Australia's troubled tour March 13, 2013

Clarke remains hopeful of Watson return

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Michael Clarke has not given up hope of Shane Watson returning to India for the fourth Test in Delhi, despite the vice-captain's indications that he is considering his cricket future. Watson arrived in Sydney on Tuesday night for the birth of his first child, although his departure from Chandigarh also coincided with him being one of four players stood down from the Australia team for this week's third Test due to their failure to complete a task set by the coach Mickey Arthur.

When he left India, Watson said he would use his time at home to weigh up his cricket future, which given his new family commitments was taken as a suggestion that long Test tours might no longer be on his radar. However, Clarke and Watson spoke on the phone after Watson landed in Sydney and Clarke said the best-case scenario for Australia was that Watson could still return to India in time for the final Test in Delhi, which starts on Friday next week.

"I think Watto has made it clear to everybody that that's something he's thinking about while he's home," Clarke said of Watson's cricket future. "From my point of view he's vice-captain of this team and he's a big part of this team, there's no doubt about that. From the conversation Watto and I have had, 100% he has gone home for the birth of his first child, which is very exciting for him. I know he's really excited about that.

"Hopefully all goes to plan there, Lee has the baby in the next few days and Watto is back here playing the fourth Test as our vice-captain. That's the best-case scenario from my point of view and from the team's point of view. The rest is really up to Shane."

The Watson situation was complicated by a press conference in which Cricket Australia's general manager of team performance, Pat Howard, said that Watson was a team player "sometimes" and alluded to issues between Watson and Clarke. Watson responded by saying that Howard did not know him well and that his relationship with Clarke had its ups and downs but that things were going well between them at the moment.

Clarke was careful not to be drawn too far into the debate on the eve of the Mohali Test, but he said he was sure Watson and Howard would be in communication while Watson was at home. Clarke was doing his best to focus firmly on the third Test against India, which Australia could enter with as few as 12 available players due to Watson, James Pattinson, Mitchell Johnson and Usman Khawaja being suspended, and Matthew Wade battling an ankle injury.

"I'm not going to get into that," Clarke said. "I don't think it's fair to Watto and I don't think it's fair to Pat that I get involved in that. Watto has been around for a long time. Pat has been around sport for a very long time. I know those two will be in communication. For me the focus is this team and trying to have success in these two Test matches.

"I think the most important thing is that this group looks forward. The decision has been made. The players have accepted and respect the decision that has been made, and now we're trying to do what the most important thing is and have success in this Test match. I think it would be very stupid of me to look backwards. I don't think right now, a day out before the Test, I can afford to do that.

"Watto made it clear yesterday that me and him have known each other for such a long period of time. The players respect the position I'm in as captain and that this decision isn't personal. We made the decision irrelevant to the four players' names. It was because we thought it was best for the team that we made that decision."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY ConradFitzroy on | March 14, 2013, 2:13 GMT

    What's done is done and the best way forward it not to look back. This is the weakest Australian line up for a very long time - whose fault is that? Certainly not Michael Clarke's or Mickey Arthur's. They are working with what they've been given. Clarke has been letting his bat do the talking and he is doing exceptionally well under the intensity of the current circumstances. We must not lose sight of the main goal here - that Australia is to regain the status as no. 1 test nation. This will take time and be very hard but dedication and "putting the team first" will be the beginning of the journey to achieving this. Pattinson's response to his temporary sacking was humble and appropriate, Watson's was not.

  • POSTED BY disco_bob on | March 15, 2013, 0:13 GMT

    One cannot be suspended for a match one was already not going to play. If Watto plays the 4th Test then the other 3 suspended players would have reasonable cause for complaint as his suspension becomes merely symbolic. Maybe his 'threat' to consider his future was a ploy.

    Watto seems more of a destabilising influence on the Team, and the fact that he did not even offer to bowl 2 or three overs in the first match with his 'golden arm' partnership breakers, plus his continuous string of non starts and current petulance make him pretty well dispensable. Notwithstanding he'd probably rather pick up the big earner in the IPL.

  • POSTED BY on | March 14, 2013, 22:56 GMT

    @ Alexk400 .... spot on they needed 20-wickets, dumped Lyon and selected Maxwell and Doherty. The selectors, including MJ Clarke, have no comprehension of the players abilities.

    @ Daniel Sijmons .... love it!!! You name Wade, talented but can't keep to spin, and Hughes, who hasn't coped with this Tour environment, then include Johnson and Khawaja who haven't been selected on tour. Yes, Australia has taleneted cricket players but the team selected for the 2nd Test could have readily been beaten by a 2nd Australian XI.

