Pakistan coach gives his side a spray after big loss
PAKISTAN has a whole lot of introspection to look forward to in the coming days.
Sunday's heavy 124-run rain-affected loss to archrivals India was met with fury among the nation's millions of fans.
After watching India amass a monstrous 3-319 from its 48 overs, and then cringing as his side capitulated to be 164 all out inside 34 overs with just two players passing 15, coach Mickey Arthur pulled no punches in the press conference.
Describing the loss as a 'reality check', Arthur sprayed his "below par” side's basic skills.
"We were below par,” Arthur said.
"It's as simple as that. And it's a reality check of where we are in our one-day cricket at the moment.
"The worrying thing for me - and it has been for a period of time - is we just do the basics wrong.
"We do the simple things wrong. We drop simple catches. We don't run well enough between wickets.
"We don't hit the keeper with our throws and we don't understand when to bowl our variations.
"We bowled a really good over and then we bowled a variation with our sixth ball and that's the ball that ended up going for a boundary.
"So it's the simplicity of those things that are worrying me at the moment.”
Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed admitted his team had "lost the plot”.
After a promising start, led mostly by quick Mohammad Amir, Pakistan allowed India - through Virat Kohli's unbeaten 81 and Yuvraj Singh's quickfire 53 - to pile on an avalanche of runs in the late overs.
"We were in control for 40 overs but we lost the plot in the last eight overs,” Sarfraz admitted.
As is often the case, poor fielding cruelled Pakistan.
Both Yuvraj and Kohli were given lives en route to their match-changing knocks.
"We talk about setting the tone upfront,” Arthur said.
"But we didn't set tone upfront. We had a couple of guys that were in the clouds at the start and that sets tone.
"For us to have a performance as tentative as that right from the start is a worry and the only thing I can think of is the magnitude of the occasion got to them.
"My issue is fear. My issue is them getting out there and really looking to take the game on and just believing in themselves and believing that they can take the game on.”