England v Australia, 2nd Investec Test, Lord's July 17, 2013

Warne relaxed over Clarke-Watson rift

42

Shane Warne believes fierce arguments between Michael Clarke and Shane Watson over the latter's place in Australia's Test match batting order have been at the root of a rift that is nowhere near as dramatic as the former coach Mickey Arthur has alleged. A close friend and mentor to both Clarke and Watson, Warne paralleled his relationship with Steve Waugh, another pair who disagreed fundamentally on many cricket issues but found a way to work together.

Arthur's alleged claim in leaked legal documents that Clarke had described Watson as a "cancer" on the Australian team has heightened scrutiny of a partnership that has often been strained. But Warne told ESPNcricinfo that while the views of Clarke and Watson had often diverged, the perception of the two senior players warring with each other had been enhanced by the national team's indifferent recent results and the allrounder's shuffling around the batting order by Clarke.

"I found when I was captain of Watto in the IPL. I just backed him 100% and he'd end up being player of the tournament," Warne said. "Pup's been doing that but I think what people have missed is they've debated over where Shane Watson should bat. Watto wants to open, Michael Clarke's thinking strong middle order, so I'm sure they've had a few heated debates about where he should bat.

"How that translates into they hate each other, they don't get along, blah blah blah, it's just been blown out of proportion I believe. And I know both the guys really well and I speak to both all the time. So I think it's not a factual statement. But because of the batting situation and the way the team's going, sometimes people can read too much into that. They might have disagreements of opinions over things, but that's okay. You don't need to always agree and it doesn't equal hating each other either."

Watson's relationship with Clarke reached a low point during the tour of India earlier this year when he was suspended from the Mohali Test match by a leadership group comprised of Clarke, Arthur and the team manager Gavin Dovey. Warne said his working axis with Waugh had been similarly tested by the decision to drop him from the Test team in the West Indies early in 1999. A few months later they found themselves celebrating on the Lord's balcony, having played equally vital roles in winning the World Cup.

"Coach Geoff Marsh still wanted to go with me, so it all got a bit ugly, and that was not great to be honest, it wasn't very easy," Warne said of the selection meeting in Antigua, 14 years ago. "But we always had respect for each other. We always had different views - Steve was a very defensive, negative type of person, he was always a match saver. He wouldn't go out there and tear an attack apart, he would just slowly go about it and grind them down. I was a bit more aggressive, had a bit more flair about my game and was more of a risk-taker. Sometimes that works, and that's why we had quite a successful period as captain and vice-captain because we contrasted."

Warne suggested that kind of contrast should be regarded as a strength rather than a weakness by Clarke and Watson, and encouraged the captain's authority to be challenged respectfully by others as the best way for the team to function. The new coach Darren Lehmann appears already to have helped in this way.

"They have disagreements in the change room on certain things and batting orders and that sort of stuff," Warne said. "But that's healthy, you don't want ten robots in there just going 'yes Michael, whatever you want Michael'. You want someone to say 'I disagree with that Pup, let's declare at 320'. In the end he's accountable because the wins and losses go against his name. I think he's pretty good at collecting all the information in the dressing room and then making his own decision.

"The big question is about respect versus being liked. We all like to be liked but it's more important to have respect. If you respect each other, no matter whether you have differences of opinions or you don't quite see eye to eye. You might not go out and socialise once you walk off the ground, but on that field you'd do anything for each other, and that's what we had for a long period. The only way to get that respect is to earn it, how people conduct themselves around the group, how they put themselves out for you, are they thoughtful towards you as well. It can't be one way traffic all the time."

You can follow Warne's views this summer on the Shane Warne Cricket app.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Natx on July 17, 2013, 23:14 GMT

    Well said. Everyone plays to win. There is no doubts about that. Just because someone has an opposing view doesn't mean he is not committed to the team. Every person is different and how leaders manage their group is what separates good and great leaders. My way or no way is not going to work all the time and the prime reason of Arthur getting fired. This is not a school. It is a professional cricket team, used to be one of the best in the world not long ago. We need to show results and that can only come by folks having a mutual respect for each other, have respect for others thoughts, having fun, and producing results as a team. Hope pup and watto put everything behind them and move on. Come on Aussies!

