Champions Trophy 2013 June 15, 2013

Clarke concedes captaincy damage

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Australia's captain Michael Clarke has conceded the actions of David Warner and other team-mates in Birmingham have constituted a serious blow to his leadership. And the coach Mickey Arthur has said that Shane Watson remains to some extent at odds with the team's management, despite the camp's furious denials it was the allrounder who pushed for Warner's punishment after the matter at first appeared likely to be kept in-house.

The lack of strong examples and leaders around the team, both in England and earlier this year in India when four players were suspended for failing to follow team instructions, have pushed the Australian tourists into an embarrassing corner as they teeter on the edge of Champions Trophy elimination and also creep closer to the Ashes. Clarke, who was absent from the team in its important early days on tour due to another flair in his chronic back condition, admitted his captaincy had been damaged by the episodes.

"It certainly has an impact on the leadership. There's no doubt about it," Clarke told AAP. "I think we as a leadership group need to continue to try and improve. I do believe we have come a long way in regards to the culture of this team and setting up our behaviour standards and what we feel is acceptable and non-acceptable. As captain of this team I don't shy away from any accountability."

No less an authority on captaincy than the former England leader Michael Atherton has observed that Clarke's absence from the early days of the tour were particularly ruinous to a young team, whatever the circumstances, for it left them without the man tasked with setting markers for what he expects on tour. The vacuum was illustrated by the fact that Warner was arguably the most senior of the group of players - also including Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Wade, Phillip Hughes and Clint McKay - who found themselves out drinking at Birmingham's Walkabout pub at 2.30am following their loss to England.

"To be out at that hour … carrying on like we were celebrating [after a loss] - especially with the opposition - is not the right time or place to be having a few drinks," Clarke said. "I know that I need to continue to work on my leadership and make sure I'm doing everything I can in my power for things like this not to happen.

"Because it not only has an impact on Dave, it has an impact on the team, it has an impact on our supporters. The people that come and watch and support our great game. We don't want to be letting anyone down. We've got enough to focus on on the field to become the best team we can be. And we definitely don't need these distractions off the field."

Arthur, meanwhile, has said the former vice-captain Watson still had some way to go to regain the full trust of the team's leaders. Nonetheless, he reiterated Clarke's denials of a television report that suggested Watson had protested at the initial lack of action over Warner's misadventures after the suspensions of four players in India for nothing quite so outlandish as punching an opposition player in a pub.

''We are continually working at that. And Shane is unbelievably professional and gets on with his business in a very professional way,'' Arthur said. "I don't see it as anything particularly bad or anything that's not fixable. Shane obviously lost a little bit of trust after India and we work on that every day.

"And Shane has been fantastic in the way he's come back into the environment and approached that. I chat to Shane every day and we've been through it all. Guys know exactly what the punishments are. And like I said, we have a very solid process in place now."

Australia must defeat Sri Lanka at The Oval on Monday to have any chance of reaching the Champions Trophy semi-finals.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • somethingdifferent on June 15, 2013, 21:38 GMT

    Those who say it has nothing to do with Clark, do not know what leadership is all about. A leader is has to be a complete package, sometimes he is a loving brother, sometimes he needs to be a strict father and sometimes he needs to be like a general marshaling his troops. Such a leader inculcates discipline and responsibility in his team in such a manner that it runs smoothly like a machine even in his absence. Unfortunately both Clark and Aurthur seem incapable of achieving these objectives.

  • spindizzy on June 19, 2013, 6:02 GMT

    The problem is that the administration want to pick the captain years in advance and mould him to their way of thinking. It's got nothing to do with real leadership, purely their 'PR message'.

    The captain of a team should emerge from the players naturally, not be groomed by administrators years in advance as Clarke was. In Clarke's case it has lead to an air of illegitimacy to his captain - he's the boards captain, not the teams.

    Indeed, currently there is no actual Australian 'team' - it's just an ever-changing group of players, many of whom only seem to be selected to meet the administrators pre-destinations...

  • LALITHKURUWITA on June 18, 2013, 9:58 GMT

    I do not like the current Aussie culture in Aussie cricketers because there is no disciplines. Sack any cricketer who violate any discipline. Then others will learn. Until then there will not be any improvements. Looking at Clerk face, he is more worried about players disciplines rather than match results. Please follow NZ, SL and WI cricketers. More players from these teams have smile most of the time.

