Tim Nielsen, the new Australia coach, wants his team to be conscious of their behaviour and has suggested any lapses could have an impact on selection. As the side prepares for its season of regeneration - Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Justin Langer and John Buchanan have departed - Nielsen said the unit was no longer in a position to fall back on the performances of the greats and the next rung of players would have to "present well".
"All the little things that add up into selection will come into play," he said in the Herald Sun. "If any player doesn't present himself well and shows he is not able to handle the pressure, it's probably going to be a little bit of an issue for the selectors to look at when they pick their first Test team."
Nielsen told the paper Stuart MacGill had already been spoken to and the issue would be addressed as a group during the pre-season camp in Coolum later this month. MacGill was suspended for two weeks after an incident with an umpire in Sydney grade cricket last summer and was upset to have suffered a knee injury during the pre-Ashes boot camp.
"I know [Stuart] is aware of the little issues that may be there," Nielsen said. "He is now perceived as the senior spinner in Australia and his Test record is outstanding.
"But the biggest challenge for him ... is to show being the senior spinner is not just about the most wickets, it's about leading and presenting himself well and assisting the younger players coming through." MacGill is part of the Australia A tour to Pakistan next month and will have the dual duties of bowling himself into form and guiding Cullen Bailey, Dan Cullen and Cameron White.
Australia face a busy schedule starting with the Twenty20 World Championship in September and Nielsen said the players had to look outside their results and consider their behaviour. "If you want to be seen as the best, it's not just about winning and losing," he told the paper. "The whole kit and caboodle goes with it.
"It's a balancing act of understanding the situation. As the leading team in the world, we don't get as much leeway as other teams get in that area. We need to be really conscious of it."
MacGill seems ready to take on the responsibility. "Cricket is a team sport and while I may not feel I have let myself down with some of the decisions I make, I feel guilty that it can impact on others," MacGill told the Australian. "I've had some long chats with Tim and I get along with him really well. He's very direct." MacGill said he didn't want to get into a situation where he let down Nielsen or the team.