    All amounts to the inability for the selectors to put the correct team together, and the failure to include O'Keefe in the original tour squad.

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | March 14, 2013, 14:31 GMT

    Being the Vice-Captain, it was even more imperative that Watson should have given his inputs, as asked of him. Instead, he chose to turn away from his responsibilities. What kind of a Vice-Captain is he? Shame! And to think that after playing for nearly 10 years, he has just a couple of centuries in test cricket! I think Australia should look elsewhere. It should be a blessing in disguise for them.

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | March 14, 2013, 9:57 GMT

    Great Aussie teams lost in India with great bowlers and great spinners. You can't compare this aussie team against great team. For me this aussie team batting rely on one man. Michael clarke. But aussie bowling still good in seaming friendly conditions. But In india though it got exposed. I am thinking siddle (great trier and team man)and starc are not good bowlers in indian conditions. Aussie do not have good spin bowler to stop the run flow which caused all problems. If they can't stop run leaking , the fast bowler will also get hit. Thats what happened. All teams are talented at home conditions because of home crowd energy. For me clarke needs to accept loss like a man and stop being going bonkers. Its different team , he needs to behave like he has seen many losses , instead of he is acting like he has allergy. Yes we all know aussies wants to win more than any team but that depends on talent level in the team. Also aussie has weak batting group. Bring watson back first.

  • POSTED BY TSJ07 on | March 14, 2013, 9:30 GMT

    I cant agree more with Cricket316 on (March 13, 2013, 21:40 GMT) and cricket-india on (March 13, 2013, 11:00 GMT) . It hurts to a genuine cricket lover like me the way respective boards have treated players like Gayle,KP,Ross,Symond,Katich and many others. Even Dravid and Laxman were forced to retire. if CA has to think ahead they need to drop Coach/Capatin from their positions just like what India did with Greig Chappel before he did irrepairable damage to Indian cricket.

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | March 14, 2013, 9:23 GMT

    India lost 8-0 , Dhoni did not go around blamed his team mates. That is leadership. Clarke knows why he lost first two test. Certainly not because of batsman inability to play spin , it is because they fail to take 20 wickets. Except pattinson no one penetrating enough to get wicket in this spinnng flat wickets. I attribute to lack of preparation by Micky arthur and Clarke. They over estimated their 4-0 win over india and thought they could crush india. It did not happen , so they are imploding because they did not expect their bowlers become impotent overnight. Siddle and Starc become toothless. Indians generally play spin well unless opposition had very controlled bowler who are mentally strong. I think clarke looks great when winning but looks to blame everyone but him in losses. Playing blame game is not the way to go about it. Banning player on home work shows aussie leadership group looking to blame someone except them. Immature.

  • POSTED BY on | March 14, 2013, 1:33 GMT

    I didn't support Clarke during the axing of Simon Katich or Andrew Symonds (and boy could they use those two now) but this is a different matter and I support him 100% here. Heads had to roll and if players are to arrogant to take 5 minutes to respond to a simple request then the choice is obvious

  • POSTED BY on | March 14, 2013, 1:31 GMT

    @Alexk400... How is this not a talented team? Clarke, Hughes, Warner, Wade, Pattinson, Siddle, Starc, Johnson, Khawaja, heneriques and even lyon and watson are talented.. The problems at the moment are discipline and consistency... something that Clarke is trying to rectify...

  • POSTED BY Siva_Bala75 on | March 14, 2013, 1:21 GMT

    Shane Watson is Sehwag, Pietersen type. One big innings and Aus will win that test. His failures are where he makes the 20s and 30s- still more than double of what Phil Hughes makes. India, on any day, will be happy if Watto does not play.

  • POSTED BY ConradFitzroy on | March 14, 2013, 2:13 GMT

    What's done is done and the best way forward it not to look back. This is the weakest Australian line up for a very long time - whose fault is that? Certainly not Michael Clarke's or Mickey Arthur's. They are working with what they've been given. Clarke has been letting his bat do the talking and he is doing exceptionally well under the intensity of the current circumstances. We must not lose sight of the main goal here - that Australia is to regain the status as no. 1 test nation. This will take time and be very hard but dedication and "putting the team first" will be the beginning of the journey to achieving this. Pattinson's response to his temporary sacking was humble and appropriate, Watson's was not.

