Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur is highly disappointed with his team’s latest embarrassing defeat at their second home ground –in the UAE in the three-match Test series 1-2 by New Zealand.
Arthur believes that the Men in Green failed to hold their nervous and seize key moments in Test matches despite having at the great positions in all three-matches that really cost them the Test series at home, as this was their fourth Test defeat in the last seven matches in the UAE.
Pakistan had faced a narrow four-run defeat in the first Test in Abu Dhabi but brilliantly bounced back in the second Test by winning by an innings and four runs, but New Zealand pulled off the things brilliantly in the final Test, registered a 123-run victory in Abu Dhabi on Friday to win the series 2-1.
And, Coach believes that Pakistan’s repeating failure to build a sizeable lead in the first innings of the third Test cost them the series against the Black Caps at home.
Arthur told AFP on Saturday (December 8), “We missed opportunities and despite winning most of the sessions in the two losses we could not grab the moments to force a win. It was our series to win but we ended up as the losing side and that's highly disappointing.”
Meanwhile, the Coach defended his team, especially under-fire senior batsmen Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq, saying: “The quality is there as they are the best players in Pakistan who are working very very hard and I back them to the hilt. But we need to be tougher in the crucial moments and that comes to us grabbing moments and being tough and we could not do this in this series which is disappointing. I will defend Asad and Azhar to the hilt. Asad is a wonderful player. I rate him very highly and I still feel his best days are ahead of him.”
He is also hoping that Pakistan will do well in South Africa, where they have won only two Tests and were thrashed 3-0 on their last tour in 2013, later this month.
Arthur signed off by saying, “I reckon we can go to South Africa and do well. I believe and trust in these players, we have got some very talented cricketers and some good young players. We need to nail down our good positions which we are not doing and that are the problem area.”
(With AFP Inputs)