Mickey Arthur: Final will be about ‘us’ and not India

The Pakistan coach has deliberately avoided focus on the opposition.

Mickey Arthur felt India’s edge over Pakistan in major tournaments has to do with the team members’ exposure to pressure situations.   -  AP

 

After Pakistan's defeat to India at Edgbaston, Mickey Arthur had remarked that his side had played the occasion and not the opponent. The Pakistan coach believes there will be no repeat at the Oval on Sunday. "We had a good chat today just before we came down to the ground. We dissected India a lot before the game at Edgbaston, and we've sort of backtracked a little bit on that now and are confirming what we've done well. So, tomorrow is going to be about us rather than the opposition, and we've made the focus us as a team."

 

India's fine head-to-head record over Pakistan in major tournaments was down to having more experience of playing in such situations, Arthur felt. "I think the difference is exposure to massive pressure situations. That's what India have had above Pakistan. The PCB has changed that a little bit now with the PSL. We can see our style and method catching up with the rest of the world because we're being exposed to it now. In the PSL we're getting all our top players rubbing shoulders with some of the best players around the world, so that is rubbing off on our cricket now, where there certainly had been a void for a period of time."

The Pakistan captain, Sarfraz Ahmed, was confident his bowlers would do better in the death overs on Sunday than they had managed in Birmingham.

"In an India-Pakistan match the pressure can be there and the bowler can also get disturbed if a few boundaries are scored," he said. "But the way our bowlers came back afterwards was great. Against South Africa, we didn’t let any of their batsmen hit out in the death overs. The same with Sri Lanka. Day by day our bowlers have improved a lot. They have worked very hard and hopefully the mistakes we made in the last match aren’t repeated in this one."