Pakistan team hate unpredictable tag, says coach Arthur - GulfToday

Pakistan team hate unpredictable tag, says coach Arthur

Cricket Pakistan

Pakistan’s Imam ul Haq attends a training session at the The Bristol County Ground on Monday. Reuters

Pakistan pushed England hard in the second one-day international of their five-match series on Saturday, eventually losing by 12 runs in Southampton. Pakistan also made England earn their victory in the one-off Twenty20 International before that.

There have been plenty suggesting Pakistan will be the dark horses of the premier event over the next few months because the side are considered unpredictable – Pakistan surprised many with their surge to the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 title, in which they beat India by 180 runs.

However, that is a tag Arthur isn’t too happy with. “Unpredictable – that’s a word that us as coaching staff hate,” Arthur said in a chat with batting coach Grant Flower and Grant Luden, the strength and conditioning coach, in a video posted by PCB.

“You read all the previews now, they say Pakistan are going to be in the top four because of their unpredictability. I say no. Pakistan are going to be in the top four because of the work we’ve put in, in their skills.”

Pakistan headed into the England tour on the back of a 5-0 mauling in the UAE by Australia. However, that was an under-strength XI, and with their full team restored, Pakistan have looked in fine fettle in England.

“We’ve got their good and bad a lot closer together, because we’re playing a more consistent brand of cricket,” Arthur said. “We’re training well, we’re going through their routines well, there’s a structure. And with structure and clarity comes less of that unpredictability tag. We know that on our day we can beat anybody, it’s us finding that little key ingredient that makes our players believe.”

There is also significant spirit in the squad, with the PCB’s slogan ‘We have, we will’ playing its part in bringing them together. “The PCB have put together this fantastic slogan – We have, we will,” said Arthur. “We have won, we have shown success, we tend to rise to the big occasion, and we will.”

Pakistan begin their World Cup campaign against West Indies on May 31 in Nottingham.

Meanwhile, Jos Buttler refused to put a limit on his rapid run-scoring as hosts England go in search of a first men’s World Cup title.

Despite appearing in every World Cup since the inaugural edition in 1975, England have never lifted the trophy, with the last of their three losing appearances in the final back in 1992.

But hopes are high that 2019 may finally be their year, with key batsman Buttler coming into form ahead of England’s tournament opener against South Africa at The Oval on May 30 courtesy of a stunning century in a 12-run win over Pakistan in the second one-day international at Southampton on Saturday.

The 28-year-old went to three figures in just 50 balls, celebrating the landmark with a baby-rocking gesture as wife Louise and new daughter Georgia looked on from the stands.

Only Buttler himself, with a 46-ball effort against Pakistan in November 2015, has scored a quicker ODI hundred for England.

But the 28-year-old, who has five of England quickest 10 ODI hundreds to his credit, believes a new national record could be within his reach.

“Absolutely,” he said following his match-winning 110 not out against Pakistan

“When the opportunities arise, it gives you lots of confidence. We’ve seen other guys around the world show it’s possible.”

Buttler, England’s one-day wicket-keeper, has also made his mark in global franchise tournaments such as the Twenty20 Indian Premier League and Australia’s Big Bash.

Agencies