  • POSTED BY disco_bob on | March 15, 2013, 0:13 GMT

    One cannot be suspended for a match one was already not going to play. If Watto plays the 4th Test then the other 3 suspended players would have reasonable cause for complaint as his suspension becomes merely symbolic. Maybe his 'threat' to consider his future was a ploy.

    Watto seems more of a destabilising influence on the Team, and the fact that he did not even offer to bowl 2 or three overs in the first match with his 'golden arm' partnership breakers, plus his continuous string of non starts and current petulance make him pretty well dispensable. Notwithstanding he'd probably rather pick up the big earner in the IPL.

  • POSTED BY on | March 14, 2013, 22:56 GMT

    @ Alexk400 .... spot on they needed 20-wickets, dumped Lyon and selected Maxwell and Doherty. The selectors, including MJ Clarke, have no comprehension of the players abilities.

    @ Daniel Sijmons .... love it!!! You name Wade, talented but can't keep to spin, and Hughes, who hasn't coped with this Tour environment, then include Johnson and Khawaja who haven't been selected on tour. Yes, Australia has taleneted cricket players but the team selected for the 2nd Test could have readily been beaten by a 2nd Australian XI.

    All amounts to the inability for the selectors to put the correct team together, and the failure to include O'Keefe in the original tour squad.

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | March 14, 2013, 14:31 GMT

    Being the Vice-Captain, it was even more imperative that Watson should have given his inputs, as asked of him. Instead, he chose to turn away from his responsibilities. What kind of a Vice-Captain is he? Shame! And to think that after playing for nearly 10 years, he has just a couple of centuries in test cricket! I think Australia should look elsewhere. It should be a blessing in disguise for them.

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | March 14, 2013, 9:57 GMT

    Great Aussie teams lost in India with great bowlers and great spinners. You can't compare this aussie team against great team. For me this aussie team batting rely on one man. Michael clarke. But aussie bowling still good in seaming friendly conditions. But In india though it got exposed. I am thinking siddle (great trier and team man)and starc are not good bowlers in indian conditions. Aussie do not have good spin bowler to stop the run flow which caused all problems. If they can't stop run leaking , the fast bowler will also get hit. Thats what happened. All teams are talented at home conditions because of home crowd energy. For me clarke needs to accept loss like a man and stop being going bonkers. Its different team , he needs to behave like he has seen many losses , instead of he is acting like he has allergy. Yes we all know aussies wants to win more than any team but that depends on talent level in the team. Also aussie has weak batting group. Bring watson back first.

  • POSTED BY TSJ07 on | March 14, 2013, 9:30 GMT

    I cant agree more with Cricket316 on (March 13, 2013, 21:40 GMT) and cricket-india on (March 13, 2013, 11:00 GMT) . It hurts to a genuine cricket lover like me the way respective boards have treated players like Gayle,KP,Ross,Symond,Katich and many others. Even Dravid and Laxman were forced to retire. if CA has to think ahead they need to drop Coach/Capatin from their positions just like what India did with Greig Chappel before he did irrepairable damage to Indian cricket.

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | March 14, 2013, 9:23 GMT

    India lost 8-0 , Dhoni did not go around blamed his team mates. That is leadership. Clarke knows why he lost first two test. Certainly not because of batsman inability to play spin , it is because they fail to take 20 wickets. Except pattinson no one penetrating enough to get wicket in this spinnng flat wickets. I attribute to lack of preparation by Micky arthur and Clarke. They over estimated their 4-0 win over india and thought they could crush india. It did not happen , so they are imploding because they did not expect their bowlers become impotent overnight. Siddle and Starc become toothless. Indians generally play spin well unless opposition had very controlled bowler who are mentally strong. I think clarke looks great when winning but looks to blame everyone but him in losses. Playing blame game is not the way to go about it. Banning player on home work shows aussie leadership group looking to blame someone except them. Immature.

  • POSTED BY on | March 14, 2013, 1:33 GMT

    I didn't support Clarke during the axing of Simon Katich or Andrew Symonds (and boy could they use those two now) but this is a different matter and I support him 100% here. Heads had to roll and if players are to arrogant to take 5 minutes to respond to a simple request then the choice is obvious

  • POSTED BY on | March 14, 2013, 1:31 GMT

    @Alexk400... How is this not a talented team? Clarke, Hughes, Warner, Wade, Pattinson, Siddle, Starc, Johnson, Khawaja, heneriques and even lyon and watson are talented.. The problems at the moment are discipline and consistency... something that Clarke is trying to rectify...