  • hhillbumper on July 20, 2013, 12:03 GMT

    Do we think that the Indian fans rating of Watson has anything to do with the fact that he plays well in the IPL. he akways looks good and then gets out.As the old saying goes its now how it looks it how many runs you make. He can dominate in IPL but lets face it it is not really high class cricket

  • DJT1 on July 19, 2013, 0:06 GMT

    Most of what Warne says makes sense, it's good to have different views and perspectives. And he has the authority of being the best legspinner of them all. Unfortunately his bitterness over losing the captaincy to Steve Waugh and then being dropped for a Test still obviously rankles ('a defensive, negative person') and has always been apparent. Take for example his ridiculously low ranking of Waugh - someone who you'd have to consider for a place in an alltime Australian Eleven - in his list a few years ago of the best players he'd played with or against. A 'defensive, negative person' doesn't attract the sort of unprecedented (except for Bradman) respect and reverence that was shown by the Australian public towards Waugh on his retirement. Come on, Shane, you're starting to believe all the Ian Chappell hype about yourself and Steve! Be a little generous and show some flair and give up the bitterness, it's showing.

  • KingOwl on July 18, 2013, 14:30 GMT

    Some good common sense from Shane Warne.

  • testmatchonly on July 18, 2013, 12:49 GMT

    Fantastic words of wisdom from the man who has seen it all. Applies not only to cricket but generally to any high-performance teams. Genius !

  • SamWintson92 on July 18, 2013, 10:12 GMT

    Well said, Shane Warne. I don't want Clarke to ruin Watson's career. Watson is a sort of player who needs to be used smartly & he can turn out to be a match winner. Lehmann seems to be the man to do it. Watson's comfortable at opening & bowl just a few overs. He's currently a batsman who can roll the arm a bit like a part-timer. He can't be used like an allrounder. If Watson is overbowled, he'll make himself injured. These are kind of things one needs to address when Watson is in the team. I think, Clarke wants an allrounder in Watson who bats in the middle order but that's not possible. Anyways, all the best Watson & Aussie team.

  • on July 18, 2013, 8:43 GMT

    I believe him 100%...being a cricketer everybody wants best for the team....guys may have different opinions but that dosent mean that they hate each other....Just britiah press playing a media war on the Aussies....Well leaders always INSPIRE and aggressive mind set lets you BELIEVE...!! GO AUSSIE....!! PUPS its about TIME..!! Isloo-Pakistan

  • on July 18, 2013, 8:32 GMT

    easy to cover and carry cracks when its a winning team Warnie - not so easy when its a losing team. Goats have to be found and looks like Cowan and Starc are today's sacrificial offerings. Who will it be if Oz go 2-0 down? Lehman ? Clarke?

  • Jayzuz on July 18, 2013, 8:14 GMT

    It's pretty obvious that this issue has been vastly exaggerated, and it isn't hard to see how that happens. The headline after the Arthur legal thing broke was "Clarke calls Watson a cancer". The journalists extract the most sensational phrase - and suddenly that has become the definition of what is happening. The reality is that Clarke and Watson are on reasonable terms, as far as I can tell, and the team is in good spirits. But that is not going to make the headlines. So Watson=cancer it is.

    I don't really see the Arthur legal case affecting team unity. Arthur is now an outsider, so it is no longer an internal disruption. Because the "disruption" comes from an external source, it may actually unite the team. This is actually what governments always try to do when they look like losing support - find an external threat to divert attention from them and unify the people.

