Mickey Arthur, the Director of Cricket for Pakistan, lashed out at his wards for being timid against India at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Saturday while also expressing displeasure at the lack of support for Pakistan not just among the crowd but also in the songs that were being belted out at the stadium.
“I just think we were a little bit timid tonight with our overall performance. I would have liked us to take the game on just a little bit more. It’s a massive occasion, as we know, but I think we went into our shells just a little bit. And to go from 155 for two, if it was, to 190-odd all out is just not on,” said Arthur while speaking to the media after Saturday’s match that India won by seven wickets.
He said that Pakistan allowed Indian spinners to overpower them.
“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. I think we’ve got to realise 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,” he said further.
Asked if the completely partisan crowd had any bearing on the result, Arthur said it didn’t but he was not amused by what transpired in the stands especially with the DJ ignoring Pakistan songs.
“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 (a Pakistani song) coming through the microphones too often tonight.
“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 fans, the Indian players tonight.”
Arthur, however, reined in the criticism and said that he doesn’t want to be critical since he feared fine.
“Look I don’t think I can comment on that just yet. I don’t want to get fined.”
Grant Bradburn, the head coach of Pakistan, was a bit more diplomatic about the partisan crowd but mentioned that the music they are used to listening in ICC events was missing.
“Our supporters aren’t here. We’d love them to be here. Indian cricket fans would like to have our supporters here as well. It was unusual in that way. No familiar music for us. It did not feel like a World Cup game in all honesty. But having said that, we didn’t expect anything else.”
He said that this experience will hold the team in good stead going forward.
“It was a first for many of the players, all the players. We didn’t do the occasion justice, didn’t do the stadium justice. It is a wonderful stadium. Now, we have had that experience. We’ve played in front of a 100% opposition crowd. It is an experience we will take on board wherever we go now. It will not be as intimidating as it was today. But I will blame us for not executing the skills,” said Bradburn.