  • on June 18, 2013, 0:09 GMT

    Mike Hussey's retirement has left a huge hole in the team, on and off the field. Rebuilding this side will be long and painful.

  • on June 17, 2013, 22:48 GMT

    As a Sri Lankan I can see independantly how Watson is performing excellently in a different context of IPL.I think it is all to do with Clark's captaincy and the context it creates. We seem to have run out of excellent captains in Aussy.

  • on June 17, 2013, 15:08 GMT

    Let us not scapegoat only Warner and Australia for the off field behavior of players. Late night carousing during cricket tours is a common activity of many teams and players. ICC should perhaps step in and create and implement rules of conduct for all players in tournaments, whether it's an off day or not. This kind of conduct is unbecoming of professional players at any time.

  • bjg62 on June 17, 2013, 10:18 GMT

    @Jarrod Harris: I agree with your suggestion of replacing Arthur with Langer 100%. What's more, Langer has not only had success, but also had the experience of coaching the basket-case that WA cricket is - good grounding for coaching this team as it is now. My understanding is that he couldn't be considered for the Australia coaching position at the time of Arthur's appointment 'cos he didn't have international coaching experience. I think it's time to throw all that out the window and start again....

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on June 17, 2013, 8:29 GMT

    This has been building for some time, and underscores what many see as the current state of leadership within the Australian team. Clarke is a weak leader of men, and has long showed this inability. The problem is he commands little respect from players like Warner, and that as a result players like Warner have mimicked the same unilateral mindset that his captain has. Still Aus cricket goes sliding downwards, A new captain is needed immediately.

  • YorkshirePudding on June 17, 2013, 8:15 GMT

    @Claydo78, I disagree with your statement regarding Watsons return for the birth of his child and I doubt you would be saying such things if Aus were still riding the crest of the wave.

    As it is most companies give time off for fathers to be at the birth, and Watson isnt the first Aussie cricketer to return home from a tour for such things.

    I do agree with you about Warner though he definately has some unresolved anger management issues, and really should have been sent back to Aus to see someone, however as an England supporter, I'm suprised they havent tried to set up a 1 month contract one of the regional leagues (eg Lancs League), minor counties or, 2nd county 2nd Elevens.

  • Big_Maxy_Walker on June 17, 2013, 2:32 GMT

    Clarke is obviously a phenomenal batsmen and a good on field captain. But his off field leadership leaves a lot to be desired. He has his favourites and others he treats like dirt. Warner, Cowan, Hughes etc are part of the boys club whose punishments Clarke wants kept in house.. While Khawaja and Watson get treated differently and publicly shamed for small wrongs. And don't get me started on Arthurs. He is the Robbie Deans of Australian cricket. The sooner Darren Lehmann is appointed the new coach the better

  • somethingdifferent on June 15, 2013, 21:38 GMT

    Those who say it has nothing to do with Clark, do not know what leadership is all about. A leader is has to be a complete package, sometimes he is a loving brother, sometimes he needs to be a strict father and sometimes he needs to be like a general marshaling his troops. Such a leader inculcates discipline and responsibility in his team in such a manner that it runs smoothly like a machine even in his absence. Unfortunately both Clark and Aurthur seem incapable of achieving these objectives.

  • spindizzy on June 19, 2013, 6:02 GMT

    The problem is that the administration want to pick the captain years in advance and mould him to their way of thinking. It's got nothing to do with real leadership, purely their 'PR message'.

    The captain of a team should emerge from the players naturally, not be groomed by administrators years in advance as Clarke was. In Clarke's case it has lead to an air of illegitimacy to his captain - he's the boards captain, not the teams.

    Indeed, currently there is no actual Australian 'team' - it's just an ever-changing group of players, many of whom only seem to be selected to meet the administrators pre-destinations...

  • LALITHKURUWITA on June 18, 2013, 9:58 GMT

    I do not like the current Aussie culture in Aussie cricketers because there is no disciplines. Sack any cricketer who violate any discipline. Then others will learn. Until then there will not be any improvements. Looking at Clerk face, he is more worried about players disciplines rather than match results. Please follow NZ, SL and WI cricketers. More players from these teams have smile most of the time.

  • on June 18, 2013, 0:09 GMT

    Mike Hussey's retirement has left a huge hole in the team, on and off the field. Rebuilding this side will be long and painful.

  • on June 17, 2013, 22:48 GMT

    As a Sri Lankan I can see independantly how Watson is performing excellently in a different context of IPL.I think it is all to do with Clark's captaincy and the context it creates. We seem to have run out of excellent captains in Aussy.

  • on June 17, 2013, 15:08 GMT

    Let us not scapegoat only Warner and Australia for the off field behavior of players. Late night carousing during cricket tours is a common activity of many teams and players. ICC should perhaps step in and create and implement rules of conduct for all players in tournaments, whether it's an off day or not. This kind of conduct is unbecoming of professional players at any time.

  • bjg62 on June 17, 2013, 10:18 GMT

    @Jarrod Harris: I agree with your suggestion of replacing Arthur with Langer 100%. What's more, Langer has not only had success, but also had the experience of coaching the basket-case that WA cricket is - good grounding for coaching this team as it is now. My understanding is that he couldn't be considered for the Australia coaching position at the time of Arthur's appointment 'cos he didn't have international coaching experience. I think it's time to throw all that out the window and start again....

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on June 17, 2013, 8:29 GMT

    This has been building for some time, and underscores what many see as the current state of leadership within the Australian team. Clarke is a weak leader of men, and has long showed this inability. The problem is he commands little respect from players like Warner, and that as a result players like Warner have mimicked the same unilateral mindset that his captain has. Still Aus cricket goes sliding downwards, A new captain is needed immediately.

  • YorkshirePudding on June 17, 2013, 8:15 GMT

    @Claydo78, I disagree with your statement regarding Watsons return for the birth of his child and I doubt you would be saying such things if Aus were still riding the crest of the wave.

    As it is most companies give time off for fathers to be at the birth, and Watson isnt the first Aussie cricketer to return home from a tour for such things.

    I do agree with you about Warner though he definately has some unresolved anger management issues, and really should have been sent back to Aus to see someone, however as an England supporter, I'm suprised they havent tried to set up a 1 month contract one of the regional leagues (eg Lancs League), minor counties or, 2nd county 2nd Elevens.

  • Big_Maxy_Walker on June 17, 2013, 2:32 GMT

    Clarke is obviously a phenomenal batsmen and a good on field captain. But his off field leadership leaves a lot to be desired. He has his favourites and others he treats like dirt. Warner, Cowan, Hughes etc are part of the boys club whose punishments Clarke wants kept in house.. While Khawaja and Watson get treated differently and publicly shamed for small wrongs. And don't get me started on Arthurs. He is the Robbie Deans of Australian cricket. The sooner Darren Lehmann is appointed the new coach the better

  • Claydo78 on June 17, 2013, 2:21 GMT

    Sacking aurthur and dropping clarke as captain isnt going to change a thing! You can bring in the best coach in the history of cricket and he or she wouldnt be able to change the results we have been getting. The australian public and media have to realise we have an ordinary team and we will continue to be ordinary until more money and effort is pumped into grass roots cricket, even if thats done now it will be ten years before the results change out on the pitch! Personally the only thing clarke and aurthur have done wrong is; they have put the faith into the wrong people. As soon as watson hoped on that plane home from india, his contract should have been thorn up, warners ticket home should have been booked 5seconds after he throw a punch! Clarke is the only true test player we have left, the rest just want to see how far they can hit the ball!

  • Clyde on June 17, 2013, 1:37 GMT

    I have never before seen such domination from coaches as we see nowadays, whether it is Arthur or anyone else. I want to see who can play, and not be concerned about people who do not appear on the field, who keep being referenced as a cause of success or failure. Who is trying to make the game invisible?

  • David_Bofinger on June 17, 2013, 1:10 GMT

    When one player fails to do their homework it reflects badly on them. But if four players fail to do their homework it reflects badly on the person who gave the homework assignment as well. Did he fail to explain how important this was? Did he have so little authority in the team they felt free to ignore him? Warner has made a fool of himself but the fact everyone was drinking together after the incident and nobody got thrown out suggests it probably wasn't that bad.

  • Mad_Hamish on June 17, 2013, 0:23 GMT

    @Asma Ahmad Virk nobody was sent home from India. 4 players were suspended for a test and Watson returned to Australia for the birth of his child.

  • jtbelushi on June 16, 2013, 15:57 GMT

    It to me is really quite simple, get rid of Micky Arthurs, he will never be respected after the on/off field debacle in India, Clarke, who has the potential to become like Waugh, Ponting or even Border is never going to accomplish anything near that with Arthurs as the quasi leader and Clarke has to blunder along like a semi blind fool after him, Michael Clarke is the Captain of Australia,(of our once great team) not Micky Arthurs!. He has absolutely no insight into the psych off the Australian player or there nature. If we loose the Ashes series again in England, Wisden will record that Michael Clarke was the captain, Micky Arthurs will eventually go home and tell stories of how undisciplined and unprofessional we were...without a doubt he has to go, there is no maybe about it, this team is severly divided and he cannot even start to heal the wounds.

  • on June 16, 2013, 13:12 GMT

    Yep, they should have gone with Justin Langer instead of Arthur. You need someone there that knows the Australian culture because it's different. Dropping 4 players for not doing homework is very "un-Australian". Especially when one is the VC and another is the stand out best fast bowler from either team the whole series. Because of the pressure and the fact that the management style doesn't sit well with Australians there is discord in the ranks. Got to bring in an Aussie to lead Aussies!

  • on June 16, 2013, 12:07 GMT

    Clarke is not a strong captain, and doesn't appear to have 100% focus on his team.

    If these sort of things had occurred under Richie Benaud or Ian Chappell, they would have been nipped in the bud.Either the player would have been hauled into line, or the management would have been told to back off. And were on a couple of occasions- we all stay here or we all go home.

    Players in the old days were not angels- but offenders knew where they stood for the good of themselves and the team.

    Now it appears that so many people are involved in any decision, that, just as in most aspects of Australian life, it's all politics, with no strong authority.

  • on June 16, 2013, 11:57 GMT

    Punishments? Mickey Arthur sounds more like a school master than a coach. Warner was wrong, he should be fined for it, banned for a couple of games and then deal with the problem as you'd deal with any misdemeanor. Sending Watson and co. home from India was plain stupidity, and I guess the tough lesson taught don't seem to have worked with Warner. Maybe Australia needs a more mature leadership group. Not necessarily a problem with Clarke, but the coach needs to be 're-thunk'.

  • milepost on June 16, 2013, 11:47 GMT

    I'd like to add that it is absolutely stupid that professional athletes would want to be out drinking at 2.30 in the morning during a tournament - that is just plain stupid. Who would do that?

  • milepost on June 16, 2013, 11:44 GMT

    I agree with Steve Goodwin and MattyLeeC. Get rid of Arthur, stand Clarke down as Captian and go back to basics. The modern way seems so damn complicated, huge back room teams, psychologists, loads of meetings and far too many opinions. Go back to picking tough players that know how to grind out a tough innings or find a wicket on a lifeless pitch. Pick the best available players to win the series at hand. Stop sticking with players that don't perform. I'm not saying drop them after an innings but there are good players knocking on the door while we persist with Clarke's buddies. Attitude is very important no doubt but not when accompanied by poor performance.

  • MattyLeeC on June 16, 2013, 9:58 GMT

    While I do concede this current Aussie admin is failing pretty badly, considering they were brought in to turn the whole culture around following the recent drop off after a highly successful 15-20 years. The article mentions Mike Atherton as an authority. What the hell would Mike Atherton know about winning an ashes series or being a successful captain? He was in charge during the worst period in English cricketing history.

    Its just my 2 cents but I believe that they need to get rid of Mickey Arthur and his management team because it just doesn't seem to be working. Clarke is a good captain but he is never going to be a hard nose like Border or Waugh. Maybe try and get one of those as your new coach and balance out the dressing room and bring that desire back.

  • Gotiji on June 16, 2013, 9:54 GMT

    I agree, there has been a fair bit of overreaction to these incidents. True, the team needs to bounce back after India and these episodes don't help. But the team is in a transition phase with no real legend to hold it together. That said, the batsmen do need to step up because the bowling is quite all right but the top order is fragile at best.