  • on July 18, 2013, 7:28 GMT

    Respect for Warne. Great piece of advice from Warne to Shane and Michael and very informational stuff on leadership stuff and teamwork. From Karachi - Pakistan

  • Natx on July 17, 2013, 23:14 GMT

    Well said. Everyone plays to win. There is no doubts about that. Just because someone has an opposing view doesn't mean he is not committed to the team. Every person is different and how leaders manage their group is what separates good and great leaders. My way or no way is not going to work all the time and the prime reason of Arthur getting fired. This is not a school. It is a professional cricket team, used to be one of the best in the world not long ago. We need to show results and that can only come by folks having a mutual respect for each other, have respect for others thoughts, having fun, and producing results as a team. Hope pup and watto put everything behind them and move on. Come on Aussies!

  • hhillbumper on July 20, 2013, 12:03 GMT

    Do we think that the Indian fans rating of Watson has anything to do with the fact that he plays well in the IPL. he akways looks good and then gets out.As the old saying goes its now how it looks it how many runs you make. He can dominate in IPL but lets face it it is not really high class cricket

  • DJT1 on July 19, 2013, 0:06 GMT

    Most of what Warne says makes sense, it's good to have different views and perspectives. And he has the authority of being the best legspinner of them all. Unfortunately his bitterness over losing the captaincy to Steve Waugh and then being dropped for a Test still obviously rankles ('a defensive, negative person') and has always been apparent. Take for example his ridiculously low ranking of Waugh - someone who you'd have to consider for a place in an alltime Australian Eleven - in his list a few years ago of the best players he'd played with or against. A 'defensive, negative person' doesn't attract the sort of unprecedented (except for Bradman) respect and reverence that was shown by the Australian public towards Waugh on his retirement. Come on, Shane, you're starting to believe all the Ian Chappell hype about yourself and Steve! Be a little generous and show some flair and give up the bitterness, it's showing.

  • KingOwl on July 18, 2013, 14:30 GMT

    Some good common sense from Shane Warne.

  • testmatchonly on July 18, 2013, 12:49 GMT

    Fantastic words of wisdom from the man who has seen it all. Applies not only to cricket but generally to any high-performance teams. Genius !

  • SamWintson92 on July 18, 2013, 10:12 GMT

    Well said, Shane Warne. I don't want Clarke to ruin Watson's career. Watson is a sort of player who needs to be used smartly & he can turn out to be a match winner. Lehmann seems to be the man to do it. Watson's comfortable at opening & bowl just a few overs. He's currently a batsman who can roll the arm a bit like a part-timer. He can't be used like an allrounder. If Watson is overbowled, he'll make himself injured. These are kind of things one needs to address when Watson is in the team. I think, Clarke wants an allrounder in Watson who bats in the middle order but that's not possible. Anyways, all the best Watson & Aussie team.

  • on July 18, 2013, 8:43 GMT

    I believe him 100%...being a cricketer everybody wants best for the team....guys may have different opinions but that dosent mean that they hate each other....Just britiah press playing a media war on the Aussies....Well leaders always INSPIRE and aggressive mind set lets you BELIEVE...!! GO AUSSIE....!! PUPS its about TIME..!! Isloo-Pakistan

  • on July 18, 2013, 8:32 GMT

    easy to cover and carry cracks when its a winning team Warnie - not so easy when its a losing team. Goats have to be found and looks like Cowan and Starc are today's sacrificial offerings. Who will it be if Oz go 2-0 down? Lehman ? Clarke?

  • Jayzuz on July 18, 2013, 8:14 GMT

    It's pretty obvious that this issue has been vastly exaggerated, and it isn't hard to see how that happens. The headline after the Arthur legal thing broke was "Clarke calls Watson a cancer". The journalists extract the most sensational phrase - and suddenly that has become the definition of what is happening. The reality is that Clarke and Watson are on reasonable terms, as far as I can tell, and the team is in good spirits. But that is not going to make the headlines. So Watson=cancer it is.

    I don't really see the Arthur legal case affecting team unity. Arthur is now an outsider, so it is no longer an internal disruption. Because the "disruption" comes from an external source, it may actually unite the team. This is actually what governments always try to do when they look like losing support - find an external threat to divert attention from them and unify the people.

