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Indian pitches tough to bat on, says Mickey Arthur

The former Australian coach believes that Stephen Cook should replace Stiaan van Zyl at the top of the batting order

Mickey Arthur coach
Mickey Arthur was the coach of Australia when they lost a Test series in India

Mickey Arthur, the former Australian coach who was the coach when India thrashed Australia 0-4 in a Test series, said that the South Africans lost all the self-confidence after losing to India recently.

Hashim Amla’s team performed brilliantly in the shorter formats and won both the ODI and T20I series against the Indians, but as they say, “real cricket is Test cricket”, and the Proteas failed real bad and lost 3-0 to India. This was their first overseas Test series loss in nine years and they lost 2 of the matches within 3 days.

Mickey Arthur told the Afrikaans Daily Beeld that it’s tough to bat on Indian pitches, he said, “The wickets in India are extremely difficult and you can see how the entire batting order lost self-confidence. The same happened to Australia in India during my last tour with them there. We had exactly the same pitches there, which Australian and South African batsmen struggle with.”

Arthur, who was fired after the Kangaroos lost to the Indians had a word with top guns like Faf Du Plessis and JP Duminy to build back their confidence. He also suggested that the South African side should not use AB Devilliers as a wicker keeper.

“They are good, experienced players and it's high time that they played their part.

“The temptation to use AB as wicketkeeper is always huge, because it places you in a position to choose an extra player. (De Villiers) is the best batsman in the world and you render him less effective as batsman by giving him this additional role,” Arthur said.

Arthur wasn’t convinced with van Zyl’s opening performances and said that he would rather choose Stephen Cook as his replacement. He thinks that South Africa now lacks the consistency in the top order they used to have.

He commented, “It reminds me of the time when we roped in Neil McKenzie as (captain) Graeme Smith's opening partner (in the 2008 and 2009 seasons). He gave us consistency in a time when we needed it. I think Cook can be a short-term solution.”

Finally, he said, “A good opening partnership reduces the pressure on all the other batsmen and also improves the rest of the batting order.”

Cook hasn’t played any Test matches now but has been impressive in the domestic cricket games, he recently recorded his 34th century in an inter-provincial match.

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