day-to-day reports,” Arthur was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.

“But we’re way behind the rest of the pack. So fitness and fielding again is going to be total priority before we go to the West Indies (later in the year),” Arthur said.

“We’ll have time to put in a camp after the PSL, and we’ll put in a helluva lot of work in that regard because we’re just not up to the mark in those two areas,” he added.

After losing Thursday’s fifth One-Day International (ODI) match by 57 runs, which consigned the tourists to a 1-4 Series defeat, Arthur found some encouragement and lauded batsmen for the maximum contribution for the cause.

“With the ball, with the bat, we compete perfectly well. Results-wise, it has been disappointing (Australia tour). We came here thinking we had a real chance, certainly in the Test matches,” Arthur said.

“We’re still a fledgling one-day side, there are some gaps in our one-day side that we need to work hard to fill. We’re ranked eighth (on the ICC rankings) at the moment, and I think you could see the gap between eight and one (Australia),” he added.

The coach also spoke about David Warner, who amassed 367 runs from five innings that concluded with back-to-back hundreds in Sydney and here.

“We saw the difference here, Davey Warner gets in and gets 130 the other day (in Sydney) and 170-odd (yesterday). And he gets it very, very quick,” he said.

“That’s the difference between chasing 310 and chasing 370-odd. And at 370-odd, we’ve got to play out of our skin to get anywhere close. So Davey Warner and our fielding has probably been the key difference between the teams,” he added.

–IANS

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