Former England cricketer Angus Fraser says less than four months out from the Ashes it’s reassuring to see England’s greatest rivals “getting stuffed by India”.
Alastair Cook’s side beat India “handsomely before Christmas”, Fraser writes in British newspaper The Independent.
The suspension of four players, including vice-captain Shane Watson, for failing to meet a deadline for a homework assignment set by coach Mickey Arthur is like “manna from heaven, especially for those of us who spent a career watching the Aussies serenely dominate the world game”, he writes.
Fraser believes the most disturbing factor is one of those involved is the vice-captain, who should be taking interest in what can be done to improve the team’s performance. Watson has flown home to Sydney for the birth of his first child.
“This affair highlights a lack of cohesion at the top of Australian cricket,” he said.
Fraser said he wondered whether Australia’s current players take the same pride in wearing the “Baggy Green” as those who wore it before.
“By treating the cap as they did they produced something that was always more important than any individual. It was an honour and it kept players in check. A player’s behaviour was judged by the values the cap represented.
“Now it seems the focus has strayed from the Test team and is more on the money Twenty20 cricket can generate.”
Nevertheless, Fraser’s sounded a warning that four months in sport is a long time.
“Despite Australia’s predicament, England supporters should not gloat too much. It was not long ago that England were in a similar position through the antics of a certain Kevin Pietersen.”