  • POSTED BY Siva_Bala75 on | March 14, 2013, 1:21 GMT

    Shane Watson is Sehwag, Pietersen type. One big innings and Aus will win that test. His failures are where he makes the 20s and 30s- still more than double of what Phil Hughes makes. India, on any day, will be happy if Watto does not play.

  • POSTED BY hycIass on | March 14, 2013, 0:45 GMT

    Very few doubt that there is a culture problem within Australian cricket. However, the manner in which Arthur & Clarke have gone about this is totally wrong. Rather than solve the problem, they have merely added to it.The idea is to change people's poor habits without incurring residual resentment.This is hardly a recipe for good governance.As a fan its so hard to understand how we can go into a test match without our vice captain, best fast bowler in Pattinson and best young batsman in Khawaja for not doing their homework. This should have been dealt with behind doors but instead we are the joke of the cricketing world, all because Arthur wanted to deflect attention from our on field issues.

  • POSTED BY MinusZero on | March 14, 2013, 0:25 GMT

    I wouldnt select Watson if he came back for the third test anyway. He doesnt deserve a place based on form (or lack of)

  • POSTED BY hhillbumper on | March 13, 2013, 22:05 GMT

    Shane Watson hopefully comes back into the team for the Ashes.Watching him bowl is a memorable event.you can practically hear him tell himself how to bowl as he runs in. Its like watching a rabbit in headlights.

    the fact that he is good in IPL should be a good clue as to why he can't play test cricket

  • POSTED BY Cricket316 on | March 13, 2013, 21:40 GMT

    @Alexk400- Wouldn't use the word Lucky here, Impactful, Definitely. He,along with the performance of the Indian Team, have had the huge impact on the mindset of Clarke and all went South.After 2 straight losses in India, he Axed 4 players. He's not able to handle defeats, 2 Defeats and he's gone bizzare(I haven't seen such scenario,ever!)

    Instead of blaming Watto and other guys,he should have taken the responsibility of the losses and should be lifting the spirits of his players and try to sort out their weaknesses. Thing is, Clarke has made it about himself- My Way or No way.He wants "Yes Men". Some of the players aren't ,so they are not in the Squad and we're seeing some T20 Big Bash Players making Test debuts for Ozs. Guys like Martyn,Hussey,Bevan,to name a few, earned it. Shameful to see what Test Cricket has become. An Egotistical Captain is never good for any team.Australia should find a better Captain,but no1's good enough,so stuck with Pup.

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | March 13, 2013, 20:16 GMT

    Dhoni is luckiest human on earth. Period. See aussie imploding in front of him. He removed his nemesis sehwag and aussies giving him gift by imploding themself. For me dawan is lucky in that he can make runs in this aussie implosion. No pattinson either to take wicket. Another run piling extravaganza for india. Even though i do not like clarke dictator ways of my way or no way , i think the issue here is micky arthur. He felt he got disrespected and he wanted clarke to toe the line. Clarke is happy to oblige because he do not like watson either. Every one can pinpoint the fault. For me what would be the solution?. I think aussies should wait until ashes and cane micky arthur and clarke and selectors same day. I think until then they should be given a chance to prove their methods are right. For me its 100% wrong. There are always different kind of people in any team , its matter how to get best out of each of them without creating mess. Micky arthur should be blamed for this crisis

  • POSTED BY vxttemp on | March 13, 2013, 19:48 GMT

    I don't agree with the present Aussie team being not talented. I still feel they have a good chance at Mohali and even Delhi. For me Aus and Eng have equal chances for ashes. But this blown out of proportion. They might be professionals but Have coach and capt told these players "in case they don't do this, they will be dropped?" I mean this is probably the first time, these guys would have asked players to do such a home work. You could probably warm them. Penalize them next time. People say 3 days, sometimes you tend to forget when you've more days to work on a task.

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | March 13, 2013, 19:17 GMT

    Cricinfo not publishing my 99% of comments. They are scared of truth. Michael Clarke may have good intention in buidling the team but he lacks character to be a leader. This is not talented team. When things go bad even small things like this blown up because management wants fall guy. It happens in all corporation. Clarke and mickey arthur try to hide themself from 2-0 loss and now they try to blame everything on watson. Other 3 are just added up just to make it, it is not watson only issue. If clarke do not find people who fight with him , his captaincy is done and dusted. Micky will be gone after ashes loss. England will be salivating on this aussie implosion. Bottom line is this , aussie team lacks talent. Meanings the selctors has to be caned and coach and then clarke in that order. Clarke is still aussie best batsman. There is no one there after clarke for captaincy. So aussie basically stuck with clarke for a while.