  • on July 18, 2013, 7:28 GMT

    Respect for Warne. Great piece of advice from Warne to Shane and Michael and very informational stuff on leadership stuff and teamwork. From Karachi - Pakistan

  • nayonika on July 18, 2013, 7:21 GMT

    Shane Warne has said it as it should be said. Have all the opinion you want to have but earn each other's respect by performance on the field and not by perorations off the field. Clarke should learn from Warne's handling of a disparate group of players and how he moulded them to a winning unit rather than following tactics of Mickey Arthur which flopped badly.

  • on July 18, 2013, 7:17 GMT

    Ausies look good when Clark plays ... Ausies look dominating when Watson play.... The player with Watson's caliber can win matches for Clark.. if Clark wants to succeed, he must understand the importance of watson and find out ways to keep team-mates like him motivated.. and be on his side..

  • bundybear55 on July 18, 2013, 7:06 GMT

    The thing Warne forgets is that he and Steve Waugh were part of a great side that kept on winning. We all know how much easier it is smooth things over in a winning dressing room. That's why I don't understand why they are bringing in the likes of Warne, McGrath, et al to gee these blokes up - they have never experienced what these guys are going through. Far better to bring in AB and some of the team from the early to mid 80's - they have first hand experienced of what is required to get through this and come out the other end. Just like the teams AB led, this team is going to have to "scrap" for every run, every wicket. During the Waugh era they could always bank on a piece (or two) of individual brilliance to get them out of trouble or more often than not, take them to a winning position.

  • PRGiri on July 18, 2013, 6:58 GMT

    @Ashique129 , Compared to Ponting, Waugh is an aggressive risk taker.... compared to Warne, Waugh is defensive ...... being defensive and risk taking is all relative ..... Shane Warne is the most aggressive and Intelligent captain Australia didn't have .... that also explains why Ponting and Waugh are on the same page ....

  • izzidole on July 18, 2013, 6:50 GMT

    I reckon Mickey Arthur is now trying to cook up another story about a feud between Watson and Clarke for his failures during his tenure as head coach of the Australian cricket team which is called buck passing. He also deliberately created the so called homeworkgate issue to let everybody know that there was indiscipline in the team so that he wouldn't have to take the blame for the lacklustre performance by the team in India. This was one of the worst performances by an aussie team in the history of test cricket. If racism was an issue I am sure Mickey Arthur wouldn't have got the job in the first place when there were several other candidates who have represented the country were overlooked. I think Cricket Australia should take the blame for this. When Australian cricket coaches are very much in demand the world over it was a very poor decision by the invincible James Sutherland of CA. Already the team looks very much better under Lehman's coaching.

  • on July 18, 2013, 6:37 GMT

    Wonderful thoughts from warne. Great Leader (Aus never utilized ) to Raise

    differences among team members on certain Decisions.Issue would be to square on

    a dominance views. Here comes the respect. A careful leader should listen to his

    rivals opinion also. he should change the strategy by picking up the opinion of his

    adversaries also for the sack of his teams victory. kesav koundinya

  • vsroc on July 18, 2013, 6:31 GMT

    Posted by Venkat Sraman on (July 18,2013) Shane Warne analysed the situation well.Hope,this will be a temporary phase and will improve in the course of time.Let us all hope for the best and enjoy the Ashes series.

  • Leggie on July 18, 2013, 6:15 GMT

    Its a wonderful perspective if only Clarke/Watson really understood they had fundamental differences. But, if it's true that Clarke indeed called Watson's influence as "cancerous" it's just not "difference in opinion". It's a lot more and CA needs to step in big time to get the differences sorted. Otherwise, we would see soon one of either Clarke or Watson step down.

  • GeoffreysMother on July 18, 2013, 6:12 GMT

    Like Natx I 'hope pup and watto put everything behind them ' - between first and second slip!

  • on July 18, 2013, 5:52 GMT

    Very good comment from Warne.... Excellent way of smoothing the cold war between Watto and Clarke.... Expecting good cricket from Watson for his home team.

  • Ozcricketwriter on July 18, 2013, 5:48 GMT

    The thing is that Watson has consistently been the best player in the Australian team in both ODIs and T20s, where he opens the batting and is used as a shock bowler. So why is it so different in tests? It is not like Watson is a limited overs specialist or anything - his first class record is extraordinary and he also did fairly well in tests at various points - his test bowling average almost puts him in the side as a bowler anyway. Watson has done much, much better when opening than in any other spot in the order. How he was used in the first test seems right. He opens the batting and is given a few overs here and there. He might have only scored 13 and 46 but compared to other scores in the match he was doing reasonably well - much better than Clarke or Cowan and, bar some lucky escapes, better than Hughes and Haddin too. And, given how much debate there is with commentators over this issue, it stands to reason that that is why Clarke and Watson disagree. Watson is not a cancer.

  • Ashique129 on July 18, 2013, 5:35 GMT

    I feel uncomfrotable to differ with Warney, but I do. I kind of agree with vatsap's point as well. I recall when Ponting came to power, he claimed that Waugh was too much of a risk taker and that is why Australia lost a few (ex., he should not have asked India to follow on at Kolkata 2001). Now Warney says Waugh was negative and defensive? I wonder what he is thinking. Being the die hard Australian who genuinely cares, perhaps, he is downplaying the incident to inflict some sort of calm in a dressing room that is in disarray.

  • cricket_ahan on July 18, 2013, 5:34 GMT

    Good article - well written and makes a fair point. However, one critical thing that Warne neglects is that Watson has done many things to not deserve respect. The lack of complying with team orders, the now infamous "homework" incident, seems a little outside just normal disagreement - it is flaunting the rules and thinking they don't apply to you. The subsequent removal of Watson as Aust's VC indicates a vindication of behaviour that is unbecoming of someone who deserves respect. Add to that Watson's struggles with form, and it doesn't present a pretty picture. Clarke has earned respect from his actions, his on-field captaincy and his form with the bat. Time for Watson to come to the party.

  • Guthers007 on July 18, 2013, 4:35 GMT

    Interesting article but not sure Warnie has hit the nail on the head. Don't get me wrong, I'm not knockinhg him, just saying it is simply not that easy to implement that sought of ethos or practice into a team environment where there are multiple thoughts and personalities. I only wish it was!

  • t20-2007 on July 18, 2013, 4:08 GMT

    Hand down...Shane warne....thats wat a team game should be afterall

  • timus6778 on July 18, 2013, 4:05 GMT

    "that's why we had quite a successful period as captain and vice-captain because we contrasted." This is an excellent view. probably why Ganguly-Dravid was an excellent combination too. And yes as a captain you have to agree to disagree sometimes with the vice captain. But that doesn't amount to having a rift between the two.

  • on July 18, 2013, 2:02 GMT

    Exellent point by Warne another reason WHY he should have been captain of aust. We do not need yes men any where in todays society TASSIE HARRY

  • boehj on July 18, 2013, 1:40 GMT

    I Warned the Clarke, "elementary my dear Watson."

  • dieseldoc on July 18, 2013, 1:14 GMT

    a sensible article about personality conflicts

  • on July 18, 2013, 0:47 GMT

    Warne is now playing a " defensive " role for and on behalf of the team. Prolly it may have been a role he was assigned having come into the inner ring of the team. But the fact is and it seems from all accounts that its not the healthy difference of opinion that it is made out to be. Yes Warne is right to some extent that some dissent can bring in a new perspective. But to trivialise this supposed rift is like an ostrich hiding under the sand. CA should step in and settle this once and for all. But when you have guys taking decisions to pack Warner away to SA to get match practice, one cannot expect rational thinking from CA anymore. Jokes apart what I'd Warner gets two ducks in SA. He will dumped as no good. Man he should bat at # 3 and Kwajalein instead of Hughes at #5. Then see how the runs flow. Get Faulkner in place of Smith. And you will have a complete team ready to fire. Anyone thinks CA can move ahead on these lines? Not me....

  • dunger.bob on July 18, 2013, 0:46 GMT

    Wise words from the greatest captain Australia never had.

