Australia news

Hussey raised concerns about team culture

Daniel Brettig

October 2, 2013

Comments: 52 | Text size: A | A

Michael Hussey prepares for his final Test, Sydney, January 2, 2012
Michael Hussey was troubled with the direction the Australian team was taking © AFP
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Michael Hussey has revealed he arranged a formal meeting with former Australia coach, Mickey Arthur, to express concern about the direction and culture of the Australian team as early as the West Indies tour in 2012, and also conceded that his concerns hastened thoughts of retirement. During the Caribbean trip, on which the tourists won the Test series 2-0, Hussey met with Arthur to outline his worries about the way the team was progressing, foreshadowing the dire results that would occur in India and England following his retirement.

A few of Hussey's points of trouble included the development of an insular team environment where players looked out for themselves and their own positions rather than pulling together for the team, and also the emergence of a tense, unhelpful atmosphere in the dressing room. In his autobiography, Underneath the Southern Cross, Hussey writes that he did not feel his concerns were adequately addressed.

"While I was in the West Indies, I became concerned at a deeper level about how I was enjoying being in the team," Hussey wrote. "My view was always that in cricket you have to be genuinely happy for your team-mates' success. If it wasn't happening, was it the team culture or was it just a few players? I was a bit nervous about that, and organised a meeting with Mickey.

"I sat down with him and and got all my concerns out in the open. 'We need to foster a culture that makes them want to think about other people and play for the team,' I said. 'Get them out of [that] insular thinking and bring in team activities. It's about caring for each other. There's too much insular thinking; about number one only.'

"Did Mickey see it as something that could be improved? In our chat, I don't think anything I said went in. Mickey definitely listened, but he was in tunnel vision mode too. He had specific things he wanted to focus on, and anything from left field didn't register. I walked away from the meeting thinking I was glad to have got it off my chest, but it didn't go anywhere.

"It was understandable how Mickey had his specific plans, and Michael [Clarke] too, but for me it was a big early warning sign that this team had problems ahead of it. We were fostering an environment where guys only cared about their positions and didn't think about the team. The dressing room became just as stressful and tense as [it was] out in the middle. It should be a sanctuary, where you can let go and have a joke with your team-mates. Our dressing room wasn't relaxed or calm, or conducive to good play. I didn't enjoy that tension, and I'm sure some of the guys weren't enjoying it."

Through the period of Clarke's captaincy and Arthur's coaching tenure, Hussey enjoyed some of the best run-scoring form of his career, but his memoir is dotted with instances of reservations about the direction the team was taking, particularly due to several of the dictates of the Argus review. Hussey also recalls how Clarke's position as a selector, a post he has now relinquished, created an atmosphere in which players were fearful of consequences should they put a single step wrong in the dressing room.

Issues with the Australian team's direction and the attitudes of individual players were to bubble to the surface in India earlier this year following Hussey's international retirement. His earlier worries were borne out in the homework saga, David Warner's misbehaviour during the Champions Trophy in England, and the sacking of Arthur immediately before the Ashes.

Michael Hussey's autobiography, Underneath the Southern Cross, is out this week.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by popcorn on (October 5, 2013, 1:33 GMT)

What Team Culture is this Mike Hussey talking about? Where is HIS contribution to Team Spirit? Is HE a Team man? Here is a man who SUDDENLY announced his retirement citing reasons of being away from his family far too long because of International Cricket OUTSIDE Australia - we were depending upon him to be part of The Ashes Squad to England. He left us in the lurch, making us run helter -skelter for a PROVEN Number 6,but could not find one in time for The Ashes in England. No wonder we lost. And here he is, away from his family for several months playing the IPL and Champions League in India just to make money. Where is your family Hussey? You will recall he chose to play in the Champions League in South Africa just before our Test Tour to India in 2010,had ZERO preparation for Test Cricket,consequently fared poorly against India and let us down again!

Posted by Beertjie on (October 4, 2013, 21:13 GMT)

My sentiments, entirely, @Waddle on (October 2, 2013, 15:35 GMT). Great to read it from an England supporter! I'd take a drawn series much like '72 when Chappelli got that result as a precursor to regaining the Ashes two years later. It's tough to bear and patience has never been an easily obtained virtue. Don't know about you, @willsrustynuts on (October 2, 2013, 15:36 GMT), but as a 60-something I'm afraid I won't see a future Warne, McGrath and Tugga in my lifetime!