  • POSTED BY cricketindianfever on | March 13, 2013, 19:02 GMT

    All the Australian players were disappointed due to series loss.so they have tendency to come back strongly. But India have to sweep 4-0.

  • POSTED BY Cricket316 on | March 13, 2013, 17:38 GMT

    After the Shocking Axing, Blame-Game and 2 Days of thrashing from the Media,Former Players and the fans has resulted in Clarke making a U-Turn.The Role of the Captain is so very important,more so than the Coach himself, coz the Skipper is the one who knows his men better and recognizes how to extract the best out his players. Clarke has managed this incident very immaturely. Talking both sides of his mouth, About performances and trying things out and keeping alot of Non-Performers in the Team.

    The Ramifications of this decision will be long term(And surely not in a Good Way!) Might ruin the Career of a very Talented Watson.You could just see the disappointment on his face. Clarke is desperate for Success as Captain,as clear from his statements. After a few losses, is not able to handle pressure,resulting in these kinds of bizarre decisions.

  • POSTED BY on | March 13, 2013, 17:06 GMT

    One small matter: With their suspension, can Pattinson. Johnson, & Khwaja step onto the field as substitute fields-men? Or, if the necessity arises, can /will Clarke ask Micky to field?

  • POSTED BY on | March 13, 2013, 15:48 GMT

    We are waiting for tomerrow's high voltage 3rd Test Match in Mohali.

  • POSTED BY TSJ07 on | March 13, 2013, 14:32 GMT

    Captains and coaches should not be treating players like that. Not everyone is same temperament wise and support staff should know that players are just playing a game and they are not at war and also they are humans and can have some feelings/desires which they can express.

  • POSTED BY couchpundit on | March 13, 2013, 13:59 GMT

    LOL -- this is possibly the best face saving act Michael Clarke could do. Doing an about turn within couple of days--Wonder if he has any integrity. If you want to be a tough catain go ahead and do it...dont talk peace after making a decision.

    Clarke you are no Allan Border...you are a fake.dont for a moment think people dont recognise that.

  • POSTED BY heathrf1974 on | March 13, 2013, 13:47 GMT

    It seems to mean that the discipline in shown in most football sides has been lacking in cricket teams. Cricket seems to be way behind in the professional era and needs to catch up. Former players offering advice is obsolete as they played in a different era and standards were lower. The coach and captain are the leaders period.

  • POSTED BY on | March 13, 2013, 13:40 GMT

    He should tell Clarke to go take a hike. I would prefer to use more colourful language but I doubt whether they would print it. Watson should consider long and hard, playing Test Cricket again ONLY if Clarke and Arthur apologise PUBLICALLY to him. This whole episode is embarrassing to Australian Cricket and comical to the rest of the cricketing world.

  • POSTED BY on | March 13, 2013, 12:53 GMT

    @ Big_Maxy_Walker .... and now you may understand why Khawaja was dropped for the Indian Tests after he top scored against SA in the 2nd Innings of the 2nd Test, was unfortunately run out by Ponting when set on 38 and then had the second best score in the 2nd Innings of the 2nd Test against NZ.

    All the chickens are coming home to roost.

  • POSTED BY Edwards_Anderson on | March 13, 2013, 12:49 GMT

    I have been a fan of Arthur. I see Micky Arthur now has come out and said he was getting back chat and the like from players. Why would he make that public? It just paints the picture oft the player not respect him, happy to challenge his authority. Or was it just a cultural misunderstanding. With us 2-0 down i absolutely cannot understand how we can go into this test without Pattinson and Khawaja as our issues have been getting 20 wickets and sorting our top order woes.

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | March 13, 2013, 11:43 GMT

    This could turn out to be a storm in teacup as no-one really seems to dislike anyone else except for Pat Howard. Still it has given Arthur the chance to say out in the open that he wants to enforce discipline- you hardly need a PHD to work out that he wanted that all along. The reunion could be a tearjerker.

  • POSTED BY on | March 13, 2013, 11:40 GMT

    Coach asking players for feedback and suggestions are same as teacher asking doubts to stident....he is asking his players to do the work he's supposed to do and been paid for!!!!