    Waugh and Warne are two of the strongest personalities you could ever hope to meet and almost diametrically opposed in their fundamental views about .. well, nearly everything. Yet they were a lethal combination on the cricket field in terms of tactics and game plans. ... so boys, it can be done.

    Warnes right about respect. I always find that the more I respect someone the easier it is work with them. ... respect is not something that is easily earned though. It takes time and both parties have to be willing to try. .. Let's hope there's enough left between Clarke and Watson to work with.

  • vatsap on July 18, 2013, 0:45 GMT

    Ha ... ha ... typical Shane Warne ... "Steve was a very defensive, negative type of person" and I had lot of Flair. What choice of words.

  • on July 18, 2013, 0:15 GMT

    Well said Warny. Though Warny didnot lead Australia, he was a great inspiration for the dressing room. World would love to see Warne taking over as coach or as a mentor of current Australian team. He would imbibe work ethics and bring in a aggressive style of cricket which is missing in the current team.

  • Indianpunjabi on July 17, 2013, 23:20 GMT

    Watson is just an ordinary cricketer with 33 average...and cant bowl that many overs and gets injured

  • TomPrice on July 17, 2013, 22:23 GMT

    Let's sit back and wait for the next installment of I-don't-want-to-bowl-with-the-niggle-I-picked-up-5-minutes-ago.

  • on July 17, 2013, 21:51 GMT

    Wow what an Article, and guess what who is speaking THE MOST UN RESPECTED CRICKETERS of the world, who has not respect for the other cricket ON and OFF the field. "The big question is about respect versus being liked." then why he not liked the other cricket when he was playing in his hey days. Its just a pathwork being made by Cricket Australia so that the rift between Pup aand Wato can be put aside.

  • TheCricketEmpireStrikesBack on July 17, 2013, 21:49 GMT

    As usual, common sense from Warne.

    The media will, of course, try and beat up any issue of any sort as much as possible to sell advertising. For the players of most teams, however, honest differences are a sign of maturity and progress towards a common goal. Except, perhaps for team England, where differences normally mean being offended to the point where "re-integration" is required.

  • landl47 on July 17, 2013, 21:45 GMT

    Warney can afford to be relaxed, he makes his money as a media personality these days. Having to be responsible for the mood in the change room might increase his blood pressure somewhat.

    Watson hasn't got a lot going for him in the getting his own way department. 2 hundreds and an average in the mid-thirties after 42 tests isn't much of a resume for an opener. Warne and Waugh both had outstanding records. Only one of Clarke and Watson has that and it isn't Watson. He should be happy he's still in the side, not laying down the law about where he bats.

  • Rahul_78 on July 17, 2013, 21:44 GMT

    Warne can try his best to do damage control but fact of the matter is Watto was dropped for not doing homework. Watto publicly said he was on the verge of quitting. Katich paid the price for grabbing Clarke by throat, Hussey retired prematurely and poor Arthur was sacked for failing to control the infighting. It all reflects pretty poorly on Clarke the leader. It's all right being projected as golden boy and captain supreme but if Aussies loose badly in remaining 9 matches Aussie supporters will soon turn on Clarke and accusations will start of damage inflicted by my way or high way mentality of Clarke. Warne fire fighting at the most looks like well rehearsed PR excersise on the eve of a make or break test.

  • whatawicket on July 17, 2013, 21:42 GMT

    im sorry but whats it got to do with warne. an why on earth would we be interested

  • pat_one_back on July 17, 2013, 21:22 GMT

    Interesting parallel here with the respective Captains carrying selection responsibilities, as I recall Australia brought a selector on tour following that rift, Magilla was bowling better at the time and kudos to Waugh for making the call, helped get Warnie fully fit & firing again! Clarke was wise to hand back selection responsibilities and focus on captaincy & a healthier dressing room. Watto got his wish to open, let's not forget Mickey trying desparatwly to make Watto into Kallis, anyway Lehman announced it early potentially to beat this leak, a cracking test has been played and it's all yesterdatys news. One thing we know for certain is that a YouTube almost apology won't help the healing!