Posted by landl47 on (October 4, 2013, 13:43 GMT)

Interesting to hear David Brumby's comments, but (no offence) I take Mike Hussey's views rather more seriously than Mr. Brumby's. I think Mickey Arthur had some very strange ideas as coach which affected Clarke's role as captain. I like Clarke's on-field captaincy and with Lehmann in charge perhaps the off-field stuff will change as well.

However, unless Australia can find some young batsmen, there are problems ahead no matter who is captain or coach. The young bowlers also need to do more; Harris and Siddle carried the bowling in England. Injuries are a big issue, with Starc and Cummins out for the Summer and Pattinson a long way from full fitness. The average age of the Aussie side is already higher than England's, which is not a sign of a team which is rebuilding, but one which is hanging on.

Australia will come back, they always do. At the moment, though, the next few years look as though they will be difficult.

Posted by AKS286 on (October 4, 2013, 10:15 GMT)

I think with the problems like- Lost Test ranking, Odi ranking, T20 foolishness, Senior axing, dispute in the team, divided the team, poor performance,retirement of Great Punter, Hussey, Katich, performers becomes the replacement of non-performers, discouraging talents, off the field tension, No discipline, No respect for seniors, ego problem, arrogant, unorganized structure, ETC---- Kindly tell me who is the real cancer of team? Current captain or any another ?

Posted by AKS286 on (October 4, 2013, 8:43 GMT)

The day he became captain Australia & players facing problem. He is a good test player but a very poor bad captain. For the better future of Cricket in Aus Kindly axe him as a captain, And make Smith, Haddin,Watson or Bailey as a captain they are more from Legacy era of Punter. And also throw out Bad captain's men like Hughes, Warner, Wade, Lyon, Cowan, Starc. Test squad- Klinger, Finch, Marsh, Clarke, Watson(VC), Smith, Haddin (C), Johnson, Siddle, Pattinson, Beer/Boyce. ODI- Finch(VC), Watson, Marsh, Smith (C), Bailey, Haddin, Moises, Johnson, Mckay, Harris, Beer. T20- Finch(C), Watson, White, Marsh, Smith, Voges(VC), Ludeman, Faulkner, Johnson, Cutting, Beer

Posted by Insult_2_Injury on (October 4, 2013, 5:36 GMT)

Stephen Connell.

Arthur had to have multiple plans in place for injured players prior to the Ashes, so if he couldn't counteract the unavailability of one batsman, then Arthur's sacking was overdue.

Isn't it just possible in light of the above admission by Hussey that he was giving time to Arthur & Clarke to consider his observations of inside the squad? Obviously when he realised it had fallen on deaf ears he had to consider his own position and potential to the team, with the mind set he had.

Surely if he was as pivotal as you say, then maybe his experience should have been considered, rather than ignored.

As far as I'm concerned I applaud him on an excellent and professional career and wish him well. I believe he'll be a better mentor in the future than Arthur & Clarke combined.

Posted by   on (October 3, 2013, 21:51 GMT)

In hindsight one can see why Mike did what he did. The problem is, ironically, did Mike do what was best for Australia or what was best for Mike?

Posted by   on (October 3, 2013, 14:24 GMT)

@ShutTheGate I dont think so. None of them seemed to confident they would play at all. Cummins certainly not. They said was only slim chance Starc and Pattinson would be able to play in last test or so.

Posted by Charlie101 on (October 3, 2013, 13:52 GMT)

@ Stephen Connell I have heard from an England team player who described Mike Hussey as " the nicest of men" and was extremely sorry for him that he had to keep his retirement plans secret . The reason for that is that Clarke who was a selector at the time would not have picked him if his plans had been announced and therefore MH could not have retired on his own terms.

Posted by   on (October 3, 2013, 13:31 GMT)

The observations reveal that Clarke fiddle around the batting order to suit his GAME and in this process he destroyed the position held by others and others were put in deep pressure to perform at a altered batting order. The number of people against one man suggest that he is an AUTOCRATIC, may be conceited in power, its not the quality of player that makes a team CHAMPION, its the quality of your leader, look at the examples from past: WAUGH, PONTING, in present: COOK, DHONI. You don't have to be boss to make your team mates performing you got to be their friend so that they can be open with you, so far no news, no story, no interviews, no photos suggest this about CLARKE. May be he should change or leave. Whichever is done sooner the better for Australia & world cricket as a whole because world cricket wants a strong, competitive AUSTRALIAN TEAM. No one is happy seeing AUSTRALIA this way , we are sad.

