December 02, 2016Print : Sports
KARACHI: It seems that a 2-0 drubbing suffered by his team in New Zealand hasn’t dimmed Mickey Arthur’s morale.
Pakistan’s head coach, who will be at the helm of a tough three-Test series against Australia getting underway in Brisbane from December 15, put up a brave face on Thursday.
Arthur told an Australia radio channel his team was ready for the challenge.
“We’re a really good cricket team, I think the Australian public are going to see something special. The boys are really skilled, it has taken us some time to adjust to the conditions in New Zealand,” Arthur said as his team left Brisbane for Cairns, where the tourists will train and play a warm-up game before the first Test at the Gabba.
“We play exceptionally well in our own conditions, but it’s just luck I guess when Australia go to Sri Lanka or India or wherever, they really battle. We sort of battle out of our own conditions. But we are really a very special cricket team and are really looking forward to Australia.”
Arthur said Pakistan were unlucky in New Zealand as they didn’t get any opportunity to adapt to the local conditions there ahead of the two-Test series.
“I think we have become better and better as the series has gone on. We unfortunately arrived straight from Dubai, and we arrived into five days of rain in Nelson, so we didn’t get any training, we didn’t get our practice game which was completely rained out and there’s just been an earthquake for us as well which was... Had this series gone another Test match, we would have been better for the conditions. So I hope this puts us in great stead for what we can experience in Australia.”
Arthur, who is credited for South Africa’s upswing when he coached them from 2005-10, was full of praise for the Pakistan captain, Misbah-ul-Haq, who will join the side after having missed the second Test against New Zealand.
“Misbah joins us now in Cairns. He is unbelievable, he is the leader of the team, he is really good,” he said.
Arthur also claimed that he has made peace over his sacking by Australia and is not on a revenge mission this summer.
Arthur was replaced by Darren Lehmann as national coach weeks before the 2013 Ashes in Britain.
Arthur took legal action against Cricket Australia over his sacking before the matter was settled privately.
This summer’s three-Test series between Australia and Pakistan would appear to give Arthur the ultimate chance for revenge but if he is on the hunt to settle old scores he kept it well hidden on Thursday.
“I have made peace long ago,” he said.
“I don’t want the series to be about me and Australia.
“It’s not me versus Cricket Australia by any means.
“It has nothing to do with that, it’s two very good cricket sides going head-to-head.
“I am proud to be leading the Pakistan cricket team but I had some great years with Australia as well.
“I am very confident we can aim up against Australia. We are a very skilled cricket team.”
Arthur said the inclusion of fresh young blood did not necessarily make Australia vulnerable.
“I think you look at it both ways,” he said.
“Obviously they are very inexperienced but they are also very good cricketers.
“Australia produces great players and sometimes when you have the exuberance of youth you play with a freedom you sometimes don’t have when you become a settled player and those pressures and expectations become reality. “They have nothing to lose.”