Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur on Friday conceded that although the green shirts were unable to yield great results against the South African cricket team in the recent One-Day International and T20 series, they had tried hard.
“It is disappointing that Pakistan could not win the One-Day International (ODI) series, but the team’s spirit against the South African team is commendable,” Arthur said, speaking to the media in Lahore.
In the T20 series, the players did fight but it is unfortunate that they lost the series, he added.
Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur has insisted that his team return home a better side with important lessons learnd despite having lost to the Proteas in all the formats during their disappointing two-month tour to South Africa.
“I genuinely believe that we are a better team than we were before arriving in South Africa last year.”
“We are a better team for our World Cup preparations and playing in foreign conditions and I am proud with the way the guys have stuck to their guns,” he added.
Pakistan’s coach Mickey Arthur has held everyone responsible for the team’s series loss in South Africa.
“I don’t think that there is any coincidence that an Asian team has not won a Test series in South Africa before. We know we have a lot of work to do with our Test side.”
The coach was more optimistic about the team in limited formats of the game. “I think our white ball team is in pretty good shape.”
Commenting on the issue of Sarfaraz Ahmed, the coach said what the skipper had done was wrong. “What he did was wrong and it was worked through. We spoke it through as a team. We educated the team through that process. Safi took it on the chin. He apologized, he moved forward. Everything was handled properly.”
Commenting on retaining Ahmed as captain, Arthur said that he is completely on board with the move and that all “rumours surrounding the captaincy have now been thrown in the bin.”
Arthur told reporters it was his job to get the best out Pakistan cricket. “I will select with Inzamam and the selection panel the best possible combination to win the World Cup.”
The head coach, while speaking about the upcoming World Cup in May, said that skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed had performed well as a batsman for the team, and that the Pakistan Super League may well bring new talent to the fore.
“Sarfraz will be the first one to admit that his batting form has come and gone. He is very, very determined to get that right because he plays match winning innings. When Sarfraz plays well, he wins games for us. I want to reiterate I am not worried about his [batting] form.”
Arthur also showed willingness to coach the Pakistan team even after the upcoming World Cup.