Mickey Arthur: “We were disappointed that we took our foot off their throat and gave them a glimpse into the game.” © Getty Images
Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur said that his batsmen had given West Indies legspinner Devendra Bishoo “eight soft wickets” during their second-innings collapse on the fourth day of the day-night Dubai Test. Having taken a 222-run first-innings lead, Pakistan were dismised for 123, losing their last six wickets for 11 runs. Chasing 346, West Indies ended the fourth day at 95 for 2 with the side’s senior batsmen, Marlon Samuels and Darren Bravo, at the crease.
Arthur praised Bishoo for his bowling but rued the fact that the collapse had given West Indies a chance to press for a win. He said that Pakistan’s plan when they chose to bat again after taking the lead was simple: to score about 180 runs in 45 overs and shut West Indies out of the match.
“I am not going to take anything away from the way Bishoo bowled because he bowled really, really well,” Arthur said. “I thought we gave him eight soft wickets. We were cutting against the spin, some lazy shots. That is something we have spoken hard about because that’s not how we play the game. We worked so hard to get ourselves in front of the game and then in one session we lost 6 for 11 and that gave West Indies a sniff. We want to be better than that. We want to be a team that closes the opposition out when we get the opportunity and we didn’t.
“And the message was very simple: we wanted a score of 180 in 45-50 overs. We felt that would have given us 25-30 overs tonight and a full day tomorrow. So we were looking at 180 in probably 45 overs at the most and we played poorly.”
Bishoo, whose returns of 8 for 49 are the best by a visiting bowler in Asia, said that he had reflected on his performance in the first innings – 2 for 125 in 35 overs – and decided to bowl straighter, targeting the stumps, in the second innings.
“Last evening I spent some time thinking about how I had bowled in the first innings and I was bowling most likely fourth-fifth stump and they were cutting the ball down to cover for a single all the time,” Bishoo said. “So I tried to bowl straighter on the stumps. I expected the ball to spin more on the fourth and the fifth days, and that’s exactly what happened. I used the rough a little and I tried to use the crease a bit more and tried to bowl more on the stumps.”
Arthur rued the fact that Pakistan’s collapse had forced the team to play slightly defensively when West Indies came out to bat on the fourth evening. He stated the team was working towards eradicating issues, like the sudden collapse, from their game.
“We’ve batted really well, certainly through the Test matches in England, I thought we were excellent and we were brilliant in the first innings here. So that is something we are trying to eradicate. We want to get this completely out of our game. Consistency is something we need to keep working on, we are talking long and hard about it.
“We were disappointed that we took our foot off their throat and gave them a glimpse into the game when we should have put them out of it. Because what that would have done for our spinners tomorrow is it would have allowed us to have close catchers for longer. So tonight we have a man at sweeper and we haven’t got a silly point to Bravo and that’s simply because the game is getting closer.”
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo