Mickey Arthur at a press conference in Lahore today after the SA Tour:
"I'm proud of the team that went and played in SA, we were away from home on the road for 4.5 months. The intensity and the passion they trained with in the last training session, and the intensity in the first session was fantastic"
"Proud of the development of the younger players"
"Key for us going forward, we have a lot of work to do with the Test team. I don't think it's a coincidence that no Asian team hasn't won a Test series in South Africa before but we know we have a lot of work to do with the Test side"
"Our white ball teams are in pretty good shape. In terms of role clarity and skill-sets required to win in all conditions, we've made lots of progress in last 2 years"
"I was disappointed as were the boys, that we didn't get over the line in the ODI series, we thought we were as good as SA in those conditions"
"In the T20Is, there was some unbelievable cricket played there and to lose 2-1 was galling but the quality of cricket was high"
"South Africa is the toughest place to bat, to get a Man of the Series in ODIs there, to see Babar Azam's development in all formats was simply amazing"
"Talking to the SA press and public, they were immensely impressed with the standard of cricket our guys played in SA which is testimony to the work-rate, the skill-sets and the determination to keep getting better"
Building towards World Cup (PSL context)
"Inzi and I have been on the same page for a long while. I think we've got 19 players for 15 positions at the moment, Inzi and I have the same opinion. PSL always throws up 1-2 good individual performers so we'll have a look at some of our borderline players during the Australia series and make up our minds up leading into the England series"
"The key is players get clarity in terms of their roles. The other thing is to have 2 game plans. The weather in England is unpredictable. So we need an option to have our spinners suffocate the opposition in the middle overs, the key for us to win ODIs is with wickets in the middle. Either we do that with two spinners and some reverse if the weather is dry, or if it's wet, we have to have an option of a seam-bowling all-rounder who can bat 7 and be the fourth seamer. We're close and we've covered our bases in terms of personnel"
Sarfaraz's batting position in LOIs
"It's very simple, we need to be fluid and we're fluid with our game plans. Sarfaraz has done exceptional work with us up and down the order. We need to realise that form comes and goes over a long tour. Players start playing well, and then they slip off the radar so we need to then send in our form players at any given minute"
"We had a look at some key areas in the T20Is with some players, some did well in those periods and some didn't. We had to give them a chance to prove to us whether they could, or couldn't do it"
"In terms of fluidity, it's whoever's in form who can fulfil each situation's requirements. All teams are flexible and we are trying to be the same. If we didn't give chances to those players in those positions, we wouldn't know about them. The last thing we want is to get to a crunch knockout game and send a guy we don't know something about, we have to give them chances beforehand to execute. When there's a game on the line with 20k in the stadium and a TV audience, you can't recreate that in training, so we have to find out about these guys. So we know Saifi can deliver at any position in the batting order but we wanted to see what the others can do"
Sarfaraz being sent back from SA
"I was kept in the loop by the PCB. What Sarfaraz did was wrong and it was worked through, we spoke through it and educated the team through that process. Saifi took it on the chin and apologised and moved forward. He was sanctioned by ICC but that's between PCB and ICC. He's been punished, he's apologised and we can move forward"
"The insecurities around Saifi have been put to bed now. We've got clarity, I was part of that conversation with the chairman, Inzi and some other role players. We are very comfortable with Sarfaraz leading the team forward"
"I just look at players that arrive in our setup. This is no slight on anybody, it's an education process. The Chairman and the new CEO are working thoroughly to have a look at what a really good domestic structure is"
"I'm not degrading the domestic structure, but is it way too big? In my opinion, it is. Do the conditions in domestic cricket replicate Test cricket or international cricket? I'm not sure they do. These are questions that need to be answered"
India playing a lot of cricket and getting a lot of success
"We've played the most cricket over the last 4-5 months out of any cricket team in the world. I'm not using that as an excuse, because that's the way it is and we've got to handle that"
"India have a large pool of players and they rotate them very well. We didn't rotate as much as we're on a process with young players, we need to educate them in all conditions"
Planning for World Cup
"Our planning is done, we've got everything in place. Myself, Sarfaraz and Inzamam are united in the process we want going forward. We've been united in the playing group we've identified. I think our planning is as good as it could possibly be. In fact, having spoken to SA coaches, I think we're probably ahead of a lot of other teams. A lot of them are getting to their best 15 in the next couple months but they've got a bigger pool of players. We've condensed our pool primarily to give them more exposure to pressure situations. We've got to make our decisions during the Australia series and finalise for the England series and the World Cup"
Continuing after the World Cup
"I'd love to continue after the World Cup but that's up to the PCB. I think there's a lot of work to do with our Test team and I'd like to complete that"
"Understand that Sarfaraz first and foremost is a captain and wicket-keeper. Wicket-keeping is a specialist position. His numbers over the last 4.5 months are mind-blowing. One catch dropped, one stumping missed. I did the research on the plane last night. He dropped 8 balls in 4.5 months (when the ball comes through to the keeper). So he's not out of form in his core job which is to keep wicket and take catches and effect stumpings"
"He'll be the first to admit his batting form has come and gone. We've worked extremely hard on his batting, he is very determined to get that right. When he plays well, he wins games for us. I am not worried about his form. He's a very good cricketer. He and I work close together, we've got a very close working relationship, as good as any working relationship I've had with any captain"
Mohammad Amir's form
"He will be the first one to tell you his stats haven't been good in ODI cricket. He's aware of it, as are we. I think he's an incredibly skilled bowled and can win games for Pakistan. When the ball swings, there's no better bowler. Yes, it hasn't swung for a bit and we're working on that. We identified he was decelerating into the crease"
"He's still incredibly skilled and has big match temperament. When the game's on the line, he wants the ball in the pressure situation and that's good enough for me at any stage. So many players across the world don't want the ball when the game is on the line, but he does. I was happy to see his performance in the last T20I, his skill level came to the fore, he executed yorkers beautifully and he gets a bit of reverse as well. Stats, not great and we know that. But sometimes you have a gut feel about the player. When the big moment presents itself, I'm comfortable that he will deliver"
Dressing room incident in South Africa
"What's said in the dressing room stays there. I'm very straightforward as a coach and the players know that. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I'm honest and open. For me, that creates an environment with a lot of trust. Yes, I'm pretty emotional at times"
"At that moment, I did have a conversation with the senior players. But that was a positive, constructive conversation in the dressing room. A lot of the stuff was grossly exaggerated and I make no apologies for having those discussions. Those discussions are only to improve the team and there's no malice intended. When we walk out the dressing room, we're as united as we were before the discussion. I need to give the guys a straightforward and honest appraisal, like I do everyday. We debrief after every day of international cricket we play and I can't sugarcoat it when we didn't think it was good enough. However, I hate the fact that it comes out in the media"
Who is responsible for the series losses?
