SPIRO: Last chance saloon for fractious four

Spiro Zavos Columnist

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    Cricket Australia's Executive General Manager of Team Performance, Pat Howard. AAP Image/Dave Hunt

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    Since the fractious four failed their pre-Test preps, I’ve been flooded with emails from good old boys wondering what would have happened if Keith Miller or Dougie Walters had been asked to write up their thoughts about how the team could improve their performance.

    The answer is that both of them, and virtually every cricketer up to about 10 years ago would have told the coach and the selectors to get knotted (this is bowlderised, of course).

    Miller was famous for turning up around the time the match started, even when he was captain of NSW, and virtually staggering on to the field and with a raging headache telling his players to ‘scatter’ into their positions.

    If the opposition batting side was a bit obdurate on a hot day, he was known to grab the ball, go through the lineup and get back into the shade of the pavilion before the lunch-time break.

    Even the great Don Bradman was treated with a sort of disrespect on occasions if the players felt this was in order.

    Malcolm Knox’s marvellous account of Bradman’s last tour of England in 1948 gives a series of vivid descriptions of Miller and others in the team giving the captain some surly attention when they disagreed with his tactics.

    Bradman himself was rather stand-offish to the players as well.

    Sam Loxton liked to tell the story of approaching Bradman on behalf of Neil Harvey, the gifted youngster in the side, to get some advice for him on how to get out of a batting slump.

    “Tell your mate to hit the ball along the ground,” Bradman chirped.

    That was then. This is now, a different time.

    In the last 15 or years or so we’ve seen the rise of managerialism and coaching in the production of first-rate cricket sides.

    South Africa and England currently, the two best sides in the world, are constructs of the managerial revolution.

    The essence of the managerial approach to creating a great cricket team is that processes are put in place that involve the players in making significant inputs into the making and playing of the side. These processes require players to monitor their physical and mental preparation.

    The team itself is involved, too, with the coaching staff in producing detailed plans for every situation, either batting or bowling.

    The point here is that the modern player not only has to prepare himself for the tasks he performs on the cricket field. He has to prepare with the greater good of the team as a priority, as well.

    In the case of Shane Watson, he prepared himself well but neglected, it seems, his duties as a leader in the team.

    The other three, it seems from reading between the lines of various statements, didn’t really prepare themselves properly, let alone doing their utmost to elevate the performance of the team.

    I noted, for instance, the comments of Daniel Zammit, who is the manager of Usman Khawaja. Zammit said he welcomes the ‘firm message’ sent to his client.

    Cricketers, he continued in an obvious reference to Khawaja, have been indulged for too long.

    In the case of Khawaja it seems he was concerned/obsessed by the fact that, in his belief, he had been dropped without good reason from the Australian XI.

    He saw himself as not being given a fair go by the selectors to inherit his rightful place in the Test squad.

    More generally, the fractious four were leaders in a team culture where “back-chat” and “giving attitude” (Mickey Arthur’s words) had become an “unacceptable” form of behaviour within the team.

    Arthur summed up the problem this way: “Being late for a meeting, high skinfolds, wearing the wrong attire, back-chat or giving attitude are just some examples of these behavioural issues that have been addressed discreetly but continue to happen.”

    The commentators often talk about coaches ‘losing the dressing room.’ Generally, when this happens the revolt is led by the leaders of the team; the players who have influence and success on the field.

    James Pattison is on the brink of a great Test career and has performed well so far. But he is no Dennis Lillee right now.

    Mitchell Johnston has his best Test days behind him. He is not, and was not, the dominating player he should have been.

    And as Gideon Haigh points out in The Australian, Shane Watson has scored two Test hundreds in 40 Tests.

    He is a player, in my view, who looks better than he really is. He is also a player with an inflated view of his own abilities.

    He won no friends inside the team or within the Australian cricket community with his frequent pushing of his role as a top of the order batsman.

    Player power has always been a potent factor in Australian cricket right back to its earliest days when the players clashed, sometimes physically, with Board members who tried to control who went on tours and how much they were paid.