Posted by Front-Foot-Sponge on (October 3, 2013, 12:59 GMT)

@waddle, good comments, you put your allegiance aside to actually make sense commenting on cricket. @ffl old buddy, the only series anyone looked silly at the end of was England's 0-5 thrashing in Australia. Now that is dominance and that is a thrashing (keep that for future reference). Oh and for the record my two favourite series featuring Australia were in India 2001 and England 2005. You might recall Australia lost both series but the cricket was as good as it gets. Also make up your mind, do England 'dominate' because England are so great or Australia are so poor, you swing back and forth?

Posted by PragmatistRealist on (October 3, 2013, 9:22 GMT)

@David Brumby England were outplayed??? Australia lost 3-0!!!!!

Posted by   on (October 3, 2013, 4:27 GMT)

The current generation is tainted by the past, it's really very simple. However great the Aussies of the late 1980s to 2007-ish were, at some stage it had to end and this is the hangover. No method was going to preserve success with relatively sub-standard players, and I feel Hussey is frustrated at the lack of quality around him as much as anything else. It's swings and roundabouts. The Aussies will be back!

Posted by nareshgb1 on (October 3, 2013, 1:19 GMT)

errr...maybe its easy to enjoy the other's success when everyone is doin gwell - which happens in a very good team. so maybe cause and effect is being confused here.

someone made a good point about the baggy green hoo haa that goes on with former players ever ready to pitch in with their two cents - a myth is a myth and not easy to sustain.

So get real - and start making runs etc....

Posted by 5wombats on (October 3, 2013, 0:47 GMT)

Hussey was a pretty decent player. Trouble is that he won't be there to save Australia this time, no wait - what was the score in Australia last time? Oh. @venkatesh018 on (October 2, 2013, 7:26 GMT) - you claim that "Michael Clarke on the field is an outstanding captain". Have a look at his record: what's his win/loss ratio? Surely to be outstanding a captain has to win a few games here and there doesn't he? For the life of me we cannot see what it is that is supposed to make this guy an outstanding captain. Maybe the problem for Michael Clarke is that his team just isn't any good, or maybe the problem is Michael Clarke.....

Posted by   on (October 3, 2013, 0:44 GMT)

Mike Hussey.

You knew you were selected for a pivotal role in the tour of India and the Ashes series but you chose to hide your decision to leave the Australian Team from Mickey Arthur thereby allowing team plans to be formulated on the false premise Australia could count on you! The team was vulnerable due to Ricky Ponting's retirement and some cultural problems but you chose to hide your decision then spring it on the team hierarchy when they were least prepared to cope with it thereby plunging team plans into disarray due to them being based on\ you being part of the team. structure.

Well, you can sell your book now and Play in the IPL

Posted by ShutTheGate on (October 2, 2013, 23:23 GMT)

@ David Brumby

How is the rehabilitation for Starc, Pattinson and Cummins progressing? Do you think we'll see them play in this upcoming ashes series?

Posted by ShutTheGate on (October 2, 2013, 23:21 GMT)

I wonder if Boof has managed to change the selfish culture that Hussey describes.

From my perspective it looked like they were playing with more unity from the middle of the ashes series onwards. I often thought that Watson played for himself and he might have been one of the players Hussey is referring to. However by the end of the ashes I definitely had the impression that he was playing for the team.

I now think that Boof needs to create more mental toughness in the team so we're caoable of avoiding a batting collapse. Then we'd have a great chance in the upcoming ashes series even when we don't win the toss!

Especially based on our form at home against SL and SA last year and the current form of the English top order as well as the fact that this will be Root's and Bairstow's first ashes series in Aus.

Posted by   on (October 2, 2013, 23:21 GMT)

Sack Clarke bring in a new captain these things never happened when ponting was the captain

Posted by ScottStevo on (October 2, 2013, 23:06 GMT)

@russell1967, a top order misfiring? How do you figure that? Cook returned to his regulation series avg against Aus of around 20 something, Root is a rookie and got cleaned up barring one innings, we nailed a chink in Trott's armour and your number 6 has pretty much been useless for as long as I can recollect! Other than Bell, none of the English batsmen did well - Pietersen chipped in. I'd say that's a reflection of how well we bowled rather than a misfire in a side that has been 'complacent' and their w/k given player of the year for saving the proverbial bacon due to a 'misfiring' top order! Also, other than a few wind ups, I doubt you'd find anybody saying that we'll smash Eng in Aus. As you said, we didn't win a test - regardless of how well we played or close we came, poor decisions, or weather - you'd be rather silly to think we will smash Eng. Still, I think Aus can win the series as Eng did in 05 and 09 when they were clearly the lesser team on paper...

