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Mickey Arthur urges Pakistan to channel 'cornered tigers' spirit for success

Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur said he will rekindle the mantra of the "cornered tigers" spirit which was the theme of Pakistan's 1992 World Cup win under the leadership of Imran Khan, in order to inspire the players.

Pakistan's chances of advancing to the knockout stage of the tournament have become only slimmer at the back of an 89-run defeat by arch-rivals India, leaving them second to last in the 10-team table.

Despite the precarious situation of the current team, Pakistan's parallels with the 1992 World Cup format provide them with an outside chance to pull off a miracle and end up in the top four.

Pakistan has achieved only one win so far against pre-tournament favourites England while bearing the brunt of three losses and a washout against Sri Lanka.

Intriguingly, Pakistan also began their 1992 World Cup campaign with a loss to the West Indies as experienced in this edition of the tournament.

Later, they gained a crucial point from the washout against England at Adelaide when Imran Khan's team was bundled out for just 74 on the board but the rain saved them from an imminent defeat.

Pakistan had lost to South Africa and India before they went on a winning spree in their final three group games against Australia, Sri Lanka and New Zealand.

Pakistan's chances of qualifying for the semi-finals at that time too were hinged on the result of the Australia-West Indies match, which went in their favour.

Khan, now the prime minister of Pakistan, had worn a T-shirt depicting "cornered tigers" at the toss of the final in Melbourne versus England and spoke that he expected his team to fight with a ruthless approach.

Arthur was visibly distressed by Pakistan's current standing in the World Cup as he told AFP: "It is disappointing to be in such a position.

"We can't change the past but can influence the future and I will definitely remind my players of the spirit of 'cornered tigers'," he added.

'I will look to inspire this team'

Compared to the 1992 World Cup scenario, Pakistan have a tougher task at their hands as they not only need to win their next four encounters but also have to triumph by significant margins to better their pitiable net run-rate of minus 1.93.

Pakistan will also be depending on other results to go their way.

Pakistan's next match is against South Africa at the iconic Lord's on Sunday before their last three games versus New Zealand, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

Arthur, who took over as Pakistan coach in May 2016, said he will try hard to lift the spirits of his players.

"I will be doing everything I can and using all my experience to make this happen," he said.

Arthur's most memorable achievement with Pakistan came when the team won the Champions Trophy in 2017.

He said: "I love this team. I love Pakistan so I will definitely use all my experience to inspire this team."

Pakistan's loss to India on Sunday has extended their winless streak against India in World Cup games to seven.

However, they could find solace from the fact they lost to their subcontinent rivals in the 1992 World Cup and group stage of the Champions Trophy as well.

"We are extremely disappointed with the defeat but we have to put it behind us and stand together and come back strong," Arthur said.