Pakistan batting coach Grant Flower admits he has “seen happier dressing rooms” than the one he finds himself in with the group proper now. Chatting with ESPNcricinfo within the wake of Pakistan’s defeat inside three days at South Africa’s arms in Centurion, he additionally warned a variety of the gamers’ locations could be beneath menace following a collapse that noticed Pakistan cede a commanding place at tea on the second day to succumb to a tame six-wicket reverse.
“The environment is not the most effective in the meanwhile,” Flower mentioned. “Not many shedding groups’ environment would be the finest. Nobody likes to lose. You do not wish to grow to be pleased losers. I am not concerned in choice, however there are fairly a number of guys with their locations beneath menace. It isn’t only one or two batsmen, you can level fingers at a number of gamers.”
Proof of a breakdown within the morale of the camp additional emerged following stumps on the second day, the one which oversaw a Pakistan collapse that every one however put them out of the sport, with a dressing room leak reporting coach Mickey Arthur had misplaced his mood with the gamers, particularly giving among the batsmen an earful. Though the PCB later issued a press release denying Arthur a lot as turned offended, there may be little doubt he did make his displeasure identified, with Flower saying the actual drawback was the incident being leaked to the media.
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“We do not know who it’s [the leaker]. However they have to take a look at themselves within the mirror. It ought to by no means occur. On tour it is all about teamwork, you are speculated to be a household and belief one another. However I have been with the group over 4 years and there have been fixed leaks on a regular basis. It is nothing new for me, so it does not actually come as a shock.
“Mickey had some robust phrases with the gamers; there was fairly a little bit of honesty from him. I feel the blokes have been a bit shell-shocked, however they’ve heard Mickey, everybody is aware of he can come down harshly on the boys at occasions. However typically that is wanted and the blokes wanted to be advised a number of house truths. Mickey will not be the primary or final coach to try this. If the blokes do have robust character, they’re going to bounce again from it and take that as a problem.”
A lot of Arthur’s wrath, ESPNcricinfo understands, was directed on the extra skilled middle-order batsmen within the camp. Regardless of Pakistan’s perceived batting weak point mendacity on the high of the order, Imam-ul-Haq and Shan Masood had manged to present their aspect a strong basis by tea, with the rating studying 100 for 1. And in a session the place the center order may need constructed on the beginning and given South Africa a frightening fourth innings goal, a string of poor photographs noticed the guests lose 9 wickets within the session, bowled out by stumps.
Arthur’s temper had not improved by the next morning, and when Dean Elgar appeared to be dismissed within the slips by Azhar Ali, the third umpire overturned the comfortable sign of out to present him a reprieve that noticed him rating a half-century and kill off any Pakistan hopes. Arthur went to the third umpire to remonstrate, incomes him a demerit level within the course of, however Flower discovered himself in settlement with the coach.
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“For my part, it was the improper resolution. And the on-field umpire gave that out. And there was no conclusive proof in any other case, so he ought to have upheld that call.”
The Pakistan center order discovered itself beneath extreme scrutiny over the previous few days, and Flower felt the dismissal of Asad Shafiq, particularly, confirmed what stress may do to Pakistan.
“He is one of many strongest guys mentally, however whenever you’re beneath stress, issues can change. Technically, that ball that he hit within the second innings, his again foot did not go throughout in any respect. There is no weight switch in the direction of the supply. That is what stress does. He had an enormous name the ball earlier than, and whenever you’re beneath stress, your reactions aren’t as fast as they should be towards the most effective assault on the planet in the meanwhile. Each time folks appear to be writing off Asad he comes via with an enormous hundred. If he’s provided that probability once more I might again him. He is undoubtedly ok and ought to be enjoying for Pakistan.”
The difficulty of Sarfraz Ahmed’s declining fortunes had lengthy simmered within the background as an itch to be scratched, however of late has emerged entrance and centre as a borderline disaster. With the Pakistan captain struggling badly for runs sporting a method that appears unlikely to flourish on this a part of the world – he seems to be crouching far too low on what are virtually tennis ball bounce pitches – Pakistan have been left with a captain off form and no apparent captaincy substitute.
“Anybody would agree being a captain, batsman and wicketkeeper might be the toughest job in cricket,” Flower mentioned. “And doubtless too laborious. I am positive it will assist his batting if he did not have the captaincy stress, however that is how it’s in the meanwhile. If that is going to proceed, then he has to discover a approach of dealing with these pressures technically and mentally.
“It is a powerful one. Saifi’s a extremely good bloke who’s having a nasty run. Technically, simply making an attempt to work on having the ability to depart the ball and never defending exterior off stump, getting beneath the brief ball. I assumed we have been progressing, however clearly the outcomes present in any other case. It is a powerful one, whenever you’re in a rut.”
Flower additionally revealed Mohammad Rizwan had been wanting superb within the nets, and got here to the tour on the again of fine type, with the caveat that these pitches have been worlds aside from those the place he had prospered lately. He additionally singled out Fakhar Zaman as a participant who must adapt to circumstances right here in South Africa, and perceive he could not play the best way he had been doing again house.
“Mickey is kind of an enormous Fakhar fan, and so am I. He is obtained to understand, although, he cannot play the identical approach on these South African wickets as he does within the UAE as a result of the bounce is completely totally different. He is obtained to adapt and be mature sufficient to know that. Concerning that second innings dismissal, it’s kind of hit or miss. You’ll be able to’t simply tee off and hope it will land in no man’s land. In Take a look at cricket you have to be extra circumspect than that. I advised him, and he is admitted to that. So hopefully he’ll enhance.”
Pakistan additionally might discover themselves disadvantaged of getting all their gamers again, with Flower disclosing Haris Sohail was nonetheless combating the knee damage that plagued him in Centurion, and the Cape City Take a look at might come too quickly for him. That may recommend an unchanged high three for the second Take a look at, the place tempo hasn’t been fairly as laborious to fight as Pakistan discovered it in Centurion.
“Fairly a number of of the blokes struggled on these wickets. Even the South Africa gamers who know these circumstances mentioned this monitor was bloody laborious. Individuals can say no matter they need, however they have to keep in mind these are powerful circumstances. However good gamers adapt, and our gamers should adapt rapidly earlier than the Newlands Take a look at.
“The monitor is not fairly as bouncy there, and we’ve obtained an excellent group. They’re used to combating laborious and popping out of the nook so we’ll see what occurs at Newlands.”