Posted by GeoffreysMother on (October 2, 2013, 23:01 GMT)

I think this will turn out to be a very interesting book to read - as much between the lines as what is actually written. Perhaps a few more commentators here should wait until they read the full book rather than simply using it to justifying their own opinions. I am not an Australian but I have tremendous respect for Hussey. He showed the same team commitment whether it was to Australia, Western Australia or Northants. Both he and Ponting, who I think is equally principled, should be listened to (and questioned): perhaps not in these pages but in private to those in a position to influence Australian cricket. Simply blaming one scapegoat like Arthur or Clarke does not address the issue. We have had loads of cheap rubbish from the ex players eager to earn a media buck, but these two (and Gilchrist) might provide the clear thinking and deep care, that Australia need right now.

Posted by HatsforBats on (October 2, 2013, 22:19 GMT)

@russell1967, your top order didn't misfire, they were beaten by excellent bowling and astute plans of attack.

Posted by Mary_786 on (October 2, 2013, 21:52 GMT)

@chrishoward fair points mate, and in Khawaja's case 3 games where he top scored in one and got a howler at Manchester were not enough for him, but one thing i can say with boof is that he rewards performance and early shield runs will give guys like Khawaja and Warner a run in the home ashes and i like that. Boof will change the culture so that performance is rewarded not favoritism and that's something Arthur was not doing.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (October 2, 2013, 19:47 GMT)

I realise this is an Aussie matter but Hussey would have made a better captain by far. Clarke is great batsman, interesting tactician but as all the interpersonal casualties accrue-Katicnh to the modern day, one has to point the finger at ....MC. Ponting was not a great tactician but I am amazed how popular he was as a bloke. Of course he was often laughing and joking with his young team so it should not surprise. I guess he had time for people.

Posted by russell1967 on (October 2, 2013, 19:15 GMT)

@Sampanna Dahal Chelsea - Actually WERE and WAS. Australia WERE the best team in the world and Ricky Ponting WAS the best captain.

And to all the Aussies saying you'll crush England.. Dream On. Say what you like about decisions etc going against you but the simple fact is YOU DIDN'T WIN A TEST. And that was with our top order misfiring.

Clarke tactically great? That really helped cos YOU DIDN'T WIN A TEST.

Posted by hhillbumper on (October 2, 2013, 19:04 GMT)

I think the issue with this team lies in the pressure to play the fabled Australian way.That is fi you have the players to achieve this but at this time Aus do not.maybe some pragmatism would help at this time but old players always come up with the Baggy Green myth.It is like the Brazillian football team they must always follow the greats that had come before.England having been so god awful for most of the 80s and 90s will accept pragmatic play.Aus need to lose the halo a bit and play winning cricket.Flash bang wallop is all very good but losing that many tests must hurt.Of course morally you have won every test but that does not help.

Posted by CricketChat on (October 2, 2013, 17:35 GMT)

Mickey Arthur was not the right choice for Aussie senior team. He tried to impose a different culture than what Aussies were brought up with, so he failed badly. Simple as that. Unfortunately, his appointment also hastened the retirements of Ponting and Mike Hussey.

Posted by   on (October 2, 2013, 16:56 GMT)

Ive said this over and over again, and said long ago things will slowly be revealed that it is indeed Clarke that is the poison, and slowly but surely this is coming to fruition. But really, blind Freddy could see it from a mile away.

Posted by sharidas on (October 2, 2013, 16:56 GMT)

Leaving aside the coach, the captain of the team should be able to earn some respect from the rest of the team. That necessarily need not be his form. It has got to do with a lot of simple things like how one gets along with his team. Clarke is aloof and it shows. Players would die for Ricky Ponting, but, I don't see that happening with Clarke. Australia have the players, but they need to first, find a CAPTAIN.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (October 2, 2013, 16:26 GMT)

@Sponge: You've missed some great cricket over the last few years, which is a pity. England being better than Australia at test cricket for so many years must be painful for you to witness, but surely you can appreciate great bowling and batting when you see it? Also it's interesting you use the same words that have made countless other Aussie fans look very silly at the end of every Ashes series. Deja Vu my dear Sponge, Deja Vu.

