'Pakistan can do things that both South Africa and Australia cannot', claims Mickey Arthur
As Pakistan brace themselves for a grueling series against England, head coach Mickey Arthur has made a rather audacious claim. Speaking to AFP from Southampton, the 48-year-old believed that his side could do things that both South Africa and Australia could not.
Arthur enthused, “It has been an eye opener. The skill levels the Pakistan team have are unbelievable. The ability to do things the other two (international) teams I’ve coached couldn’t do is incredible.”
After being a surprise pick for the post of South African coach in 2005, he was able to manage the transition period well during a five-year term. However, his subsequent stint as Australian coach ended in a tumultuous manner.
Elaborating on the reasoning behind his assertions, Arthur felt, “I’m trying to get patience into the skills. I was watching Mohammad Amir and Sohail Khan and they went outswinger, outswinger, inswinger. I said ‘just hold those lines a little bit longer’.”
He added, “The patience isn’t where the other teams are, but the skill levels are higher. I’m trying to bring that patience to the skill levels and together you’ll have something very very good.”
The Johannesburg-born Arthur was keen on utilizing his previous coaching experiences into the Pakistan role. But, he did not want to deviate from his inherent approach and insisted on backing himself.
The former first-class cricketer maintained, “You go back and analyze and think about it. And I’ve obviously learnt a hell of a lot from that experience. But, I haven’t changed my style because I don’t think you could compromise on what you think is the right way to work – on your core values and principles.”
However, there remained one particular episode which he hoped would not transpire again. During Australia’s tour of India in 2013, Arthur had ordered his team members to prepare a presentation on why they were losing the cricket matches. When a few senior players refused to do so, they were deemed ineligible for the next match and the infamous incident was dubbed as ‘homework-gate’.
Looking back on the incident, Arthur vented, “I am sick and tired of talking about ‘homework-gate’ and the way it’s been reported is totally way off the pace of what happened. But in terms of running teams, there are ways of doing it and that’s how you get your ultimate success.”
The Test series between England and Pakistan begins at the iconic Lord’s stadium from July 14.