BIRMINGHAM: Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur wants to see his “warriors” of Lord’s return for the third Test against England at Edgbaston.
The tourists won the first Test at ‘the home of cricket’ by 75 runs, only to see England square the four-match series with a crushing 330-run win at Old Trafford.
“We’re going to have to raise our game considerably from Old Trafford – without a doubt,” Arthur told reporters at Edgbaston on Monday.
“I was really disappointed with our performance at Old Trafford – really disappointed … with the way we lost there,” the South African added ahead of the third Test, which starts at the Birmingham ground on Wednesday.
“There are credible losses, and there are losses when you lie down and are steamrollered … Old Trafford was clearly that.
“I told the guys I thought we were warriors at Lord’s. We were completely the opposite at Old Trafford.
“We’re doing everything we can to get us back on the right track … and I’m 100 percent [sure] we will be come the first ball on Wednesday.
“We had some good, hard conversations around our performance. So we’ve dissected Manchester, the guys are in good spirits and we’re ready to play again.
“The overriding feeling is still one of confidence.”
England captain Alastair Cook and Joe Root both made hundreds in Manchester but the rest of the home top order have yet to post a big score this series, with James Vince and Gary Ballance both in need of runs to cement their respective places.
“They are all quality players … [but] at this level, confidence is such an important thing,” Arthur said.
“They clearly know when they walk out to bat that they are playing for their Test places. So that provides another level of pressure.
“It’s not just the opposition running in and bowling a cricket ball at you. Suddenly that pressure is intensified, because they’re playing for their places as well.
“We feel if we can get into them with the new ball, we’ve got a real good chance. Clearly Cook and Root are the beacon of England batting at the moment.”
But Pakistan have top-order problems of their own too, with opener Shan Masood having fallen six times for just 15 runs in 57 balls to James Anderson dating back to last year in the UAE.
“We’ve had discussions. We’ve given that position some serious thought,” said Arthur. “We’re very clear on what we’re going to do this Test, but it’s not for public consumption.”
Pakistan could promote number three Azhar Ali to open and bring another batsman into the middle order. “It has been a worry,” added Arthur.
“The thing I’ve said to our batsmen is about the trend of dismissal.
“Batsmen are going to get out – but when there is a trend that develops, that’s when it is concerning for us as support staff.” -AFP