Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur has slammed his team’s sluggish fielding performance in the fourth ODI against Australia in Sydney, terming it as ‘unacceptable’ and ‘woeful’.
Pakistan spilled four very gettable chances and two harder ones as Australia posted a mammoth 353, giving each of the Australia’s four highest scorers a new life in the innings.
The total ultimately proved out of the reach of Pakistan as they were bundled out for just 267 in their doomed pursuit, handing Australia a comprehensive series win.
Ironically, it was Pakistan’s two best performers of the match who grassed four chances in total. Sharjeel Khan dropped Steven Smith at backward point and Head when he was batting on 28. Hasan Ali spilled two chances when he dropped Maxwell on 8 and Warner on 113.
“We just can’t give chances like that,” Pakistan coach said after the loss according to ESPNCricinfo. “It’s unacceptable. Certainly, the standards we set for this cricket team haven’t been met in the field. So that’s really disappointing.
“(Dropped catches) allows them to push out at the back end. Maxwell should have been out, Head should have been out, which meant that we would have had two new batsmen there all the time.
“Those are the kinds of things we just can’t afford to do. If we want to get to where we want to get to in terms of rankings, we just can’t make those errors.
“Had we taken those catches, those players wouldn’t have been at the wicket to take toll of those last couple of overs.
“Batting and bowling I can sit with tonight and take some positives out of it. Fielding (was) woeful and way below standard.”
Pakistan coach also labeled his team’s fitness “a work under progress” and says they trail behind other teams in that department.
Arthur also added Australians are “15-20 runs better” than Pakistan on average when it comes to fielding, but the gap was blown out of proportion today.
“I said to the guys yesterday in our team meeting that I think Australia are 15-20 runs better than us in those departments … and tonight they were 50 runs better,” Arthur said according to ESPNCricinfo. “And you just can’t compete if that’s the case.
“(I’m) incredibly frustrated. And it’s not through a lack of hard work; the guys have trained and trained and trained and somewhere between the training and going out on the ground, it’s seemed to get lost.
“So we’ll just keep pursuing that and keep endeavouring to get better and better because we have to.
“The gap between the best sides in the world and where we sit at the moment is not great in terms of batting and bowling, but in terms of fielding, athleticism, fitness, running between the wickets, the gap is massive.
“Those are issues we continually talk about and continually train for, but we’re just going to have to do it harder and harder.”
However, Australian fielding display was far from perfect as they also missed two regulation chances and wicketkeeper Wade fumbling a stumping chance. But they managed to grab chances that were important and that’s what mattered at the end.
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