Web Desk (24 News) — Speaking nearly 12 months on from his appointment as head coach of the Pakistan national side, Arthur said that Pakistan had been playing cricket “that belonged in the 20th century”.
“This isn’t just dressing room speak,” Arthur said. “I’ve told the players that we were playing cricket that belonged in the 20th century. We hadn’t embraced the new modern game yet, and that was for a number of reasons, like not playing at home, or [not] having the exposure to the IPL that the rest of the world has had. So there were a lot of mitigating factors, but the fact is, if we’ve got to compete with them, we have to start embracing the modern trend.”
Not playing at home, or [not] having the exposure to the IPL is one of the reasons
-Coach Mickey Arthur
One aspect of the modern game that remains absent in Pakistan cricket is the presence of power hitters. Their scarcity has been noticeable in the Pakistan side, both at the top and tail of the innings, with Pakistan’s ODI run rate in the first and last Powerplay the lowest of all Full Members, save Zimbabwe. Arthur acknowledged it was not something that could be coached into players overnight, and such players needed to be developed and groomed over time.
“It [lack of power hitters] is a worry… Loss of Sharjeel is a massive blow as well”
“It [lack of power hitters] is a worry. When we get on good wickets, we can’t match the other countries. In Australia, I felt we always started 20-30 runs behind them because they could maximise the last ten overs. Teams are getting 100 runs in the last ten overs now.
Pakistan’s ODI run rate in the first and last Powerplay the lowest of all Full Members
We’re getting 70, at best. We didn’t get a run-a-ball in the last five overs the other day in a T20 [against West Indies]. That’s not good enough; that’s not going to win us games. We don’t have the ability to take on the power players, which is so disappointing, because we did with Sharjeel [Khan], so to lose him is a massive blow.
Arthur said that he didn’t believe his role as coach could be boiled down to a win-loss ratio, stressing that his main priority was setting up a professional structure in Pakistan’s cricket, with fitness at the core of their preparation.