  • POSTED BY Haiphong on | March 13, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    I have been a die-hard Aussie supporter since 1972 and, though have been disappointed in the past (handling of Symonds, Katich, Ponting and even Hussey, etc. etc.), have never felt as low as at this moment. This is beginning to sound more like dramasa usually associated with the Pakistani team (sorry to say) than Australia. What really bothers me is the "safe-house" accorded to players such as Hughes and even Warner. My God, the team was touring India - not NZ. How does Hughes even belong in this side? As has been pointed out by many, Khawaja and Johnson had not even played a test yet and, at least in Khawaja's case, his essay on points how the team could improve should have very clearly, and in BOLD, stated PICK ME - ahead of Warner, Hughes, Maxwell, Moises... Too sad! Afraid the effects of this tour will last much longer than we would like to think they will...

  • POSTED BY on | March 13, 2013, 11:17 GMT

    According to their coach, isn't Watson dropped for the next test he is available to play? Am I missing something!!!

  • POSTED BY on | March 13, 2013, 11:05 GMT

    Watson is the only player in the team who will be selected by any team in the world. AUS downward spiral was speeded up due to this stupid decision. Only 2 players the world is afraid to play against one is keven peterson an the other is watson.

  • POSTED BY cricket-india on | March 13, 2013, 11:00 GMT

    there's something wrong with 'team management' nowadays; eng bungled with kp, nz bungled with taylor, the windies bungled with gayle, and now the oz. is it really so complicated to understand that players are humans and your team is a collection of disparate individuals with varied attitudes, different backgrounds and ethnicities and a multitude of thoughts, ideas and expressions? i mean, if you have a team of 15 robots always, you wouldn't need team management and all those fancy, high-paying jobs, right??? on the other hand all these shenanigans really show the team managements of south africa and even india for that matter, in quite a good light!!

  • POSTED BY Beertjie on | March 13, 2013, 10:49 GMT

    For what it's worth I agree with you, but it won't happen @ Big_Maxy_Walker on (March 13, 2013, 8:20 GMT) Time to change leadership corps after losing another Ashes. Sad days for Oz.

  • POSTED BY on | March 13, 2013, 10:47 GMT

    How deluded is MJ Clarke?? Offering an olive branch at this time is a transparent and weak an action that you will ever witness, devoid of truth, empathy or understanding. MJ Clarke you are a very shallow man.

    The Watson Family is having a baby. I wish them all the best. I hope that mother and child come through without issue or complications. Surround yourselves with unyielding love and unrelenting peace.

  • POSTED BY Thefakebook on | March 13, 2013, 10:44 GMT

    Good on you Clarke and I still hope for a 2-2 draw if only.......

  • POSTED BY Jayzuz on | March 13, 2013, 10:30 GMT

    It's uninformed comments like your that really annoy me, @Sandeep Albert Mathias. Watson made a public statement yesterday that he and Clarke are getting on well. So its as plain as day that it is not Clarke who is behind this. How obvious can it possibly be - what is going on with all this scientific mumbo-jumbo boot-camp mentality that has infected the team!? It's Pat Howard and the rugby/sports scientist guys! Rotation, power point presentations, wellness forms, Arthur talking about skinfold measurements! It might also pay to keep in mind that Australia have lost a total of TWO test matches in a row! They lost just three out of 20 before this. This is hardly the end of the world. It's obvious that the extreme conditions the Indians put forward here have a lot to do with results. Do you think the Indians are more self-disciplined & hard-working than the Australian team? Have they changed team culture since they lost 10 of the 12 tests they played before this series, winning 1? No!

  • POSTED BY crocker on | March 13, 2013, 10:26 GMT

    Thought cricket was played on a field! Not in a class room with paper & pen! A couch who can not talk to his players face to face is ... (unthinkable). He can take the feedback directly from the horse's mouth. Where are austrailians of sledging fame? RIP CA.

  • POSTED BY Mary_786 on | March 13, 2013, 10:09 GMT

    Folks seem to be assuming that the decision by Arthur and Clarke to request input was reasonable. The four players concerned may have felt the problems lay with selection and the leadership, and they may well be right. Perhaps this had been expressed by the VC on a number of occasions but not well received by Clarke and Arthur. In such a situation, the request to provide feedback about personal improvement seems rediculous as it will do nothing to improve the situation. In fact compliance would entrench the leadership dysfunction. At this point a man has to take a stand. He risks losing, which seems quite probable in Watsons case, but at least he followed through. Surely Johnson should have been playing ahead of Maxwell, Khawaja can't get a single game and is one of our best young batsman around . There can be no denying that that some blokes are favories of the coach and captain but selections should be based on the best 11. That's the first thing to rectify.

