Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur was less than impressed with opener Imam-ul-Haq and captain Sarfraz Ahmed’s performance against India in the Asia Cup.
Imam was caught behind off the bowling of Bhuvneshwar Kumar on the 13th ball of the match for two runs.
His dismissal came about after a sudden rush of blood, where he charged down the track and tried to take the fight to Kumar. Instead, he edged the ball to MS Dhoni behind the stumps.
“[For] Imam, it’s not his role to be running down the ground to Bhuvneshwar in the third over,” Arthur was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz. “I think [it was] the pressure that told on Imam. As I said, out of his role, he had 2 off 8 balls or whatever, but Fakhar had just faced a maiden. So he tried to have a go, he tried to hit the ball that’s not in his area. If he comes down, he’s going to be going extra cover, not mid-wicket, so yes I do think there was a little bit of pressure.”
As for Sarfraz, he was brilliantly caught by substitute fielder Manish Pandey on the wide long-on boundary for six runs off the bowling of Kedar Jadhav.
Athur pointed out that like Imam, Sarfraz did something that was not in his nature and paid the price for it.
“It’s not Sarfy’s [Sarfraz’s] role to be hitting over the top and getting caught out there,” he said. “We’ve got X-factor guys whose role it is to do that. If Fakhar gets out playing that way, it’s okay. If Asif gets out like that it’s okay, because that’s his role. But the other four batsmen certainly need to take responsibility.”
India ended up skittling Pakistan out for 162 and proceeded to annihilate their arch-rivals by eight wickets.