Pakistani cricketer Imad Wasim
Pakistani cricketer Imad Wasim Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Pakistan captain Imad Wasim and coach Mickey Arthur candidly admitted that their team slumping to a 5-0 defeat to Australia has crushed their spirit after the fifth and final match of the series at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday.

Wasim feels that there are no excuses for such humiliation — even though most of their top players were not in the squad.

“No matter what players are playing, 5-0 is a bad loss,” he said. “But we have to chin up as we have a series coming up against England and the World Cup. We’ll sit down and see what we have to do, and then do it.”

Asked whether the team’s morale has been hit by the huge defeat, Arthur candidly said it had affected his team but urged every fan to look at the bigger picture of winning the World Cup.

“In terms of morale, yes, we are all incredibly disappointed, because we are an incredibly proud cricket nation, and we represent 210 million people,” he said. “But I think there is a bigger picture. The bigger picture is we have a World Cup to win. We have to be playing in that World Cup final on July 14.”

Arthur then went on to justify his decision to rest their top players and test their bench against a formidable Australian team.

“What was the best way to get there [World Cup]? Our best way to get there was to have our major players, who are going to have a significant impact in that World Cup, rested, so that we have them fitter, faster, stronger come the start of the World Cup,” he said.

“We got on the road on September 12, with the Asia Cup in the UAE. We went all the way through to South Africa with four days’ break. We then finished the South Africa series, flew straight from there to the Pakistan Super League. We finished the PSL, then two days later came here. So there was no gap to rest for those players.”

Wasim feels that his players who played here have all worked hard. He went on hail Haris Sohail who was in top form cracking two centuries.

“Two hundreds in four games is good,” he said. “He’s worked really hard on his fitness, and it’s paid off. Shan [Masood] also played really well.”

Wasim remained unbeaten on 50 on Sunday in the brilliant chase towards Australia’s target of 327-7 in 50 overs but Pakistan fell short by just 20 runs.

Wasim also hailed the other top performers of the series.

“After 17 years of struggle, Abid Ali showed his class in the last game,” he said. “So did [Mohammad] Rizwan. If they keep playing like this, they can be superstars. No matter who is playing, they have to show their A game. It’s a big loss for us, but we’ll come back hard in the next series.”

Arthur, who had coached Australia from 2011 to 2013, sportingly lauded Australia’s performance and said: “Australians are travelling really well. All the final jigsaw parts are coming together nicely. Australia look a very good side. They will be a threat for other teams in the World Cup.”