ICC World Cup 2019: Mickey Arthur Pakistan's fielding has been very disappointing
LONDON: Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur said that his team's poor fielding is a "real worry" ahead of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019.
Pakistan lost a high-scoring five-match ODI series against England 4-0. While both teams consistently put up scores well in excess of 300, England triumphed mostly on the basis of superior fielding. With the World Cup less than a fortnight away, Arthur is concerned that Pakistan little to show by way of their fielding despite having put a lot of effort into it.
"Our fielding has been very disappointing," he said at the post-match presentation. "That's been the massive difference between the two sides. If you look at the games in Southampton and Nottingham, going into the last five overs, it was anybody's game. We competed really well.
"The one difference has been our fielding, and 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 for us there at the moment. We'll just keep knocking away at it to make sure we get it up to speed."
Arthur was pleased about the manner in which Pakistan competed against the world No.1 side. Arthur especially praised the batting: in four completed games, Pakistan racked up totals of 361, 358, 340 and 297. They also had three different centurions in the four games, while skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed scored a rapid 97 in the fifth game, although it didn't prove enough to get them over the line.
"People, coming to England, said we were a 280 team. We've dispelled that and that's given our batting unit a massive amount of confidence. I'm taking a fair amount of positives in that department," Arthur said.
"We've got a couple of days now to regroup, two warm-up games, and then we'll go. I'm very, very confident with the players we've got. We need to sharpen up on a couple of disciplines, but we'll certainly get there. We'll be good."
Pakistan will play two warm-up matches, against Afghanistan on 24 May and Bangladesh on 26 May, before opening their World Cup against West Indies on 31 May.