  • POSTED BY on | March 13, 2013, 9:20 GMT

    How deluded can Clarke be? Throwing out his colleagues and expecting them to treat him as if nothing happened. If their relationship was good, this incident will certainly damage it. If their relationship was not good (but was said so to keep up appearances), then this incident will destroy it. Either way, neither of them are coming out of this unscathed.

  • POSTED BY blitzNM on | March 13, 2013, 8:48 GMT

    I think aus are missing the services of george bailey in the test team. He can be good deputy and also a very handy batsman, astleast better than half of batsmen in this squad.

  • POSTED BY Charlie101 on | March 13, 2013, 8:40 GMT

    Surely it is impossible for Watson to continue as vice captain after being disciplined by the coach and especially after Pat howard's comments ???

  • POSTED BY Big_Maxy_Walker on | March 13, 2013, 8:20 GMT

    who could possibly be vice captain that will stand up to Clarke and actually deserve it. warner hasn't cemented his place yet, hughes no way, haddin is too short term, wade should be replaced by paine for team harmony and lyons benefit. paine was seen as captaincy material when he was in the side. I say after this series paine replaces wade and takes vice captaincy for the ashes and beyond

  • POSTED BY shahbazhussain on | March 13, 2013, 8:19 GMT

    To me, its clearly the team management which is damaging the moral and costing the players. I wonder why Watto is thinking about terminating his future following this incident? Thats gonna be huge blow and mental shock for many of the players and the fans. Being Pakistani, I love to watch him playing all the time. In fact he is the most loved player in Cricket for me. And to give him tribute I put my Nick name in his name and use "Shane Watson" as my name in my profession. Thats how I feel about him. He is a performer and a real entertainer. I love him playing cricket and enjoy watching him bowling and batting and field and talking... Lets hope we have him playing for Australia for few more years. dude dont loose your moral dont loose your temper. You are the man! Salute you!

  • POSTED BY shahbazhussain on | March 13, 2013, 8:12 GMT

    How good teams go bad on their days is exactly what Australia Cricket Team is tasting... Some bad performances really have created panic in the dressing room where the team management except captain and players are underestimating the talent they have. Its clear - on Australia day, the same team was super hit when they ate India 4-0 a couple years back. Now the same team is being eaten by India likely 0-4 which is unacceptable by the Aussie management. They know the 4-0 defeat is coming and they are not ready to take it easily but costing bad decisions, loosing the support of great players in the crucial times when both the team and players need hands of maximum support from management, players, the fans and of course the media. None of them is trying to reunite which is damaging the moral of the team and leaving them broken all the time. The way Ponting was able to unite the team is not seen in Clarke even he seems to be a super guy right now. Aussies were never like this before.

  • POSTED BY Jacobite on | March 13, 2013, 8:04 GMT

    Hope Watson goes back in time for Delhi, because that's one cheap wicket for the Indian bowlers.

  • POSTED BY ravi_hari on | March 13, 2013, 8:01 GMT

    A timely comment by Clarke. Whether it will help diffuse the situation or not only time will tell. The focus now shifts to the Mohali test for the team and to the first child for Watson. Any further communication on the issue will only come late this week or early next week. For the present Clarke has a huge task ahead. First he has to decide on who should be left out. Whether he will go with 2 wicket keepers or will go with an extra bowler and Wade rests. In any case, Haddin is sure to take Watson's place. With Clarke moving up to 3 or 4, Haddin will bat just behind Clarke and both can try and give some stability to the batting. If Huges comes in at about the second new ball time he might do better. With Henriques there to sail with the tail Aussies can hope for a better batting display. Henriques will have the burden of third seamer and Lyon and Maxwell can turn their fingers for some quick spells. I think Clarke should bowl atleast 5 overs a session, especially in second innings.

  • POSTED BY on | March 13, 2013, 7:58 GMT

    I think Watson should show his dignity, he should not go back, at least for this tour. Micky Arthur just tried to impose his failure to other players. Being a coach, its his sole responsibility to access the weak points of all players. Clarke and Coach showed really Childish behavior, it was really disappointed and frustrated :(

  • POSTED BY on | March 13, 2013, 7:50 GMT

    I would say George Bailey is more respected as a captain for Australia. I think until Australia develops a more experienced team, they should allow George to do that job temporarily. He may just lift his game. His record is not great but if you can't control your team, you are not good enough. If the four players are at fault , so is the team management and captain.

    The team management are not on the same boat with some of the players (25%), so there is a clear communication gap. If you have a communication problem, does it justifies the team management's position as the leader ?