    Even the great Keith Miller fell foul of this control when Don Bradman forced the Board to drop him from a team travelling to South Africa.

    An injury to one of the players subsequently got Miller his tour, where he starred. But Bradman ensured that Miller never became the long-term captain of Australia, a job that went to the yes-man, Ian Johnson.

    And we have seen with the Brumbies Super Rugby side that player power works when the team has gifted players who can win no matter what system of team preparation is used. But when these players lose their mojo, player power becomes an impediment to progress and success.

    Interestingly, Pat Howard was one of the player power ring-leaders for the Brumbies.

    He seems to have learnt the lesson that a team without great players (or with only one great player, Michael Clarke) must play as a team, enhancing the potential of everyone in a common cause rather than as a collection of individuals, if it wants to ascend to great heights.

    I know there has been a huge amount of criticism of Howard and Arthur (and Clarke, as a selector who must have agreed to the diktat) but it seems to be that Arthur was right when he told journalists: “You can only get your last chance so many times.”

    If the players were too obsessed with their own concerns rather than those of the team to really be part of the team’s preparations for Tests, then they don’t deserve to be in the side.

    The upside is that Khawaja and Pattinson are in the early part of what should be (especially in the case of Pattinson) a distinguished career with the baggy greens.

    Johnson and Watson, however, are a different matter.

    Both have delivered less than their promise suggested they might.

    They are closer to the end of their Test careers and it will require a massive change of attitude on their part to win back the confidence of the team’s managers that they will deliver in the back-to-back Ashes series that is coming to us later this year.

    Spiro Zavos
    Spiro Zavos

    Spiro Zavos, a founding writer on The Roar, was long time editorial writer on the Sydney Morning Herald, where he started a rugby column that has run for nearly 30 years. Spiro has written 12 books: fiction, biography, politics and histories of Australian, New Zealand, British and South African rugby. He is regarded as one of the foremost writers on rugby throughout the world.

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    The Crowd Says (118)

    • March 14th 2013 @ 2:03am
      buddha9 said | March 14th 2013 @ 2:03am | ! Report

      So tell me Spiro what exactly does a ticky tacky, neo-liberal word like managerialism mean in a world where mates pick mates and hard work and dedication get sidelined and ignored?

      What does it mean when under performing hacks get picked for filling out forms while guys like Pattison who have bowled their guts out get dropped?
      Why should players, in a atmosphere of mistrust and cliques, in which the coach so openly sides with certain players, fill in a form rating their teammates when they haven’t even played in the game and when the coach at some point could use it against ‘em later on?

      Who’s got any guarantees they won’t do it either, given the situation of cliques and no trust?

      Its the coaches job to create a atmosphere where players can flourish, where teammates trust and support each other — has Arthur done that?

      Whats Usman meant to say? “I didn’t run the change of gloves out fast enough maybe i can improve?”. I also believe you’ve rather misinterpreted Usman’s manager here — I read those comments and they didn’t relate specifically to Usman K at all but rather to the entire current culture of contemporary australian cricket– to misinterpret it in the way you have, is unprofessional ( see that word has lots of uses doesn’t it?) and rather slipshod of you — maybe we should drop you and give you an attitude change.

      Its easy to sit on the sidelines and support the bosses and the power and chuck out words like managerialism, professionalism responsibility and so on, but it takes two to tango and self analysis requires a work place of trust and respect — not a atmosphere of cliques and mates and some in and some out.

      • March 14th 2013 @ 2:24am
        Tatah said | March 14th 2013 @ 2:24am | ! Report

        ‘What’s Usman meant to say?’ I would have thought the answer to be fairly obvious. I would have thought, as the next guy in line for a test spot, that Usman would have bent over backwards to adhere to what his captain and coach told him what to do. I would have expected him to write an entire book or direct a documentary on what’s wrong with the team if that’s what it took. I find his response the most bizarre of all the 4 players involved.

