Selectors clearer with players than public - Ponting
Brad Haddin knows precisely where he stands with the Australian team and its selectors, even though a thorough explanation has not been outlined for public consumption.
ESPNcricinfo has learned Haddin spoke on Tuesday to the Australian Cricketers' Association chief executive, Paul Marsh, telling him he was satisfied that he knew where he stood and that the communication from the selectors had been adequate.
The lack of a publicly mirrored statement from the national selector John Inverarity has left a few heads being scratched, though not within the dressing room.
As he prepared to lead Australia as Michael Clarke's stand-in, Ricky Ponting conveyed no discomfort at all about the way Inverarity and his panel have communicated with the players since they were appointed as part of the raft of team support staff changes brought in by the Argus review.
Communication has been a buzz topic of the past few days, particularly after Steve Waugh then Shane Watson indicated that Haddin deserved a better explanation for his omission from the ODI team than that which had been publicly given. Inverarity had stated that Haddin was being rested for the first three matches of the series before the panel reassessed the position, but Ponting said a more concrete explanation had been delivered privately.
"I think he actually has been given that [explanation], face-to-face," Ponting said. "That's my understanding of it all. He's been told, his position has been rock solid all the way through. He hasn't changed anything. What he had to say when he was left out of the first game is exactly what he's saying now. I've got no idea why the communication has been the way it has been to the media but I know Brad's stance hasn't changed from day dot.
"I think Brad's been spot on the mark with everything he's had to say. It's been made pretty clear now that what Brad's had to say at the start of the one-day series looks like it's the way it is. He's been unmoved in his stance on his situation. He's got a week where hopefully he's not answering those questions any more and he can get a really good Sheffield Shield game under his belt, score some runs, take some catches, and come out of this week a lot happier guy than he is at the moment. I think it's all pretty clear as far as he's concerned."
When he was appointed to the national selector role, Inverarity's highest priority was establishing effective and mature communication with the players about where they stood at any given time. There have been very few of the player rumblings of discontent that accompanied the previous panel, chaired by Andrew Hilditch, but Inverarity has maintained a certain level of mystique by not explaining every decision in great detail to the public via the media.
The public dimension to Inverarity's role is still evolving, leading to the occasional moment of doubt about where players stood. David Warner's elevation to the ODI vice-captaincy, for example, was not trumpeted, even though everyone within the dressing room knew exactly when and why he had been given the post. Ponting said his own communication with the panel had been strong and consistent, but added he could not speak for others.
"Whatever communication I've had with selectors since this new panel's been in place, to me directly, has been very good," Ponting said. "Because I've been out of the loop in the last few months and not being the captain ... I'm not exactly sure of the way the communication's been between players on the outside or players coming in or out. I really can't answer that question."
Inverarity's appointment, alongside those of the other selectors Rod Marsh, Andy Bichel and the coach/selector Mickey Arthur, was hastened by the Argus review's list of recommendations. Ponting said those changes had helped freshen a set-up that had become stale, providing something of a catalyst for the success that has followed.
"I just think a whole freshening of everything has probably been the major reason that things have turned around the way they have," Ponting said. "It's just been a really refreshing feel I guess right through cricket in Australia, not just around the national team either but everything. All the issues that were brought up in the Argus review have been been addressed and some of the appointments that have been made, it certainly looks like we've got cricket in Australia heading in the right direction.
"To be in and around the team in the last few months has been great fun, been very enjoyable. We've won some games of cricket and when you win games of cricket obviously the atmosphere around everything picks up. Culture in a team is all about winning games and when you start winning games it's amazing what it does for the culture of the team. I think everyone that you would have spoken to throughout this year has enjoyed their cricket.
"When you've got guys that are enjoying their cricket it's amazing what guys can achieve. That's been our whole focus, hard work, enjoyment, doing whatever you can to win and if you're doing that then everything else tends to look after itself. I think everything that's happened in the last six months has been ultra-positive for Australian cricket. Every now and then you've got to take stock and have a look at where you're going, what areas need a lot of attention. There's no doubt throughout Australian cricket there were a lot of areas that needed attention and I think most of those have been addressed."
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here