Batting coach Grant Flower has conceded Pakistan’s ‘atmosphere isn’t the best at the moment’ during the ongoing Test series against South Africa.
The tourists slipped to a six-wicket defeat in the series opener at SuperSport Park in Centurion – and have been hampered by off-field problems ahead of this week’s second Test at Newlands in Cape Town.
Coach Mickey Arthur was sanctioned by the International Cricket Council after publicly questioning a third-umpire decision in Centurion. The Pakistan Cricket Board also released a statement after Arthur’s confidential criticism of the batsmen was leaked to the media.
‘Not many losing teams’ atmosphere will be the best. No one likes to lose. You don’t want to become happy losers. I’m not involved in selection, but there are quite a few guys with their places under threat. It’s not just one or two batsmen, you could point fingers at a few players,’ Flower told ESPNcricinfo.
‘We don’t know who is the leaker. 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. But 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.
‘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. But sometimes that’s needed and the guys needed to be told a few home truths. Mickey won’t be the first or last coach to do that. If the guys do have strong character, they’ll bounce back from it and take that as a challenge.’
Pakistan have slipped to seventh position in the ICC’s 10-team Test rankings. They are flanked by sixth-placed Sri Lanka and eighth-placed West Indies.