Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur takes blame after India loss at ICC Champions Trophy | icc-champions-trophy-2017 | Hindustan Times
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Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur takes blame after India loss at ICC Champions Trophy

Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur says his players were overawed by the situation and wilted under pressure against India in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 clash.

icc champions trophy 2017 Updated: Jun 05, 2017 12:34 IST
AFP
Wahab Riaz sits on the field holding his ankle after an injury during the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 match between India and Pakistan.
Wahab Riaz sits on the field holding his ankle after an injury during the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 match between India and Pakistan.(AP)

Pakistan wilted against India in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 in what is cricket’s most high-profile fixture, with an estimated television audience of a billion in addition to a capacity crowd of 24,000 that created a raucous atmosphere at Edgbaston. (VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS, India vs Pakistan, ICC Champions Trophy 2017: IND win big)

This was Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur’s first direct involvement in cricket’s fiercest rivalry, with Sunday’s match taking place in Birmingham -- a city with one of the largest Asian populations in Britain.

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The South African, in common with players from both sides, had tried to downplay the fixture as no more important than any other game.

But that message did not get through to several members of Arthur’s team, with paceman Wahab Riaz losing the plot completely during a wicketless return of none for 87 in 8.4 overs which ended when the left-armer fell in his delivery stride and went off with an ankle injury.

But Arthur was angry at suggestions that Wahab had come into the match carrying an injury.

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“Let’s get something straight first off. Wahab Riaz was fully fit. He went through a fitness test; he was declared fully fit,” Arthur insisted.

“He performed poorly and I’ll take the blame. I selected him because I wanted him to perform a role. He didn’t execute that role, unfortunately.

“Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t.”

‘Situation got to them’

Wahab’s ankle knock meant the tailender was unable to bat in a sedate run chase that never got going before Pakistan eventually slumped to 164 all out.

“The only thing I can think is the magnitude of the situation got to them,” said Arthur, a former coach of both South Africa and Australia.

“But we’ll bounce back from it,” insisted Arthur, whose side must beat South Africa at Edgbaston on Wednesday to have any hope of reaching the semi-finals.