Posted by willsrustynuts on (October 2, 2013, 15:36 GMT)

This is great stuff for English fans. Reading about the complete disarray of the Australian team is made better by the fans still chirping on about Clarke being a great tactician - so great it seems that he can't even get his 10 closest pals to follow him to glory.

Personally I look forward to seeing Australia climb back up the rankings from their lowly position. Please let me see another Glen McGrath, Shane Warne or Steve Waugh before I shuffle off this mortal coil.

Posted by Waddle on (October 2, 2013, 15:35 GMT)

Speaking as an Englishman, I can honestly say that I feel that the Australian cricket team is as talented as the English team. There is less experience, and certainly less experience of winning, but the raw talent is evident. I think the Aussie bowlers are capable of giving England a good going over in Australia, and that maybe the batsmen can capitalise on that. If you look at the test series in England, it was actually very close apart from Lord's. England just came through the big moments. Although during the period 1989 - 2003 Australia were much better than England, there were still closely fought tests - which Australia usually won ! England are now doing it to Australia, but it will be harder to put Australia under concentrated pressure in Australia. So would say to all Australians, keep your captain, keep the faith, and if your team works hard, and you never know what might happen.

Posted by siddhartha87 on (October 2, 2013, 14:40 GMT)

it's still early to say "Unfortunately nothing changed under Lehmann" in my opinion. He has been in charge of only one test series so far.It's a huge task to take this Aussie side through this transition phase.True they lost 0-3 but i think they are much more stabler as an unit now.The test eleven is also seems to be more settled.It's a shame that best shield batsmen like Khwaja and Hughes could not stepped up when it mattered the most.Good to see Smith doing while he was not considered as "talented" as Hughes or Khwaja. Australia must make better pitches in shield games. Why they are making the pitches so much seamer friendly? i really dont think Faulkner is a kind of bowler who can average 22 in 1st class cricket.They will never get an good spinner if they continue to make pitches like this.I heard CA will replicate test match conditions from this shield onwards. Really looking forward to that.

Posted by Harlequin. on (October 2, 2013, 14:24 GMT)

@David Brumby - surely you can't begrudge Huss earning a retirement fund playing in some bishy-bashy leagues? And there must be a big difference between playing in those leagues and playing the cricket that he walked out on.

Personally I think the sooner Clarke leaves Australian cricket the better, because then they can concentrate on rebuilding properly. Get Bailey in to lead the test team for a year or so and forget about the results for a bit - I think in the long term it would be beneficial.

Posted by Front-Foot-Sponge on (October 2, 2013, 14:23 GMT)

Correct me if I'm wrong but I would think Hussey left a mark as a player and a man that pretty much supporters of any team must admire? I said before the Ashes Clarke must be stood down as captain and despite his utter dominance and superiority over Cook as a tactician he seemed very much the problem and looking at Hussey's remarks still does. Clarke had a purple patch of batting form but so what? I disagree with comments that Australia are miles off the top teams and when they thrash England over the coming months at least they can use them as a stepping stone to the actual and only top team, South Africa. The others are in the second division.

Posted by   on (October 2, 2013, 14:11 GMT)

Sorry guys but i did some work with Clarke, Starc, Pattinson and Cummins last week and spoke with them all. I can assure you that Clarke is NOT the issue within the team. He is very protective of the team and wants to only speak of winning. The guys get on very well and act much like kids mucking around together. So, those believing he is the problem are wrong. Plain and simple. The problem comes directly from CA and management. The aussie team is not the problem. The entire first class system is busted. As mentioned earlier, it is due to extremely poor policies/selection and pitch preparation in this country. It is all a confidence issue. Players are performing well below par due to CA creating fear of failure and pressure for no reason. And as usual 'front foot grunge' has zero idea about cricket. Keep up the great work.

Posted by   on (October 2, 2013, 13:21 GMT)

Micheal Clarke is root cause of all problem, for betterment of world cricket he MUST be removed as captain...

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (October 2, 2013, 12:52 GMT)

Put simply, the old problems still very much remain and Lehmann is exacerbating them with his brand of 'all talk no success' cricket.

Hussey could see how far behind the top teams Australia were, and stay so to this day. They need a transition phase asap. England's took years. Australia's may well take longer.