  • MMahmood1 on June 16, 2013, 9:42 GMT

    The leader is the one who keeps the team together. I am not a fan of Clark, he should have allowed Ricky Ponting to play with youngsters to learn from him. Ponting is still happy to play his part in the team but don't know weather its selectors or clark not allowing his return. Australia needs 3 years for come back with a good leadership otherwise I can see them going the west Indian way (fom heros to zero). The main fact is Aus is losing as they don't have those big guys any more in the team and diferences always surface when you are on losing side

  • Jaffa79 on June 16, 2013, 8:35 GMT

    Jayzuz...and let us not forget that Australia only lost to India because of the pitches, as you mentioned once or 200 times on these pages. There seem to be deep rooted problems in the Aussie camp. Why not just get rid of the toxic elements? It is not as if Watson or Warner have been pulling up trees is it? Get some young ones in and regain some pride in the process.

  • Jayzuz on June 16, 2013, 8:13 GMT

    What poor results are they, @DylanBrah? You mean that they lost the last test series? Oh yeah. Maybe we should sack people after one bad series, because I am afraid that is all we have at present. 2 1/2 years of mostly good cricket before that, in case you forgot - lost only 3 of 20 tests, won 11. But wait, we lost an ODI game as well! That settle it. Off with all of their heads!

  • DylanBrah on June 16, 2013, 5:38 GMT

    The players have lost respect for both Arthur and Clarke. Poor results and more unwanted incidents are ahead of us.

  • Mad_Hamish on June 16, 2013, 4:42 GMT

    @Adoh, you're wrong, the players in India weren't sent home. They were suspended for 1 test. Watson went home because his first child was due and returned in time for the last test, the other players stayed on the tour.

    I think the team management does have to answer questions about making the incident in India public and trying to keep this in house (if it actually happened that way)

  • Jaga2011 on June 16, 2013, 4:08 GMT

    My oh my! What happened to the Aussie cricket team and management.

    For so many years, we in India used to look up to the Aussie team and management - the winning attitude, the ability to fight and the fielding. Happily enough, we had the people in Indian cricket who showed a desire to improve Indian cricket since 2000 -Ganguly/John Wright. Since then, we have had Ganguly/Chappell, Dravid/Chappell, Kumble/Dhoni/Rajput , Dhoni/Kumble/Kirsten and Dhoni/Fletcher.

    While Indian cricket has continued to improve even with the stumbles in between(End of Chappell era), Remember we learned from the Aussies!

    Now, the Aussie team/management looks like how the Indian team/management used to be until Ganguly/Wright. The Indian team's approach looks more like the Aussie team in the golden era of Glichrist/hayden/Ponting/Martyn/Mc Grath/Warne. What a reversal!

  • Jayzuz on June 16, 2013, 2:33 GMT

    Beyond all this media storm what is the reality? Warner got into a "minor altercation" with Root which was quickly and amicably settled (barman's account.). Australia have lost ONE CT game - and just one of their last eight ODI games. They were in a dominant position vs NZ before rain came. They lost in India, but before that had an excellent record for 2 1/2 years. So the reality remains that there is no major long-term decline, merely one terrible series in tests, and one terrible ODI series vs ENG. England lost 3-0 to PAK and couldn't win a game in NZ. They got thrashed 6-1 in the ODIs in AUS. The Lions lost 7-0 recently in AUS. What do you think the English media would say about Australian cricket if all these happened to AUS? They'd be in hysterics and ridiculing the team and saying they will be forever pathetic. Absurd double standards here and so many storms in teacups. Let's get on with the game and leave all the petty nonsense behind.

  • on June 16, 2013, 2:23 GMT

    Give Ian Chappell or Alan Border 15 minutes with the team to tell them how it is. Once their ears stop bleeding they'll be back on the track.

  • Marcjando on June 16, 2013, 1:33 GMT

    I wouldn't be surprised if there is another negative episode on this tour, & if so, Clarke has to step down & Mickey Arthur has to be replaced. It was inevitable that the national team would decline in performance after retirements but now we're the laughing stock of world cricket off the field. The problems are increasing. Clarke & Arthur can say everyone knows their responsibilities but they've both lost control of the team through past actions. The lack of respect the players have for Clarke & Arthur is now in disrepair.

