Pakistan batting coach Grant Flower lashes out at poor top-order display
After watching their bowlers concede close to 600 on a flat surface, Pakistan’s top-order succumbed to the scoreboard pressure at the end of day 2 in the Old Trafford Test. Understandably, batting coach Grant Flower was extremely unhappy with the outcome.
Speaking to reporters upon completion of the day’s play, the former Zimbabwe batsman admitted that losing four wickets rather quickly left the visitors with a humongous task if they are to get back into the contest.
Flower said, “It wasn't good enough, that was extremely damaging. There was weariness and a huge score like that plays mind tricks. But that's what happens in Test cricket, so it's no excuse.”
Despite seeing off the first ten overs without any damage, Pakistan’s batsmen could not deal with the potency of the in-form Chris Woakes while Ben Stokes chipped in with a useful spell.
Ruing the fallible judgment of his personnel, the former Zimbabwe batsman noted, “Hafeez and Masood played well but a few others played some poor shots. It's a good wicket and it hasn't changed much. If anything it got harder and quicker with more bounce, but it came on to the bat well.”
After Mohammad Hafeez edged one to second slip, the floodgates seemed to have opened with Azhar Ali playing a bizarre stroke. Even the seasoned Younis Khan did not manage to negotiate the testing session.
However, Grant was impressed with Joe Root’s ability to bat for long periods of time and post a mammoth score in the process. The Yorkshireman utilised the conditions to his advantage to cruise to a career-best 254.
Flower lauded, “He made it look simple, left a lot and played the patience game. And he has great shots to go with that.“ With still three full days remaining in the match, he would hope that the other Pakistani batsmen take a leaf out of Root’s book and front up to the 532-run deficit.