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Kevin Pietersen's book has thrown up some damning claims against the England team. He has alleged that Andy Flower ruled by fear and that there was a clique of senior players who practiced in bullying. While Greame Swann has called KP the autobiography a "work of fiction", Pietersen has not been short of support either, especially on twitter. The situation is degenerating fast, but would the ECB take control of it soon? Ted Corbett, in his blog, thinks not
In the third of my life devoted to studying the habits of the men who control this game I long ago ceased to expect quick and decisive action. Frankly, they are responsible for the mess that is the England dressing room but I do not think they will either summon KP for talks, listen to what he has to say and then make the urgent changes that are needed. Urgent! Bah! A snail will win the Derby long before the ECB will get off their underworked backsides and lead the way to a better world.
The ECB have closed the book on Kevin Pietersen and have been urging the English fans to bid farewell to the talismanic batsman. Ted Corbett, writing in the Hindu, prefers to walk to a different tune and offers examples of previous comebacks from improbable circumstances
I would be happy to see Pietersen walking out to bat for England again -- say in the first Test against India -- and it would also give me pleasure to hear that he had been made captain once again. When Geoff Boycott stepped down from his England spot there were many who thought that at 36 he would not play for England again. Eventually Alec Bedser, chairman of selectors, saw that if England was to be great again Boycott had to return and made it his business to negotiate a way back.
Ben Horne of the Australian Associated Press captures the differences between Mickey Arthur and his quiet, behind-closed-doors guidance counselor method to coaching and Darren Lehmann's brutally honest, no-nonsense gym teacher philosophies, and how the latter might just be what Australia need in this time of crisis.
In a young team that's reeling from the losses in experience of players Ponting and Hussey and coaches Langer and McDermott, Australia were crying out for a more authoritative voice. Someone capable of telling it straight if it needed to be told, but still commanding respect
As a lifeskills coach, one of the things that Michael Jeh teaches young cricketers is knowing when to walk away from a provocation fuelled by alcohol or drugs - situations that can quickly spiral out of control and end tragically for the people involved. In the aftermath of the assault on Jesse Ryder, Jeh, writing in the Mid day, says that recognising these situations is also an instinct that is honed over time.
It is this life lesson that I try to imbue in the minds of these young athletes who are used to living on razor- sharp instincts because that is the source of their sporting genius. And yet sometimes, there is that fine line between acting instinctively, and knowing when to defy instinct. Depending on the circumstance, either option could be a life-saver but the hard part is to know which button to push in which situation.
That is where repeated practice comes into play. For cricketers who are used to hitting a thousand balls a day, they often rail at the notion of sitting through workshops that simulate real life at a pub or a nightclub. Their young brains, still in the formative stage where neurons are making permanent connections, cannot readily grasp why it is necessary to practice life itself.
In the Daily Mail, Lawrence Booth believes Mickey Arthur's decision to sack Shane Watson, James Pattinson, Mitchell Johnson and Usman Khawaja hints at larger issues within the team.
It's been a fragile arrangement, and in India the second half of the equation has been rendered less potent by the pitches. This won't matter so much in England this summer, where Australia's seamers may just win them a Test. But the defeats in Chennai and Hyderabad have confirmed a long-standing hunch: Australia just ain't that good any more.
And there's the rub. A nation that for 20 years grew accustomed to winning Test matches, sometimes from ludicrous positions, has been obliged to look in the mirror. Understandably, it isn't enamoured with what it sees.
Chris Barrett in the Canberra Times believes the sacked players are guilty of failing to be accountable within the team set-up.
Requesting players to put together arguments about their selection and value might seem wacky to many. People might scoff at the wellness reports too. But whatever the case, this point is inescapable. The players in question have not done what they were told.
In the Indian Express, Aditya Iyer believes the move to sack players is simply a case of bad man-management and the team think-tank would have done better to simply help the team through a tough series.
All said and done, isn't it the captain's job, or the coach's, to be coming up with the answers when their players -- who just collectively happen to have near-zero experience of playing in the subcontinent -- are asked difficult questions by the conditions? If not breakthrough solutions, then shouldn't they at least do their bit to uplift the morale as a young team spirals through a harsh learning curve? Not in this Australian set-up.