LEEDS: Pakistan’s head coach Mickey Arthur blamed a sub-standard total in the first innings which saw his team facing a series-levelling defeat against England at Headingley after day two on Saturday.
England led by 128 runs after a rain-reduced day, reaching 302-7 after no play in the first three hours of the day. That was in reply to Pakistan’s 174 all out, a total Arthur felt was not up to the mark.
“I think if you pitch in the right areas there is been enough on offer. It was a correct decision batting first if we had seen through the first session batting would have been easier. We are probably paying the price now for a substandard first innings total,” said Arthur.
Pakistan, who won the toss and batted, were lifted by a half-century by Shadab Khan as England seamers James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes took three wickets apiece.
Pakistan also bowled well but Joe Root (45), Dominic Bess (49) and Jos Butler (34 not out) took the fight to them as England look for their first win in nine Tests.
“We didn’t get enough runs in the first innings. that’s the key. As a unit, we have bowled in good areas, apart from Hasan’s drop catch we have fielded okay. You pay the price if you win the toss and bat you need to score 300 plus to put pressure on the opposition,” said Arthur.
Arthur said Pakistan will fight hard.
“We wanted 120 lead, we had set and got ahead. We need to hang on to every chance,” said Arthur. ”
We need to do what we did at Lord’s, we need to show patience, we didn’t do here in the first innings. On a wicket like this, you need discipline and patience. We are a bit indecisive in the first innings.
“We will not think that we are out of the match, there is a little bit for the bowlers and new ball and it will be there all game. England is a new ball venue, you have 40 overs with the new ball and if you bat well in the first 40 overs then it gets easier. We didn’t do it here.”
Arthur admitted Haris Sohail needed to convert30s into big scores.
“I thought Haris has shown a lot of potential, he is fairly young to Test cricket but needs to convert good starts, no doubt about that, he is starting to feel comfortable at number 3 and has a good future but he needs to convert good starts an then he will get better and better. I have full faith in him.”