After-game press conferences can be like lotteries. You never know what a good question is. Worse, you may not even know what a bad question is: triggering anger and, in extreme cases, a rhetorical, humiliating question.
For those who gathered in the press room after India’s biggest victory over Pakistan in Dubai, there was no such problem. Head coach Mickey Arthur patiently accepted all sorts of questions and offered a rare, honest microanalysis instead of getting rid of the stereotype that “it was just a day off”.
Hitting outside of rolls
A win at the throw and a chance to beat first was perfect for Pakistan. But soon they were entangled in self-inflicted problems. The normally calm Imam-ul-Haq playing Yin with the Yang Fakhar Zaman departed from the screenplay. After completing six deliveries in Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s first deliveries, he performed on the seventh. An eerie charge on the track became devastating when Bhuvneshwar quietly pulled back a bit. Imam went through with his lift and grabbed him MS Dhoni.
And then there was Safraz Ahmed. Shortly after a very well-hidden googly Babar Azam’s insured but short stay on the 22nd ended, again Pakistan had to partner. It was also the time when India had only four frontline bowlers when Hardik Pandya was injured with an acute lower back injury.
But Sarfraz could not resist hitting a part of Kedar Jadhav. In his defense, Manish Pandey took an absolute stun on far, but Arthur resisted the idea of this shot.
“[Imam] It’s not up to him to run to the bottom of Bhuvneshwar in the third part of the race, it’s not Sarfy’s [Safraz’s] role to get over the top and get caught out there, we have X-Factor types Whose role it is to do that, if Fakhar plays like that, it’s okay, if Asif gets out of it, it’s okay, because that’s his role, but the other four batsmen must certainly take responsibility, “Arthur said.
“I think it was the pressure that came over Imam, as I said, he had 2 out of 8 bullets or whatever, but Fakhar had just seen a maiden, so he tried If he comes down, he’ll take extra cover, not in the middle, so yes, I think there was a bit of pressure. “
Such a non-characteristic eyelash display meant that there was no connection to Pakistans innings, which led to shyness in run scoring.
“I just thought we were soft – 158 dot balls of 258 played [160 points out of 259 played] are not good enough,” said Arthur. “It was just about taking responsibility this evening, and we were out of our roles, which was very disappointing.”
Bowlers getting away from plans
Even for the vaunted bowling attack Pakistan is so proud of, 162 was not enough to defend it. The main requirement to lift an early wicket and exert pressure did not materialize, and that, according to Arthur, quickly led to panic and a quick departure from the plans. He also pointed out the exact moment his team “staggered”.
“With such a goal, you have to strike very early if you want to defend it, we did not shoot early enough, but we left too fast on our plans, we said that our batteries were beaten off our wheels, and that was unacceptable.With our bowling, we went too fast from our plans.We wanted to bow down hard lengths, hit the top of the stump and it was hard to score.
“I think there was a bit of panic when they did not meet early, we panicked and got off our plans.”
“The first six overs, they went with two and a half [17/0 in 6 overs] and then Shinwari decided to come to the wicket and throw a bouncer with his fine leg and from there it just staggered” We will sit down and talk about it. It is not good enough. Unacceptable.”
A conversation with Amir
Mohammad Amir’s form has turned downwards after the 2017 Champions Trophy. In ten games he has six goals on average at 46.16. But Arthur saw encouraging signs on Wednesday.
“Of course there is [pressure on Amir] I would lie if I sat here and said that it was not .. I had a really good, long, hard conversation with him last night and I thought he came out and rolled really good today.
“He hit the furrow really hard, he got in well, he stopped, he braked to the crease, but he did not do that today, today he seemed smoother, there was a bit more speed, and I was comfortable ‘He weighed well tonight.’
Pull the hat to India … and inside
Less than 24 hours before a thorough performance against Pakistan, India was strained by a brave Hong Kong side. It was a game in which India looked rusty everywhere and almost paid a high price.
But only hours later, they showed a significant, comprehensive improvement. Arthur especially felt that the Indian spinners were much better against his team, and praised the importance of Jasprit Bumrah, who ended with numbers of 7.1-2-2-3.
“India played better today than us, they put us under pressure for a long time, they certainly came back and their disciplines were so much better, you see what Bumrah does for their attack, I thought their spinners would roll better. Their lengths were much better than they were last night [against Hong Kong]. “
After saying that, Arthur never even thought that his players were missing the intention and the fire in their bellies after the halftime phase.
“I know for sure there was a lot of fire in the locker room, and as far as the intent is concerned, I thought we’d be up in the field right now, and I thought our bowlers had run in early, and there was certainly no lack of purpose There was no lack of fight in this dressing room, I assure you.
“When we meet with India, I feel comfortable that we have a locker room of players who can stand it, I feel comfortable having a locker room of players on any day I can still assume It’s a 50-50, and luckily this game was inconsistent in the tournament. “