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Monday, 24 February, 2003, 13:17 GMT

No excuses for England defeat

By Richard Pybus
Pakistan coach

Our defeat against England was disappointing but I don't want anyone to think that it was for lack of preparation or attention to detail.

We've worked considerably harder than our results have suggested.

And we're not out of the World Cup yet.

Shoaib Akhtar It's up to us to win our next three games - including the crunch match against India - and then look at the various permutations within what is proving to be a very tough group.

There are no excuses for our performance against England.

Quite simply, our batsmen did not produce when it mattered, as was the case against Australia.

It is a worrying trend but one that I hope can be turned around with one decent performance - starting against Holland on Tuesday.

There was some wonderful bowling from England, particularly from Jimmy Anderson, whose ball to dismiss Yousuf Youhana - shaping to leg before swinging away and bowling him middle stump - was a pretty special one to get first up.

But I think you have to look at our lack of application rather than England's bowling.

I'm not a great believer in luck but it's uncanny how an out-of-form batsman, like Inzamam-ul-Haq, tends to nick balls that he would miss on other days.

For Inzy, as well as every other batsman in the side, it's back to basics.

There is not much that can be done between games, and all I asked of the players on Monday was a light net.

We're a team of strokemakers and I'll be telling the batsmen to go out and play their natural games.

As for the bowling, I was disappointed that Shoaib Akhtar, after two lightning overs, tailed off so markedly.

He has a very specific role in the side, which is to take wickets. There are others who can concentrate on line and length.

Clearly, he tried too hard and lost his accuracy. The first five overs represent an ideal opportunity to take wickets, as England showed in claiming three.

I don't want to make too much of the fact that we were disadvantaged by being asked to bat under lights because I think that we are talented enough to overcome such obstacles.

But I genuinely believe that Shoaib would have been a different proposition if we had been bowling second.

All of that, though, is in the past and I have made it clear to the players that they have to look to the future.

It's do or die from here.

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Related to this story:

England thrash Pakistan (22 Feb 03 |  Team Pages )
Ready for England (20 Feb 03 |  Pakistan )
Bring on the Aussies (10 Feb 03 |  Pakistan )
Extra time pays dividends (05 Feb 03 |  Pakistan )

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