There is hardly anyone related to the India-Pakistan game who has kept calm. Everyone is excited. But, Pakistan cricket team coach said that they are “completely calm”. India and Pakistan play their opening game against each other in Birmingham on Sunday. The Pakistan coach said that the dressing room is completely calm and the noise in only on the outside.
“Our changing room was completely calm. It’s amazing. It’s the outside noise that is there. Within the dressing room, it is unbelievably calm, unbelievably focused and very, very excited for the challenge that presents itself. They’re ready for a big game,” Arthur said.
Arthur had formerly coached Australia but was sacked just before their tour to England for the 2013 Ashes series. The South African said that the India-Pakistan rivalry is certainly bigger. Arthur has been coach of Pakistan since May 2016.
“To be honest, I got sacked just before the Ashes. So I never ever experienced that. But I think this rivalry is certainly bigger than most and I’m just so excited to be part of it.”
Arthur also acknowledged the importance of the match and a win in it to begin the Champions Trophy on a high note. He said that every game is massive.
“We know for us to progress in this tournament, we’ve got to hit the ground running. Every game for us in this competition is massive. We can’t take our foot off the pedal in any game, and we can’t think, ‘ah, it’s India, we have to just lift ourselves’, because that would be very unprofessional,” he said.
Talking about the two bowling attacks, the former South Africa coach felt that bowlers will play a key role and said the team which strike can win the game..
“I think the team that’s going to win this competition is the team that can strike,” he said. “Gone are the days of just containing through the middle, gone are the days of just soaking up pressure. You’ve got to be able to take wickets. We always say you pick an attack to take wickets, and that’s what we’re trying to do tomorrow,” the South African said.
Praising the Pakistan bowling, the coach said they have all the arsenal to bowl India out early.
“If you look, we’ve got a left-arm swinger (Mohammad Amir), could have left-arm pace (Wahab Riaz),” Arthur said. “We’ve got the swing and hustle and swing of Hasan (Ali). We’ve got a left-arm spinner (Imad Wasim). We could have a leg-spinner (Azhar Ali). We’ve got an off-spinner (Shoaib Malik).
“We’ve got everything at our disposal tomorrow to allow Saf (Sarfraz Ahmed) to pull the strings to make sure we can try to bowl India out, because that’s got to be priority number one,” he added.
“We can’t just sit back and let them score. We’ve got to attack them and we’ve got to look to bowl them out.”