Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur.
Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur. DAN PELED

'I don't think the playing fields are even'

PAKISTAN coach Mickey Arthur has claimed pink-ball Test cricket in Brisbane is unfair, despite Australia batting under the lights on day one and not losing a wicket.

Arthur's claims come after his side lost 7-23 in the space of 14.3 overs during the final session on Friday, to put Australia in complete control.

Although it is Brisbane's first venture into day-night Test cricket, historically the Gabba is a tough place to bat under the lights.

In one-day internationals, only five out of the last 10 teams batting second have gone on to secure victory, with Australia accounting for two of those wins.

Like many others, the former Australian coach believes the pink ball is the way of the future but stated in an ABC interview that the playing field has to be level.

"As an opening batsmen you could appreciate it's not an even playing field. You walk out at 1 o'clock in glorious conditions like this,” said Arthur to ABC Grandstand.

"It's totally different lining up at 1pm than opening up at 6pm or 6.30pm or whenever they get going. So there are definitely issues around it.

"It's the future. If you're playing just one a summer, you've got to do it. Funny enough in Dubai it didn't do anything. I was surprised that they had it at the Gabba, I thought that was the one place where conditions might be extreme.

"In Adelaide it seems to be good, although it still goes round. It is the future, and I agree with you I don't think the playing fields are even.”

Arthur now has the inevitable task of making sure spirits remain high in the Pakistani dressing room, with the tourist facing a mammoth target for an improbable victory.

"I'd be lying if I said there wasn't. As a coach now, we've just got to make them believe,” he said.

"They've got to trust their techniques, they've got to trust what they've done. I mean, we've got guys in there with 10,000 Test runs in that dressing room. If they start second-guessing themselves we're in trouble.

"I think we've got to get through today if we bat again, and get through hopefully the next day or two, then have a really good chat and sit down in Melbourne, that's where we do our basic reassessment. I don't think we can do it today - we've just got to make them believe.”

After their recent struggles, the spots of experienced duo Younis Khan, 39, and Misbah-ul-Haq, 42, have come under fire.

In their last five Test innings, the pair has only registered a combined total of 117 runs, but the coach was quick to defend his players, believing they can still get back to their best.

"I've seen Misbah do it time and time again, and Younis Khan is just a complete professional,” Arthur said.

"I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a little doubt in my mind but I had that doubt in England and I saw Younis come out and play exceptionally well, albeit against a different attack. So I'm backing him in for the time being.”


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