Pakistan fast-bowler Wahab Riaz has hailed the influence of new coach Mickey Arthur, who according to him has instilled a “fearless” approach to Pakistan’s limited-over cricket.
Arthur took over from former coach Waqar Younis, who stepped down after the team’s dismal performance in the World T20 this year.
In his first real assignment as the team’s coach, Arthur’s men secured a historic draw in the Test series in England, which eventually helped the Green Caps to reach the top spot in the longest format of the game.
However, the team suffered a humiliating 4-1 defeat in the ODI series against England, after which the coach said that there is no place for underperforming players in the team.
Wahab said that Arthur is focused on the efforts of the players, which is what all he demands from the team. “What [Arthur] requires is the effort, which I would say is the main thing he has brought,” Wahab was quoted by Sports360. “I think that’s the big difference because he is talking to the guys about what sort of roles they have to perform and they don’t have to worry about anything else.
“We know the kind of cricket we are playing, we are still behind the other teams, but what he started to bring in is a kind of confidence and that kind of fearlessness that our batters take the bowlers on and our bowlers take the batters on.”
The 31-year-old also revealed that Arthur also communicated the messaged to the players that if they put their all in, he will support them regardless of the results.
“[Arthur] knows what he wants and what he wants out of his team,” he added. “There was always a fear in player’s mind before that whether we would be playing the next game or not, but Mickey has tried to communicate with his players and he’s taken the fear out of them.
“As a player, such things can increase your confidence because you know that all you need to do is give 100%, and if you do that, the coach will back you up.”
Wahab also believes that Arthur’s influence is already showing on the team in the one-off T20I against England and in the first two matches of the ongoing series against West Indies in the UAE. “I think we have seen a glimpse in the last ODI and T20I [in England] how we should play this game, how we should take on the other team and that should give confidence to the team,” he concluded.