  • RahulPaTiL25 on July 17, 2013, 21:17 GMT

    Stuff is always blown out of proportion in the media and especially when you have the Ashes going on, this is just another distraction. I think its about time people start to grow up and focus on the things that matter more. And i love how Warne comes out of no where and chills out about it.

  • RahulPaTiL25 on July 17, 2013, 21:17 GMT

    Stuff is always blown out of proportion in the media and especially when you have the Ashes going on, this is just another distraction. I think its about time people start to grow up and focus on the things that matter more. And i love how Warne comes out of no where and chills out about it.

  • pat_one_back on July 17, 2013, 21:22 GMT

    Interesting parallel here with the respective Captains carrying selection responsibilities, as I recall Australia brought a selector on tour following that rift, Magilla was bowling better at the time and kudos to Waugh for making the call, helped get Warnie fully fit & firing again! Clarke was wise to hand back selection responsibilities and focus on captaincy & a healthier dressing room. Watto got his wish to open, let's not forget Mickey trying desparatwly to make Watto into Kallis, anyway Lehman announced it early potentially to beat this leak, a cracking test has been played and it's all yesterdatys news. One thing we know for certain is that a YouTube almost apology won't help the healing!

  • whatawicket on July 17, 2013, 21:42 GMT

    im sorry but whats it got to do with warne. an why on earth would we be interested

  • Rahul_78 on July 17, 2013, 21:44 GMT

    Warne can try his best to do damage control but fact of the matter is Watto was dropped for not doing homework. Watto publicly said he was on the verge of quitting. Katich paid the price for grabbing Clarke by throat, Hussey retired prematurely and poor Arthur was sacked for failing to control the infighting. It all reflects pretty poorly on Clarke the leader. It's all right being projected as golden boy and captain supreme but if Aussies loose badly in remaining 9 matches Aussie supporters will soon turn on Clarke and accusations will start of damage inflicted by my way or high way mentality of Clarke. Warne fire fighting at the most looks like well rehearsed PR excersise on the eve of a make or break test.

  • landl47 on July 17, 2013, 21:45 GMT

    Warney can afford to be relaxed, he makes his money as a media personality these days. Having to be responsible for the mood in the change room might increase his blood pressure somewhat.

    Watson hasn't got a lot going for him in the getting his own way department. 2 hundreds and an average in the mid-thirties after 42 tests isn't much of a resume for an opener. Warne and Waugh both had outstanding records. Only one of Clarke and Watson has that and it isn't Watson. He should be happy he's still in the side, not laying down the law about where he bats.

  • TheCricketEmpireStrikesBack on July 17, 2013, 21:49 GMT

    As usual, common sense from Warne.

    The media will, of course, try and beat up any issue of any sort as much as possible to sell advertising. For the players of most teams, however, honest differences are a sign of maturity and progress towards a common goal. Except, perhaps for team England, where differences normally mean being offended to the point where "re-integration" is required.

  • on July 17, 2013, 21:51 GMT

    Wow what an Article, and guess what who is speaking THE MOST UN RESPECTED CRICKETERS of the world, who has not respect for the other cricket ON and OFF the field. "The big question is about respect versus being liked." then why he not liked the other cricket when he was playing in his hey days. Its just a pathwork being made by Cricket Australia so that the rift between Pup aand Wato can be put aside.

  • TomPrice on July 17, 2013, 22:23 GMT

    Let's sit back and wait for the next installment of I-don't-want-to-bowl-with-the-niggle-I-picked-up-5-minutes-ago.

  • Indianpunjabi on July 17, 2013, 23:20 GMT

    Watson is just an ordinary cricketer with 33 average...and cant bowl that many overs and gets injured

  • on July 18, 2013, 0:15 GMT

    Well said Warny. Though Warny didnot lead Australia, he was a great inspiration for the dressing room. World would love to see Warne taking over as coach or as a mentor of current Australian team. He would imbibe work ethics and bring in a aggressive style of cricket which is missing in the current team.