  • on June 16, 2013, 1:27 GMT

    @Sudhir98 I'm sorry mate, but your comments are just dumb. Okay, so if Clarke were to step down, who in the hell would replace him? How would him or even Arthur stepping down help the team at all???

    Being trigger-happy will not accomplish anything, short or long term. Clarke is the right man for the job - as his form seems to be prevailing regardless of how many matches he's sitting out.

    Finally, Warner has got the kick up the backside he needed. Now we need to get on with the job at hand - The Ashes. If it isn't obvious, the UK media has done a very good job so far at trying to de-stabilise the team in the lead up.

  • on June 16, 2013, 0:06 GMT

    All talk about how Australia are gonna win the champions trophy and the Ashes, answer: bring back McGrath, Warne, Hayden, Gilchrist, Ponting, Lee. Is McGrath gonna say Aus 5-0?

  • CrankyFranky on June 15, 2013, 23:59 GMT

    I used to so eagerly await the cricket season. My enthusiasm has dimmed rapidly. Clarke is a champion bat yes but not a leader. A leader would have sorted out an issue like this privately or laughed it off publicly. He certainly wouldn't crap on about his 'leadership' and 'gaining trust'. Save us the droll. Australian cricket is now firmly in decline. Worse is yet to come (back to back Ashes losses looming). I'm loosing/lost respect for the game & team (and not because of punches & tweets). I find things like Clarke's narcissism, Sutherland's tirade & the homework saga b.s. Australia needs maverick geniuses like Shane Warne or David Boon but the current management would veto it. Clarke fretts about his reputation (sponsors ?) way too much. In a parallel universe Simon Katich rightly assumed the leadership after Ricky Ponting. At least the team would have been in good hands.

  • AhmedEsat on June 15, 2013, 23:38 GMT

    Watson is right.....If players faced severe penalties for not doing homework, how could it be right to cover up a more serious offence from Warner? Sadly, it boils down to lack of effective and consistent management. I find it increasingly difficult to feel passionate about our performances.

  • 58cans on June 15, 2013, 23:10 GMT

    Have to say Watson will have play as if his life is on the line in the Ashes.Give the first test to see if can deliver the goods,if he fails,time to play Faulkner.As for Clarke cannot doubt his skills as a batsman ,but as captain he has a long way to go ,still big question mark when it comes to captaincy.

  • Adoh on June 15, 2013, 22:55 GMT

    Surely everyone can see the inconsistency here. I think the credibility of CA is in tatters. Just 2 months ago, 4 Aussie cricketers were sent home for not doing their homework. David Warner physically attacks another person and he remains on tour! Surely this punishment demonstrates that CA is not putting the best interests of the sport first. CA itself should be fined for bringing the game into disrepute.

  • on June 15, 2013, 22:41 GMT

    Australia needs a firm hand and a wise head at the helm. Clarke currently provides neither. A quick look at the current team and squad reveals no other contenders for short term captaincy.........except Haddin. Selectors could do worse than ask him how long he expects to hang around. He just could be the man to fill in until Steve Smith is ready to step up!

  • on June 15, 2013, 22:28 GMT

    Been saying that Arthur and Clarke are not good for the team. Both of them shows sign of being control freak. We need to ask why Watson and the Australian are preforming better when Clarke or Arthur are not around. I agree that Arthur should be removed as coach and Clarke is a good player but a poor captain with no leadership skills and rub up the players in the wrong way.

  • Meety on June 15, 2013, 22:21 GMT

    Brilliant stuff from Clarke - he has to accept responsibility & hopefully he will follow thru on his words. Interestingly Arthurs talks about Watto & Warner - but not his own responsibilities. He is the coach? Hmmm. Growing cold on Arthurs rapidly! @David O'Brien -I sort of agreed with your first 2 sentences - but "...sadly I feel he'll be a guy who's easy to drop if he can't..." Mate there is a VERY strong arguement o say he should of been dropped months ago - even not making the tour. IF Watto is to get dropped - it will be for averaging about 20 with the bat for the last 18mths or so!

