Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed played down the leaked dressing room meeting after stumps on day two of the Boxing Day Test at Centurion by saying that “sometimes hard talk is needed” and it has only boosted the morale of his team before the Cape Town Test on Thursday (January 3)
It is learned that Head coach Mickey Arthur had lashed out at his senior batsmen, Sarfraz, Azhar Ali, and Asad Shafiq for cheaply losing their wickets after Pakistan lost their last nine wickets for 89 runs in the second innings, eventually, they had to face 6-wickets defeat at Centurion against Proteas.
Reportedly, Sarfraz had an altercation with his coach Arthur, admitted that the morale was very low after the Centurion Test defeat, but that “hard talk” elevated his side's morale and he is hoping better performance from his troops in the second Test the three-match series against South Africa.
Sarfraz told reporters at Newlands on Wednesday, “Definitely, after the defeat at Centurion the morale was very low. Sometimes hard talk is needed. And, after that talk, our team's morale is very high.”
The skipper further revealed that they will play with same batting line-up at the Cape Town Test despite Centurion collapse, adding: “We will have the same batting lineup... I am hopeful that my batsmen will do well here. They have been working hard in the nets. So, I am hopeful that they will bounce back in this Test match.”
He continued, “Every Asian side struggles here because we are used to playing on low bounce tracks. So, it is certainly difficult to adjust to the bounce here. But, our batting coach has had chats with our batsmen and hopefully, the batsmen will play better this time.”
While Newlands wicket had thick grass blades on the surface two days before the second Test but it has changed drastically since then and Pakistan skipper hoping to get wickets with his 3-1 combination here.
Sarfraz signed off by saying, “The wicket has changed drastically since yesterday. I think we will go with the 3-1 combination [three pacers and a spinner] here. The pitch has something for Yasir Shah and hopefully, he will get wickets.”
(With Cricbuzz Inputs)