Pakistan batting coach Grant Flower has admitted the side’s dressing room is not a happy one as Sarfraz Ahmed and his men look to address a string of poor recent results in the longest format of the game.
However, Flower said the poor atmosphere is to be expected considering recent defeats.
“No one likes to lose. You don’t want to become happy losers,” said Flower, while speaking to ESPNcricinfo.
The former Zimbabwe batsman also suggested that there might be major changes for the second South Africa Test as Mickey Arthur looks to reshuffle his pack of poorly performing men.
A recent leak revealed that Arthur has given his senior batsmen the hairdryer treatment and Flower said the person leaking the information breached their ‘trust’ but said they don’t know who it was.
“We don’t know who did it. But they’ve got to look at themselves in the mirror. It should never happen. On tour it’s all about teamwork, you’re supposed to be a family and trust each other,” he said, but admitted that this is a regular occurrence rather than a one-off incident. “I’ve been with the team over four years and there have been constant leaks all the time. It’s nothing new for me, so it doesn’t really come as a surprise.”
The Pakistan Cricket Board had looked to play down the Arthur incident but Flower admitted that there had been some ‘strong words’ used.
“Mickey had some strong words with the players; there was quite a bit of honesty from him. I think the guys were a bit shell-shocked, but they’ve heard Mickey, everyone knows he can come down harshly on the boys at times,” he said, before defending the former South Africa coach’s methods. “Sometimes that’s needed and the guys needed to be told a few home truths.”
The players weren’t the only ones who felt the bad-tempered Arthur’s wrath though, with the coach earning himself a demerit point when he went to remonstrate with the third umpire over a not-out decision that potentially cost his side the match. Flower, though, agrees with Arthur and feels his side were hard done by that decision.
“In my opinion, it was the wrong decision. And the on-field umpire gave that out. And there was no conclusive evidence otherwise, so he should have upheld that decision.”
Skipper Sarfraz has been struggling for runs of late and there have even been calls of him being dropped, let alone be stripped of captaincy. Flower admitted that Sarfraz might benefit from his workload being eased a bit.
“Anyone would agree being a captain, batsman and wicketkeeper is probably the hardest job in cricket,” Flower said. “And probably too hard. I’m sure it would help his batting if he didn’t have the captaincy.”