  • POSTED BY on | March 13, 2013, 7:50 GMT

    I would say George Bailey is more respected as a captain for Australia. I think until Australia develops a more experienced team, they should allow George to do that job temporarily. He may just lift his game. His record is not great but if you can't control your team, you are not good enough. If the four players are at fault , so is the team management and captain.

    The team management are not on the same boat with some of the players (25%), so there is a clear communication gap. If you have a communication problem, does it justifies the team management's position as the leader ?

  • POSTED BY on | March 13, 2013, 7:58 GMT

    I think Watson should show his dignity, he should not go back, at least for this tour. Micky Arthur just tried to impose his failure to other players. Being a coach, its his sole responsibility to access the weak points of all players. Clarke and Coach showed really Childish behavior, it was really disappointed and frustrated :(

  • POSTED BY ravi_hari on | March 13, 2013, 8:01 GMT

    A timely comment by Clarke. Whether it will help diffuse the situation or not only time will tell. The focus now shifts to the Mohali test for the team and to the first child for Watson. Any further communication on the issue will only come late this week or early next week. For the present Clarke has a huge task ahead. First he has to decide on who should be left out. Whether he will go with 2 wicket keepers or will go with an extra bowler and Wade rests. In any case, Haddin is sure to take Watson's place. With Clarke moving up to 3 or 4, Haddin will bat just behind Clarke and both can try and give some stability to the batting. If Huges comes in at about the second new ball time he might do better. With Henriques there to sail with the tail Aussies can hope for a better batting display. Henriques will have the burden of third seamer and Lyon and Maxwell can turn their fingers for some quick spells. I think Clarke should bowl atleast 5 overs a session, especially in second innings.

  • POSTED BY Jacobite on | March 13, 2013, 8:04 GMT

    Hope Watson goes back in time for Delhi, because that's one cheap wicket for the Indian bowlers.

  • POSTED BY shahbazhussain on | March 13, 2013, 8:12 GMT

    How good teams go bad on their days is exactly what Australia Cricket Team is tasting... Some bad performances really have created panic in the dressing room where the team management except captain and players are underestimating the talent they have. Its clear - on Australia day, the same team was super hit when they ate India 4-0 a couple years back. Now the same team is being eaten by India likely 0-4 which is unacceptable by the Aussie management. They know the 4-0 defeat is coming and they are not ready to take it easily but costing bad decisions, loosing the support of great players in the crucial times when both the team and players need hands of maximum support from management, players, the fans and of course the media. None of them is trying to reunite which is damaging the moral of the team and leaving them broken all the time. The way Ponting was able to unite the team is not seen in Clarke even he seems to be a super guy right now. Aussies were never like this before.

  • POSTED BY shahbazhussain on | March 13, 2013, 8:19 GMT

    To me, its clearly the team management which is damaging the moral and costing the players. I wonder why Watto is thinking about terminating his future following this incident? Thats gonna be huge blow and mental shock for many of the players and the fans. Being Pakistani, I love to watch him playing all the time. In fact he is the most loved player in Cricket for me. And to give him tribute I put my Nick name in his name and use "Shane Watson" as my name in my profession. Thats how I feel about him. He is a performer and a real entertainer. I love him playing cricket and enjoy watching him bowling and batting and field and talking... Lets hope we have him playing for Australia for few more years. dude dont loose your moral dont loose your temper. You are the man! Salute you!

  • POSTED BY Big_Maxy_Walker on | March 13, 2013, 8:20 GMT

    who could possibly be vice captain that will stand up to Clarke and actually deserve it. warner hasn't cemented his place yet, hughes no way, haddin is too short term, wade should be replaced by paine for team harmony and lyons benefit. paine was seen as captaincy material when he was in the side. I say after this series paine replaces wade and takes vice captaincy for the ashes and beyond

  • POSTED BY Charlie101 on | March 13, 2013, 8:40 GMT

    Surely it is impossible for Watson to continue as vice captain after being disciplined by the coach and especially after Pat howard's comments ???

  • POSTED BY blitzNM on | March 13, 2013, 8:48 GMT

    I think aus are missing the services of george bailey in the test team. He can be good deputy and also a very handy batsman, astleast better than half of batsmen in this squad.

  • POSTED BY on | March 13, 2013, 9:20 GMT

    How deluded can Clarke be? Throwing out his colleagues and expecting them to treat him as if nothing happened. If their relationship was good, this incident will certainly damage it. If their relationship was not good (but was said so to keep up appearances), then this incident will destroy it. Either way, neither of them are coming out of this unscathed.