Saturday, 27 August 2016, 04:30am
Mickey Arthur vows to shake up Pakistan's antiquated one-day style
Despite ascending to top spot in the ICC Test rankings, Pakistan look distinctly less impressive in the ODI arena, where they sit ninth in the standings.
England proved far too good in the Royal London series opener at the Ageas Bowl, cantering to a 44-run win on Duckworth-Lewis.
The sides meet again at Lord's on Saturday and Arthur, who took over as national coach in May, struggled to put a positive spin on Pakistan's prospects.
Asked if concerns over a pedestrian batting line-up and defensive mindset were accurate, he said: "Playing the way we played the other night...we're behind the times.
"That was my first ODI with Pakistan and everything I've heard was on view really. I want to see the guys go out and express themselves, play with a bit of freedom.
"England and all the other teams around the world are sort of playing the same way. We want to play with a style that is fairly attractive and doesn't leave us behind the rest of the world.
"We've had a real good chat about it and got some ideas about how we can put it right.
"I've said to the boys we've got absolutely nothing to lose."
Arthur also indicated he was less than convinced by the squad at his disposal and would push for changes in future series.
But for now, he has challenged those in the camp to show they can survive any future cull.
"We're going to build a team we think can compete in a year or two's time," he said.
"The invitation is there to every player: step up or we'll find somebody else who can step up, it's as simple as that.
"I've actually started, the other night, going through potential players in Pakistan who can fulfil roles we think we're going to need to evolve. In the meantime, the 15 players we've got here we've got to back 100% and given them the opportunity to stake their claim to be part of the Pakistan ODI squad going forward.
"I'll look into the archives in Pakistan and see if there's any young players around who can do that. What we've got is what we've got at the moment and we've got to formulate a plan to make it work for us."
The outlook seems particularly bleak for Mohammad Hafeez, the long-serving batsman whose stock has plummeted on this tour.
Asked if he might make way for new faces, former South Africa and Australia coach Arthur said: "I said to the players this morning nobody's safe. And if you're over 30 you've got to be coming to table more often than not otherwise it's an opportunity to blood some younger players.
"I'm telling no secrets, nobody is 100% safe in the ODI side and the guys know that. Everybody knows they're on notice."
Things are rather more serene in the home dressing room, with wicketkeeper Jos Buttler happy to describe Wednesday's dominant display in Southampton as little more than a run-of-the-mill outing.
"It was a workmanlike performance," he said.
"They never really got away from us with the ball and after that little rain break in Pakistan's innings we finished off the innings really well.
"Jason Roy continued his fantastic form from the Sri Lanka series, Joe Root was as usual - he may as well start on fifty it seems.
"We set our bar very high, at the start of the Sri Lanka series we didn't have a good performance so this is a much better place to start from."
That match was Buttler's first competitive action since July 8, when he fractured his left thumb on Lancashire duty, but he kept a clean slate with no byes given and one catch taken.
"It's been a long time since I'd played a game of cricket, it was great to be back out there," he said.
"After the first five overs you settle down then it feels right again. When you are sat on the sofa you realise how lucky you are and how much you want to be a part of it."
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Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur plans to revive Pakistan's one-day fortunes