  • Sardonic on June 15, 2013, 22:09 GMT

    I cant see how all previous comments just wash Michael Clarke of all responsibility. Although he wasnt out partying in Birmingham, any good leader knows that the culture of behaviour in any team - whether it is in sport or any other environment - is created long before any incident occurs, irrespective of whether the behaviour is positive or negative. The Australian team appears uncohesive, shows no respect of hierarchy or other members of the team. Even when punishments were handed down in India to the four who didnt follow a task set to them, everyone whined and complained. Someone needs to grow a background - and that should be Michael Clarke.

  • Doogius on June 15, 2013, 22:05 GMT

    So lets get this right. You miss a test for not doing homework but you miss nothing for abusing someone over twitter and a few 1 dayers for throwing one at someone in the other team. Is this 'leadership'? Perhaps Clarkey is looking at a career after cricket - in the Oz Labour Party. Atm, would be a perfect fit :)

  • Claydo78 on June 15, 2013, 21:58 GMT

    Clarke certainly isnt to blame here and neither is arthur. In any group you are going to get a couple of bad apples and when you do, you throw them out! The ashes certainly isnt going to come down to watson or warner. There isnt much depth in australian cricket these days but both watson and warner are easily replaced. Burns, silk, doolan, khawja, cosgrove, rogers all could come and australian have lost nothing bar the off field dramas that come with watson and warner!

  • Mitcher on June 15, 2013, 21:46 GMT

    So does Watson care about strong, consistent leadership or is it just a bottom-lip out whinge that poor old Shaney boy feels he's hard done by? The sense of entitlement from a guy who has achieved next to nothing for this team despite the longest, easiest ride in memory is mind-blowing. The guy is fast becoming a disgrace. If he demands consistency so vehemently then why doesn't he achieve it with his bat for once rather than whinging about it with his overused mouth.

  • on June 15, 2013, 20:57 GMT

    Unfortunately Warner's altercation with Root masks a much bigger problem - he is out of his depth in the test team. No technique. No focus. Really only suitable for T20. Now they'll feel obliged to play him in the Ashes in a misguided effort to demonstrate team unity. We must drop Warner and open with Rogers and Cowan.

  • on June 15, 2013, 20:50 GMT

    Firmly on Shane Watson's side here. The homework-gate aburdity has done a lot more damage to Michael Clarke and Mickey Arthur's leadership than this punch on. I sure hope Shane can find some form because sadly I feel he'll be a guy who's easy to drop if he can't, and at that point he'll find it very hard to get back in.

  • Batmanian on June 15, 2013, 19:03 GMT

    The bad taste of being drunk and violent at the Walkabout in Birmingham is the coolest thing since Ponting did the same at some similarly appalling outfit in Sydney. It's so unreconstructed. That said, drop him for at least a Test.

    While Scotland and Ireland are to be taken with a grain of salt, add his work in India and Steve Smith has surely shot ahead of Khawaja for a place. Of course I would like to drop to Cowan, but of course they won't (especially with Warner surely out). That means something like Cowan, Watson, Rogers, Hughes, Clarke, Smith, Haddin... I don't see any point playing Watson anywhere but opener, and while Cowan is not Katich, the partnership could blossom. Rogers gets the big job at first drop - not somewhere you'd trust Hughes.

    Alternatively, Katich/Watson/Hodge/Ponting/Clarke/Hussey is looking horribly sensible, if not particularly fashion forward.

  • Viv-Viru on June 15, 2013, 18:40 GMT

    Agree, I don't see how Clarke is responsible and how he would improve his leadership - make sure his teammates will not throw punches?

  • sudhir98 on June 15, 2013, 18:38 GMT

    Watson sets the IPL ablaze and then returns to Aussie team and immediately regresses into an unsure ex leader of his team. Maybe the problem is the current team leadership and not just Watson. Arthur needs to go and Clarke needs too step down. He cannot play 50% games because of his back anyway.

  • on June 15, 2013, 17:33 GMT

    Clarke had nothing to do here. Warner made mistake few days earlier as he did last month. As we all make mistakes Warner did also, he need to learn from this ; if he doesn't it would be difficult for him to be a test player. As we all know discipline make personality Warner should look at his own behavior and learn from this. As per oz they have a good team and also great young talents so they need to wait. Clarke is a great captain and batsman he will handle the team well. Only things they need to change : sack Arthur and drop Watson from test team.

