Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur blamed his team’s batsmen for their heavy loss against India in the Asia Cup on Wednesday.

The South African rued that his side could not handle the pressure and played well “outside” of their roles. Pakistan made a disastrous start, losing two wickets for three runs before being bundled out for 162. India chased down the modest target in 29 overs to register a thumping win.

“We sort of batted outside our roles, which was very disappointing. Imam-ul-Haq – it’s not his role to be running down to Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the third over. It’s not Sarfraz’s (Ahmed) role to be hitting over the top and getting caught out there. We’ve got X-factor guys whose role it is to do that,” said Arthur.

“If Fakhar (Zaman) gets out playing that way, it’s OK. If Asif (Ali) gets out like that, it’s OK, because that’s his role. But the other four batsmen certainly need to take responsibility.”

Arthur felt the occasion got the better of the batsmen. “(It was) the pressure that told on Imam. As I said, out of his role, he had two off eight balls or whatever, but Fakhar had just faced a maiden. He tried to have a go, he tried to hit the ball that’s not in his area. I do think there was a little bit of pressure,” he said.

India’s discipline was ‘so much better’

The bowlers had too little to defend but Arthur admitted they could have done better. “On a wicket like that, you need to strike really early if you’re going to defend it. We didn’t strike early enough. But, saying that, we went away from our plans too quickly. We said that our batters batted outside our roles and that wasn’t acceptable.”

“With our bowling, we went outside our plans far too quickly. We wanted to bowl hard lengths, hit the top of off stump. It was tough to score then. There was a bit of panic when they didn’t strike early. We panicked and went away from our plans,” he said.

Arthur said the better team won and felt India were probably fired up more after a scare against Hong Kong on Tuesday. “India played better than us today. They put us under pressure for longer periods of time. They were probably quite good for the hit-out last night and they got a little bit of a scare.

“They certainly came out, and their discipline was so much better. We saw what a difference (Jasprit) Bumrah makes to the attack. I thought their spinners bowled well, and their lengths were much better than last night. I think they were better for their hit-out.”

India play Pakistan for the second time in the tournament on Sunday.

(With inputs from PTI)