One of the consistent themes associated with Pakistan cricket has been its inconsistent performance. Pakistan's opponents, particularly those ranked higher than them, have always viewed Pakistan as a "dangerous" opponent. On a given day, Pakistan is deemed capable of beating any opponent while on another day it's capable of losing to any team. Mickey Arthur's appointment as Pakistan's head coach in 2016 was meant to transform the team into a consistently good performer. Over two years later, inconsistency is still the primary tagline associated with Pakistan.
Arthur's approach to getting the team to perform consistently well has been to, first, install a system which prioritizes player fitness above all. He sent a strong message to the establishment by dropping players from the national squad because they were not fit enough. Clearly, the message was well received. Pakistan's fielding showed a marked improvement. Until recently, the team showed new vigor and alacrity on the field. But all that came crashing down in the recently concluded Asia Cup. Their fielding in that tournament was atrocious. They dropped key catches that significantly contributed to their losses and unfortunately, that performance was on their home-ground in the UAE.
With the World Cup less than a year away, Pakistan under Mickey Arthur has effectively not progressed. Here are three significant reasons why Mickey Arthur has failed as Pakistan's coach.
#3 Inconsistent Performance
More than two years after Arthur became Pakistan's head coach, Pakistan's performances remain inconsistent. They won the 2017 Champions Trophy as heavy underdogs. Even the coach and the players, leading up to the tournament, didn't believe that they had a chance to win it. But, they did.
On the other hand, Pakistan entered the recently concluded Asia Cup as favorites but ended up crashing out of it after playing some dismal games. In fact, there's a worrying trend developing with the team's performance since their Champions Trophy victory. Pakistan is now convincingly beating weaker teams and losing convincingly to the top teams. In other words, Pakistan is turning into a predictable, average, boring team that lacks confidence to compete against more challenging opposition. And that is a trend that cannot be allowed to persist, particularly with the world cup around the corner. Interestingly, Arthur, seems more snarly and defeatist in his press conferences lately. It may be because he has run out of ideas to get this team to perform better.