ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Pakistan will benefit from 4-0 drubbing against hosts England, says coach Mickey Arthur

Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur insisted his side would benefit from a 4-0 one-day series defeat by World Cup hosts England at the showpiece tournament.

Agence France-Presse, May 20, 2019 08:47:58 IST

Leeds: Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur insisted his side would benefit from a 4-0 one-day series defeat by World Cup hosts England when the showpiece tournament starts later this month.

England, the world's top-ranked ODI side, triumphed by 54 runs in Sunday's finale at Headingley as, not for the first time this series, Pakistan's bowling and especially their fielding let them down.

Cricket - First One Day International - England v Pakistan - Kia Oval, London, Britain - May 8, 2019 Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur and Sarfraz Ahmed on the pitch during a rain delay Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs - RC1BFF3CF970

Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur (R) and captain Sarfraz Ahmed (L). Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

Yet the match was the first time in a completed innings this campaign where Pakistan, bowled out for 297, had failed to post a total of 340 or more.

But Sunday's game did see Babar Azam follow up his 115 at Trent Bridge on Friday with 80, while captain Sarfraz Ahmed made 97 before being run out in unusual fashion by wicket-keeper Jos Buttler.

Arthur insisted he was in a much better mood now than he had been after Pakistan suffered a humiliating 124 run-opening defeat on the Duckworth/Lewis method by India in Birmingham at the 2017 Champions Trophy — an ODI tournament they bounced back to win by defeating their arch-rivals in the final.

"We were beaten hands down at Edgbaston that day and I didn't really know where to turn because there wasn't a hell of a lot of positives out of that day," said Arthur.

"We sit here having taken a huge amount of positives out of this series.

"I thought our batting has gone to another level.

"People, coming to England, said we were a 280 team. We've dispelled that, that's given our batting unit a massive amount of confidence in the dressing room."

'We'll be ready'

Moreover, Arthur was adamant the series against World Cup favourites England would help Pakistan.

"The other thing is we've played against a team who are number one in the world in their own conditions.

"I know there are not too many teams who will arrive in England as prepared as we are in terms of the competition we've played against and match-fitness," explained Arthur, previously a coach of both his native South Africa and Australia.

"All I know is the players are very determined to do well. Every time they go out there they play for 210 million people.

"We'll be ready — come the first game against the West Indies, we'll be ready.

"I'm as confident we'll do well as I've ever been."

Meanwhile, Arthur said left-arm quick Mohammad Amir, recently sidelined with chicken pox, could yet make it into Pakistan's final 15-man squad for the World Cup.

"Mohammad Amir trained yesterday (Saturday). He had 25 minutes on a bike and a gym session. He had another one today so if selected he'd be ready to go.

"In terms of selection, Inzi (Pakistan selection chief Inzamam-ul-Haq) and I will talk tomorrow (Monday) to finalise our squad.

"We've got until 23 May to get our team in."

Pakistan's fielding looked to be improving when they were in England last year.

This latest series, however, saw Pakistan drop routine catches and give away runs with sloppy outfielding.

"It's been very disappointing," said Arthur, who insisted the decline in standards was not down to former Australia wicket-keeper Steve Rixon quitting as Pakistan's fielding coach in September over a pay dispute.

"That's a real worry for me because we are putting a hell of a lot of effort into it and there's not a massive amount of reward there at the moment.

"We'll just keep knocking away at it though.

"Fielding is about attitude and wanting to get out there and get it done.

"They (the players) know they've been short in this department and they are not happy about it. They are working damn hard at it."

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Updated Date: May 20, 2019 08:47:58 IST

World Cup 2019 Points Table

Team p w l nr pts
Australia 7 6 1 0 12
New Zealand 6 5 0 1 11
India 5 4 0 1 9
England 7 4 3 0 8
Bangladesh 7 3 3 1 7
Sri Lanka 6 2 2 2 6
Pakistan 6 2 3 1 5
West Indies 6 1 4 1 3
South Africa 7 1 5 1 3
Afghanistan 7 0 7 0 0

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
6 Sri Lanka 3462 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5720 124
2 India 5990 122
3 New Zealand 4121 114
4 South Africa 4674 111
5 Australia 4805 109
6 Pakistan 4107 93
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
6 New Zealand 4056 254