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Disappointed with manner of defeat, says Pakistan coach Arthur

142   //    06 Jun 2018, 13:12 IST

Karachi, Jun 6 (PTI) Pakistan's head coach, Mickey Arthur is disappointed with the team's abject surrender to England in the second Test at Leeds.

Talking to Pakistani media personnel in Leeds, Arthur also felt that the team had squandered a golden opportunity to win a test series in England after 22 years.

I am disheartened by the performance of my team. That they didn't put up a fight in the second Test is of concern for me, Arthur said.

The foreign coach was over the moon after Pakistan beat Ireland in the one-off Test last month and then went onto upset England in the first test at Lords.

Honestly speaking, I felt that we surrendered in the second Test at Leeds. In my time with this team, I found this performance the most disappointing, the coach added.

Arthur emphasised that win and lose was part of cricket but it is important for a team to always show fight.

It is all about how you lost did you put up enough off a fight. If you ask me if this young team had won the series two-nil it would have gone upwards and improved to an extent that no one can imagine, he said.

The head coach made it clear that despite winning the Ireland Test and drawing the series against England he was not happy with the performance of the side.

But he was happy that the performance of the young side had silenced many critics and surprised some pundits. He admitted that the team was under pressure in the second test that England won by an innings and 55 runs to level the series.

The team just couldn't absorb the pressure in the second innings at Leeds. I thought England bowled very well. They were disciplined and stuck to their plan. Once they had us initially under pressure they never allowed us to escape.

He said runs scored by a team in the first innings always set the tempo for the rest of the match.

Arthur said despite his disappointment he felt that the young team needed to be given some credit and the players deserved to be supported.

I am not giving excuses but I think this is a young team and it is learning. Some of the players showed their class on this tour and improved their standing.

Arthur also said he was happy there was a debate on Pakistan's decision to bat first after winning the toss at Leeds.

It was a difficult decision for us and in international cricket, you face such situations. But I am happy there is a debate about the toss. Joe Root decided to bat first in the first test at Lords and we had also decided to bat first on winning the toss.

"But after coming to the ground and watching the weather and conditions we realized that it would not be easy to bat.

Arthur said if Pakistan had decided to bowl first at Leeds it would show a defensive tendency on our part. At Leeds, you just need to survive the first 15 to 20 overs and it becomes easier. If we had decided to bowl first and England had got a big score we would still have been criticised for our toss decision.

The Pakistan coach said he wanted to see senior batsmen, Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq play in county cricket to polish them.

Instead of seeing them play in some T20 league, I want to see them play county cricket because Asad is a quality player while Azhar is world class. We have a lot of expectations from them. We expected a lot from them in England in the series. Asad batted well but Azhar struggled. But he is too good a player to not come good soon.

He said the inclusion of young all-rounders, Shadab Khan and Faheem Ashraf had given balance to the Test side.

Arthur said he would be meeting with the chief selector, Inzamam-ul-Haq and captain, Sarfaraz in Lahore on June 25 in which a pool of players would be finalized for the remaining tests this year.

In fact, in this meeting, we will discuss teams for all three formats and we will also see the fitness of Wahab Riaz, Junaid Khan, Rumaan Raees and Imad Wasim at the national cricket academy

Press Trust of India (PTI) is a news agency in India
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