"We're a united team, once we start blaming bowling or batting then you split the team and it becomes grouped into bowlers or batters. We take responsibility, every one of us, for results. We were in it together. We're a very proud team. If you could see how gutted the players are after every loss, you'd be very proud of them because it just shows how much it means, playing for Pakistan for these players. Our dressing room is a shattered place when we lost a game. We're an incredibly proud team and we don't like losing. We hate losing. We're there to win, for Pakistan first and foremost"
"Sometimes the opposition plays incredibly well. SA dominated us in the Tests, in those conditions and again, I thought the ODI series were touch and go. We had opportunities to win every one of those games and those are the key areas we're focusing on as a team. When the key moment presents itself in a game, we have to have the ability to nail it and I think that was our problem on this tour. We didn't nail those key moments. Hopefully we can learn from that and nail those moments next time"
"Mohammad Amir is certainly within the mix for the World Cup. Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq are senior players and they are the guys who will drive our batting forward. To be honest, we don't play Test cricket till September so we've got to have a look as to where we go with that. But I haven't lost any faith in Azhar and Asad. I still think they have a lot to offer Pakistan cricket, provided they are in form. They're really dedicated professionals and above all, fantastic blokes who contribute greatly to the Pakistan team"
Six-hitting a concern?
"In T20 cricket, we've won 14 off the last 18 games and we got to #1 in the world through not hitting the amount of sixes that the other teams do. So we do it differently, because we don't have those players"
"In ODI cricket it's something we need to work on, we work on our power hitting every day in the nets. When the training session finishes, guys go out to the middle, we throw balls at them and work on their stable positions and their power hitting. It's something we're trying damn hard to get right. I know we don't hit as many sixes. If we don't have the personnel, we have to find other ways. I think our running between the wickets has improved tremendously, I think we outran SA. Of course if we can find the power hitter who can do it, that'd be fantastic. It was interesting to see Shadab in the last T20I, he's worked on his power hitting every day and it came to the fore in the last game. All we can do is to try and make these players better at it"
"I think he's a fantastic cricketer. We've got to realise he's a very young cricketer, still finding his way. We're trying to develop a seam bowling all-rounder. Our best way of winning Tests is with five bowlers, that's our most attacking style and that's the brand we want to play to win Tests. We have to work on his batting though, he is critical to the team"
"The reason we couldn't go with five bowlers was Shadab Khan - for us to play 5 bowlers, he becomes paramount in that selection. He can bat 7 and he can be our 5th bowler. That's no slight on Yasir Shah, we can play both of them with three seamers as well. Faheem is probably not able to bat at #7 in our Test side at this point as that makes our tail too long. So with Shadab not available for Test #1, we couldn't go down that line. We're trying damn hard with Faheem's batting, he works immensely hard on his game. His bowling has got better at times. Towards the back end of the tour, he was iffy but when he had clarity about his role, he produced at the death so we've got to take the confidence he bowls with at the death to his first couple of overs and then we'll get the best out of him. I still think he's a very talented cricketer and one that we can work on going forward"
Conflict of interest as Karachi Kings coach?
"I'm way too professional to let those two things impact each other. I'm here to do a job for Pakistan cricket, I want the best out of Pakistan cricket. I will select, with Inzamam and the selection panel, the best possible combination to win the World Cup"
"Being with Karachi Kings allows me an opportunity to work with other players and gives me a chance during PSL to see any young talent that's out there"
Hafeez, Malik at the World Cup?
"The senior players will play a massive role at the World Cup. In big tournaments, you need guys who have been there and done it. I hope Hafeez and Malik have exceptional World Cups, because if they do, we'll be getting enough runs to put pressure on the opposition. I'm still of the opinion that our bowling attack won us the Champions Trophy and we have to get that up to the mark again. Our batters will complement the bowling attack"
[VIDEO] We're an incredibly proud team and we don't like losing: Mickey Arthur's press conference
[VIDEO] We're an incredibly proud team and we don't like losing: Mickey Arthur's press conference