DUBAI: Karachi Kings head coach Mickey Arthur is seeking to regain momentum after a run of poor results has seen them go from being top of the table to fighting for a place in the playoffs.
Arthur and Karachi know that it won’t be easy for them though, with newcomers Multan Sultans next on their schedule at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on March 10.
After facing their defeat of the tournament against Islamabad United, Karachi then lost their second in a row to Sarfraz Ahmed’s Quetta Gladiators. And while their last match against Multan was washed out, Arthur is looking forward to taking on the debutants.
“We have prepared really well for the next game against Multan and are looking for a win to regain the momentum we had at the beginning of the tournament,” Arthur told The Express Tribune. “We went into that game against Quetta Gladiators after having a match washed away and a gap of two days. We were well prepared for that too but we made some silly mistakes that led us to defeat. We still have four games left to regain the momentum and we will do that to confirm our spot in the playoffs.”
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Arthur did admit, however, that he was not pleased with the way his charges played in their last game, losing by 67 runs; the highest margin of defeat in PSL history.
“I was really disappointed by the team’s performance in the last game but I have talked to them about the small mistakes that they committed and they have worked on it in order to get back to winning ways,” he said. “We just have to play according to the plan that was working so well for us at the beginning of the tournament.”
The Pakistan national team coach also emphasized the importance of a good opening stand. “Once we have that (a good opening stand), the other batsmen can just come in and play their respective roles,” he said. “A player who can hit down the ground in this format is the best a team can get.”
Arthur also had special praise for opener Khurram Manzoor. “Manzoor has made me happy with the type of fitness and performance he has been delivering,” said Athur. “He likes to hit it big but can also rotate the strike, which is what we want. He will be important for us in the next game too.”
The former South Africa and Australia coach also discussed the sudden change in scoring patterns, with more runs being scored in the second round of the tournament in Dubai.
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“The pitches have moisture on them and the ball is skidding through, which is helping the batsmen,” he said. “We have practiced according to the conditions.”
Multan, meanwhile, have also fallen off the wayside a little in recent games but team manager Nadeem Khan refuses to be too worried. “We are doing well and all our players are in good fitness, so we are looking to win our next few matches in order to confirm our spot in the playoffs,” he said.