Tue, Oct 23, 2007 - Page 20 News List

Coach confident Proteas can recover from defeat

AFP , FAISALABAD, PAKISTAN

South African cricketer Justin Kemp tries to catch a ball during a practice session at the Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad, Pakistan, yesterday.

PHOTO: AFP

South African coach Mickey Arthur said yesterday the team was confident of bouncing back in the one-day series against Pakistan after losing the second match last week.

"Lifting the team after the loss is not difficult at all and it will not be an issue," said Arthur ahead of the third match today.

South Africa are level 1-1 with Pakistan in the five-match series after the Proteas won the first by 45 runs before Pakistan clinched the second by 25 runs -- both of them played in Lahore.

"We have played really well through the tour, we had a little stutter at Lahore. We have set our team really high standards and need to maintain those standards," said Arthur whose team won the earlier Test series 1-0.

Arthur said he believed that the new-ball-change rule after 35 overs in each innings of a one-day match would increase the run-rate.

"The scores in the last 10 overs especially in the subcontinent will be bigger because of the ball change," said Arthur of the rule recently introduced by the International Cricket Council.

"The ball is not reversing as much as it used to, it is a lot harder and it goes off the bat quicker. Runs are going to be a little bit more plentiful at the back end," he said.

Arthur also said his bowlers need to be more consistent in the final overs of the innings for the rest of the tour.

"We are continually monitoring our death bowling. Sometimes it is a little bit of a lottery. We have specialists who do it for us but we need to be as consistent as we can," he said.

Pakistan will again be without pace spearhead Mohammad Asif, still suffering from a recurrence of an elbow injury which saw him miss the first two matches.

The home team have included opener Khalid Latif in their 15-man squad and dropped Mohammad Hafeez.

Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik was confident his team would carry winning momentum into the third match.

"We gave a good team spirit to win the second match and players are responsible enough to carry that momentum because the middle match is always important," Malik said.

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