Posted by Chris_Howard on (October 2, 2013, 12:26 GMT)

Unfortunately nothing changed under Lehmann. While Watson was pandered to - guaranteed a sprt for the series despite poor Test form for 3 years -, Hughes, Khawaja in particular were given just a few Tests.

Once Watto finally got the big score in the last Test, Do you really think, under new coach Lehmann, that Hughes and Khawaja, would "be genuinely happy for your team-mates' success"?

Posted by hycIass on (October 2, 2013, 12:15 GMT)

Hussey as ever is a team man and this shows that he could see that players playing for themselves would lead to bad results. Its a shame that Arthur didn't fix this when he had the chance but i am sure boof will get around this problem and bring the best out of some our young batsman in Warner, Khawaja, Smith etc. Really glad that boof is in charge now as he will bring the right culture to the team.

Posted by scarab666 on (October 2, 2013, 11:25 GMT)

David Brumby is pretty spot on with his comments as the blame does solely lie with CA although i don't agree with his opinion of Hussey's comments. Clarke on the other hand is not a great captain, our last great captain was Steve Waugh......at least he understood about respect for the opposition and his own team. Ponting was too arrogant and had little respect for his teammates, something that was passed onto Clarke.

Posted by punterdgr8 on (October 2, 2013, 11:06 GMT)

it will take a min.of 25 years for aus to be a' formidable' side once again in test cricket but the million dollar question is will test cricket survive by then?as for this 'youth only' policy greg chappel is to be blamed.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (October 2, 2013, 9:28 GMT)

Or, put simply, Mickey Arthur was a dreadful coach who should never have been hired in the first place.

Posted by   on (October 2, 2013, 9:22 GMT)

Can we put Mr Cricket in charge of the game nationally now? What's the statute of limitations? Better yet, instal him as ICC chief.

Posted by   on (October 2, 2013, 9:13 GMT)

Sorry Hussey, but you walked out on the team stating you did not want to spend all your time playing cricket but since then you have been overseas for months playing. Your word has little trust. All Husseys comments are not new and have been around for a lot longer then 2012.

I saw this happening a god 5-6 years ago and it is solely CA to blame for everything. The disgraceful organisational skills of CA and poor selection policies created the negative attitude within the team. The hopeless first class system which was destroyed again by CA demanding poor batting pitches which do nothing but create poor techniques and lack of confidence in batsmen whilst giving bowlers a belief they are better then they are. These are the sole reasons for cricket is Australia crumbling. And it is going to get worse as nothing has changed with CA

Posted by Behind_the_bowlers_arm on (October 2, 2013, 8:49 GMT)

If Michael Hussey speaks you listen. I'm sure Darren Lehmann has more of an understanding of the workings of an Australian cricket dressing room. All he needs now is some better cricketers! Oh for a 25yo Mike Hussey

Posted by switchmitch on (October 2, 2013, 8:22 GMT)

It is amazing how people ignore the travails of Michael Clarke, the Captain. Many people consider him to be one of the best Captains going around. Captaincy is not just about having innovative fields on the park but is more about getting the best out of each player in the team. Clarke has failed spectacularly in this aspect. Fostering a happy atmosphere in the dressing room is the first step in assuaging a player's mindset and Clarke is equally responsible for this, along with the coach.

Posted by   on (October 2, 2013, 8:18 GMT)

@venkatesh018 1. australia isn't an average side, it is the best side. and 2. ricky ponting is the best captain in the world

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (October 2, 2013, 8:04 GMT)

Exactly what I said long before this came out. Far too many short-format specialists being drafted into the test team on the basis of form/promise in hit-and-giggle formats. Such players do not make good team players and play for themselves alone. It's what lost Australia talented players like Hussey and Katich, and subsequently the Ashes in U.K. The scary thing is there are still no new test-standard players being drafted into Australia's test squads to future-proof the team and ensure suitable replacements for the likes of Clarke.

Posted by Charlie101 on (October 2, 2013, 7:27 GMT)

Going to be expensive month reading all these great books - Hussey , Strauss and Henry Blowfelts all out this week !!! Cant wait

Posted by venkatesh018 on (October 2, 2013, 7:26 GMT)

Michael Clarke on the field is an outstanding captain. In fact I would add that he is the best in the world leading an average side. But off the field it seems, Clarke didn't command as much respect and didn't care for the team as much as a senior like Mike Hussey.

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (October 2, 2013, 7:09 GMT)

That's what Mickey Arthur gets for his neglect, rubbish coach. Sent our team backwards now we have a long way to go because of him.

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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