Australia's troubled tour March 12, 2013

Bond backs Australia to rise above sacking controversy

Shane Bond, the former New Zealand fast bowler, believes the fall-out following Australia withdrawing four players from contention for the third Test against India will not hurt them in the long term.

Shane Watson, Mitchell Johnson, James Pattinson and Usman Khawaja were told on Monday that they would not be considered for selection in Mohali. Watson has since flown home to be with his pregnant wife and said he would consider his future.

Bond, now New Zealand's bowling coach, produced some of his best one-day international displays against Australia, taking 44 wickets in 17 matches, and is not surprised by the strict standards laid down by Michael Clarke.

"Knowing Michael, he sets incredibly high standards for himself and as captain he's doing the same for his team," Bond said. "When you lose, everything comes into question and they've had two comprehensive hidings so far [in the India Test series] so he's decided something need to be done.

"He's going to cop flak, as well as some people who'll say 'good on him', and it's about what comes of it. That might not be in these next two Tests but a year down the track."

After India, Australia's next Test assignment is the Ashes in England from July and Bond cannot see this episode being a factor in how they will perform there.

"I thought they would feel a bit of pain in India when I saw the team they were taking over, I didn't expect them to win," he said. "But I expect them to be a different unit in England or in their home conditions where the fast bowlers come more into play. I don't think this series will have too many bearings on how they'll play in the Ashes.

"They basically had a kick up the backside. We've seen it with other teams in the past. And being a player myself sometimes it's good to get that kick to remind you of the standards that are set. Although there will be some grumpiness from the players and criticism, I expect it to come out okay."

Bond was recently at the centre of tensions with Mike Hesson, the New Zealand coach, after the contents of a letter he wrote to New Zealand Cricket in the wake of Ross Taylor being sacked as captain was made public during the tour of South Africa.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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