Fitness and fielding going to be top priority now, says Arthur

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Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur has urged his side to dramatically improve their fielding, following Pakistan’s dismal tour to Australia where they were clean swept in Tests and lost 4-1 in ODIs.

The frustrated coach admitted that while his team had no answer for David Warner, the players were still “way behind the pack” when it came to fielding.

“Believe it or not, we’ve worked extremely hard at our fielding,” Arthur said as he prepared to return to his home in Perth and most of the Pakistan team headed to the UAE for PSL, cricket.com.au reported.

“Me and my support staff have been around for about seven months, and that’s been a focus and priority – fitness levels have improved dramatically in terms of our day-to-day reports.

“But we’re way behind the rest of the pack.

“So fitness and fielding again is going to be total priority before we go to the West Indies (later in the year). We’ll have time to put in a camp after the PSL, and we’ll put in a helluva lot of work in that regard because we’re just not up to the mark in those two areas,” Arthur said.

The coach said there were positives in the team’s batting and bowling but the dismal rankings needed to improve.

“With the ball, with the bat, we compete perfectly well.

“We’re still a fledgling one-day side, there are some gaps in our one-day side that we need to work hard to fill.

“We’re ranked eight (on the ICC ladder) at the moment, and I think you could see the gap between eight and one (Australia).”

Arthur also admitted Pakistan had been unable to find a solution for Warner, whose ruthless batting took most of the matches away.

“We saw the difference here, Davey Warner gets in and gets 130 the other day (in Sydney) and 170-odd (yesterday)..”

“So Davey Warner and our fielding has probably been the key difference between the teams,” he noted.

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