Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Australia's Ashes hopes could soon turn to dust

The farcical nature of Shane Watson's departure from Australia's tour of India shows just how far the once-unbeatable country has fallen.

Watson, James Pattinson, Usman Khawaja and Mitchell Johnson were dropped from the third test on Thursday after.....failing to come up with a powerpoint presentation when asked.

Now in the grand scheme of things, it's hardly getting bladdered the night before a test match or being verbally abusive or aggressive to hotel staff.

Coach Mickey Arthur and captain Michael Clarke have set a hugely dangerous example here and potentially carved a huge hole right through the middle of the dressing room.

Having flown home, if Watson now jacks in test match cricket then others may follow and an us and them attitude could be born ahead of the country's most important test series, the Ashes.

There is clearly more to it than the four not delivering a presentation on how they can do better, clearly this is the straw that broke the camel's back.

But to discipline so heavily during the middle of a tough tour where Australia are getting their backsides handed to them is massively bad man-management.

If Arthur and Clarke have an issue, get the tour out the way and then when at home, sort it out and if necessary, drop them from the tour of England.

The incident brings to mind England's tour of India which was dominated by the 're-intergration' of Kevin Pietersen, hardly the best place to re-build bridges!

But where England succeeded was if there were problems, they were not aired in public during the series – all we the mere fans saw were KP hitting the ball very hard, lots of hugging of bowlers and public applause
for team mates reaching centuries.

England 1-0 Australia then, but what should be more worrying than that for the Aussies is how far behind the
times they fell.

Do you really think everyone got on with Mark Taylor, with Steven Waugh with Ponting? No!

Do you really think players like Shane Warne got on with coaches like John Buchanan? No!

The difference is though in those days the coach knew the value of the players and rollockings would be left until after a tour or series.

If a row did take place then it was kept behind closed doors because the Australia teams of the past were cocky, arrogant but most importantly SHOWED NO WEAKNESS.

India must be rubbing their hands with glee at this news and if I were Cook and Flower I would be taking a keen interest in these matters.

Because when the Ashes begin in four months time, it won't hurt for eleven Englishmen to demonstrate how united they are and remind 'Pup' Clarke of his troubles.

Hell it might even bring his batting average down, which again wouldn't be a bad thing.....

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