  • on June 15, 2013, 17:33 GMT

    Clarke had nothing to do here. Warner made mistake few days earlier as he did last month. As we all make mistakes Warner did also, he need to learn from this ; if he doesn't it would be difficult for him to be a test player. As we all know discipline make personality Warner should look at his own behavior and learn from this. As per oz they have a good team and also great young talents so they need to wait. Clarke is a great captain and batsman he will handle the team well. Only things they need to change : sack Arthur and drop Watson from test team.

  • sudhir98 on June 15, 2013, 18:38 GMT

    Watson sets the IPL ablaze and then returns to Aussie team and immediately regresses into an unsure ex leader of his team. Maybe the problem is the current team leadership and not just Watson. Arthur needs to go and Clarke needs too step down. He cannot play 50% games because of his back anyway.

  • Viv-Viru on June 15, 2013, 18:40 GMT

    Agree, I don't see how Clarke is responsible and how he would improve his leadership - make sure his teammates will not throw punches?

  • Batmanian on June 15, 2013, 19:03 GMT

    The bad taste of being drunk and violent at the Walkabout in Birmingham is the coolest thing since Ponting did the same at some similarly appalling outfit in Sydney. It's so unreconstructed. That said, drop him for at least a Test.

    While Scotland and Ireland are to be taken with a grain of salt, add his work in India and Steve Smith has surely shot ahead of Khawaja for a place. Of course I would like to drop to Cowan, but of course they won't (especially with Warner surely out). That means something like Cowan, Watson, Rogers, Hughes, Clarke, Smith, Haddin... I don't see any point playing Watson anywhere but opener, and while Cowan is not Katich, the partnership could blossom. Rogers gets the big job at first drop - not somewhere you'd trust Hughes.

    Alternatively, Katich/Watson/Hodge/Ponting/Clarke/Hussey is looking horribly sensible, if not particularly fashion forward.

  • on June 15, 2013, 20:50 GMT

    Firmly on Shane Watson's side here. The homework-gate aburdity has done a lot more damage to Michael Clarke and Mickey Arthur's leadership than this punch on. I sure hope Shane can find some form because sadly I feel he'll be a guy who's easy to drop if he can't, and at that point he'll find it very hard to get back in.

  • on June 15, 2013, 20:57 GMT

    Unfortunately Warner's altercation with Root masks a much bigger problem - he is out of his depth in the test team. No technique. No focus. Really only suitable for T20. Now they'll feel obliged to play him in the Ashes in a misguided effort to demonstrate team unity. We must drop Warner and open with Rogers and Cowan.

  • Mitcher on June 15, 2013, 21:46 GMT

    So does Watson care about strong, consistent leadership or is it just a bottom-lip out whinge that poor old Shaney boy feels he's hard done by? The sense of entitlement from a guy who has achieved next to nothing for this team despite the longest, easiest ride in memory is mind-blowing. The guy is fast becoming a disgrace. If he demands consistency so vehemently then why doesn't he achieve it with his bat for once rather than whinging about it with his overused mouth.

  • Claydo78 on June 15, 2013, 21:58 GMT

    Clarke certainly isnt to blame here and neither is arthur. In any group you are going to get a couple of bad apples and when you do, you throw them out! The ashes certainly isnt going to come down to watson or warner. There isnt much depth in australian cricket these days but both watson and warner are easily replaced. Burns, silk, doolan, khawja, cosgrove, rogers all could come and australian have lost nothing bar the off field dramas that come with watson and warner!

  • Doogius on June 15, 2013, 22:05 GMT

    So lets get this right. You miss a test for not doing homework but you miss nothing for abusing someone over twitter and a few 1 dayers for throwing one at someone in the other team. Is this 'leadership'? Perhaps Clarkey is looking at a career after cricket - in the Oz Labour Party. Atm, would be a perfect fit :)

  • Sardonic on June 15, 2013, 22:09 GMT

    I cant see how all previous comments just wash Michael Clarke of all responsibility. Although he wasnt out partying in Birmingham, any good leader knows that the culture of behaviour in any team - whether it is in sport or any other environment - is created long before any incident occurs, irrespective of whether the behaviour is positive or negative. The Australian team appears uncohesive, shows no respect of hierarchy or other members of the team. Even when punishments were handed down in India to the four who didnt follow a task set to them, everyone whined and complained. Someone needs to grow a background - and that should be Michael Clarke.