Pakistan are still a work in progress: Arthur
Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur said that his team were suffering a bit of a crisis in confidence but reiterated that they are still a work in progress and will emerge as a better team.
For the second time running, Pakistan were reduced to second best, perhaps even third best by no-holds barred India in the Asia Cup. After suffering an eight-wicket loss when the two sides first met last Wednesday, Pakistan were inflicted a nine-wicket defeat in the Super Four on Sunday.
And Arthur, who took over in 2016 and has since been stitching together a relatively young unit, said that they were beaten by a very good Indian side.
"We have to be realistic here. We were very well beaten by a very good Indian cricket team. They didn't allow us to play," admitted Arthur.
"We are a team that is developing and we have said it all along. You've got Sarfraz (Ahmed) and (Mohammad) Amir with 50 more caps and (Shoaib) Malik with 200 odd. Other than that, the boys are young. They are developing, they will develop from this. They will get strength and they will get better from this. Certainly, not abandoning these boys. These guys are very skilled, very good cricketers. They are suffering a bit of a confidence crisis at the moment. There's a little bit of fear of failure in the dressing room, there's a bit of a reality check for exactly where we are as a cricket team. We are on a journey and we will get better and stronger from this," he said.
Arthur backed his boys to the hilt and said that he still retains the belief in this bunch.
"I've got massive belief in the players in our dressing room. I think they are a fantastic bunch of boys, they are a fantastic cricket team. They are going to get better. I don't think there's a massive gulf. What I do believe is India have some very fine players and if we give them an inch, like we did tonight, they are going to make us pay and they did that," said the South African.
Arthur also felt that Sarfraz would grow into a strong captain. "Sarfraz's captaincy is growing and I've said this numerous times. I've had the privilege to work with two outstanding captains. Sarfraz is the third captain I'm working with and he's a learning captain. Sarfraz is learning and will develop into a very good captain for Pakistan," he said.