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‘Pakistan crowd made difference’ Mickey Arthur gives bizarre reason for Pakistan’s defeat in IND vs PAK

‘Pakistan crowd made difference’ Mickey Arthur gives bizarre reason for Pakistan’s defeat in IND vs PAK

Pakistan team director Mickey Arthur admitted that his team was “timid” in its approach and couldn’t force the pace as the 100,000 plus partisan crowd made a World Cup match feel like a bilateral game organised by the Indian cricket board. The South African was clearly referring to Pakistan supporters not being given visas for […]

Pakistan team director Mickey Arthur admitted that his team was “timid” in its approach and couldn’t force the pace as the 100,000 plus partisan crowd made a World Cup match feel like a bilateral game organised by the Indian cricket board. The South African was clearly referring to Pakistan supporters not being given visas for the World Cup till date but when probed further, he refrained from elaborating.

Asked if the partisan crowd made an impact on players’ mindset, Mickey Arthur said: “Look, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t. It didn’t seem like an ICC event to be brutally honest. It seemed like a bilateral series; it seemed like a BCCI event. I didn’t hear ‘Dil Dil Pakistan’ coming through the microphones too often tonight.”

Mickey Arthur, however, said that the lack of support in the crowd could not be used an excuse for the team’s heavy loss to India. “So yes, that does play a role, but I’m not going to use that as an excuse because for us it was about living the moment, it was about the next ball and it was about how we were going to combat the Indian, the Indian players tonight,” he added.

Dil Dil Pakistan’ is a popular song sung by famous group Vital Signs fronted by late Junaid Jamshed. It is like a second anthem that blares from loudspeakers at all ICC events. Once Mickey Arthur knew that he has opened a pandora’s box by taking a dig at BCCI, he was probed further by a few foreign journalists. Should that be allowed to happen at the World Cup? “Look I don’t think I can’t comment on that just yet. I don’t want to get fined,” Mickey Arthur said, understanding that he has clearly over-stepped the line.

When a senior BCCI official was asked, he gave a tongue-in-cheek response. “No harm in playing Dil Dil Pakistan. But do tell us when would it be played? When Babar was bowled or Rizwan got dismissed? Or when Rohit hit Shaheen for a six. You can only play it for fans and there were no fans.”

Insidesport

Wrong approach tonight

However, Mickey Arthur did admit that Pakistan didn’t play fearless cricket on the day. “We were a little bit timid tonight with our overall performance. I would have liked us to really take the game on just a little bit more. It’s a massive occasion, as we know, but I think we just went into our shells a little bit.” Both Babar and Rizwan didn’t capitalise on their 82-run stand.

“And to go from 155 for two, if it was, to 190-odd all out is just not on. Yeah, credit to India, I thought they bowled really well, but I just thought our performance was just a little bit timid.”

Doesn’t he think that Babar and Rizwan’s batting style in ODI is a bit outdated?

“Look, they’re classy performers and they’ve done it day in and day out for Pakistan over an extended period of time. So, I’m not going to sit here and castigate them for that.” Mickey Arthur believes that Pakistan team is more confident when it takes the game deep in ODIs.

“I did think we could probably have taken on the Indian spinners just a little bit more. It was a wicket that didn’t turn massively, and I thought we needed to put some pressure back. But again, they were building and building nicely. “We’ve got to realize that there are two ways to always skin a cat. And we’ve had success by taking it deep and then cashing in at the back end. That’s been our style, that’s been our brand, but we didn’t play the Pakistan Way tonight, and that was the disappointing aspect of it for me.”

We never spoke about 7-0 before the match

8-0 is a scoreline that would break any Pakistani fans’ heart but Mickey Arthur revealed that this was never a topic of discussion within the team. “No, look, that’s just spoken about by you guys. The media just talk about that. We approach every game thinking we’re going to win it. We approach every game dotting the Rs, crossing the Ts, making sure our game is in place.”

“Tonight, we were off our performance and as I’ve said before, that was the disappointing aspect for me. We were off it but the record doesn’t come into the equation,” he stated.

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