        Interestingly your interpretation of Usman’s manager’s comments didn’t seem to accord with Usman himself, who is reported to have fired the guy. Can’t say I blame him on that one. How could you read his (ex) manager’s comments not to apply to Khawaja (and others), given that they were from his manager at the time? Might be time for a bit of mirror gazing yourself me old mate.

        • March 14th 2013 @ 4:05am
          buddha9 said | March 14th 2013 @ 4:05am | ! Report

          the bracket words in your post ( and others) actually mean that you agree with me — i didn’t say they didn’t apply to Usman I just said and read the piece again if you like, that it didn’t apply to Usman specifically which is the what Spiro said ( check his if you like) — so now your silly little line about mirror gazing doesn’t really apply does it — how about accurate reading — or is that I’ve got something to say that irks you? Also i’m not your old mate we don’t know each other.

        • March 14th 2013 @ 9:33am
          Praveen said | March 14th 2013 @ 9:33am | ! Report

          Good article, I still think that the punishment handed out is too heavy for the crime, sure they should have done the homework but all this seems likes way to blame someone for our on field issues. Also take note that Clarke said yesterday that he has been impressed by the attitude of khawaja, Patts and Johnson in response to the punishment do lets move on. Also I read yesterday that khawaja parted ways with his manager 3 months ago so for the mgr to get his 2 seconds of spotlight in a bid to raise his profile is very unprofessional as the mgr never revealed that he had parted ways with his client

          • March 14th 2013 @ 9:41am
            Stephen said | March 14th 2013 @ 9:41am | ! Report

            Praveen is absolutely correct on this one. Khawaja is yet to have a crack in India so lets not pretend he is the reason for our downfall. And i also heard on 2GB that this manager is no longer with him so real sourgrapes from him and it seems Khawaja is using the Australian cricketers association against him as its obvious its sourgrapes on his managers part and shows how low some folks can get to raise their own publicity

            • March 14th 2013 @ 11:17am
              Amith said | March 14th 2013 @ 11:17am | ! Report

              I echo your words Stephen, Khawjaa is yet to play a game in India and is one of 17 players who were responsible for the discretions, i expect him to fire for us in the Dehli test.

          • March 14th 2013 @ 9:43am
            Renegade said | March 14th 2013 @ 9:43am | ! Report

            Khawaja parted ways with his Manager 3 months ago??? I’m led to believe he parted ways with him after his comments the other day.

            • March 14th 2013 @ 9:44am
              Red Kev said | March 14th 2013 @ 9:44am | ! Report

              Sought release last year – probably still on his books right now because the contract issues will be unresolved – I told you to look at his motivations.

              • March 14th 2013 @ 9:47am
                Renegade said | March 14th 2013 @ 9:47am | ! Report

                Yeah that does put his manager’s comments into a bit more context…..well his lost a client now hasn’t he.

                I still believe his comments around the culture within the current Austrailan cricket team may have some merit though.

              • March 14th 2013 @ 10:22am
                Red Kev said | March 14th 2013 @ 10:22am | ! Report

                I think the idea that a cricket team and a footy team should display the same type of culture is drastically misguided.

              • March 14th 2013 @ 11:18am
                Amith said | March 14th 2013 @ 11:18am | ! Report

                With a manager like that who needs enemies

            • March 14th 2013 @ 9:48am
              Stephen said | March 14th 2013 @ 9:48am | ! Report

              Renedgade Khawaja has provided writen prove to the CA showing they parted last December, this was vrey unprofessinoal behaviour and there is no excusing it. Read the smh if you want to read further

              • March 14th 2013 @ 9:55am
                Renegade said | March 14th 2013 @ 9:55am | ! Report

                No worries, Thanks Stephen.

              • March 14th 2013 @ 10:25am
                Rob Barrow said | March 14th 2013 @ 10:25am | ! Report

                Thanks for the clarification Stephen. Wouldn’t be surprised if no future cricketer takes this guy as their manager, this is the worse case of sour grapes that i have seen in any code

        • March 14th 2013 @ 10:23am
          Rob Barrow said | March 14th 2013 @ 10:23am | ! Report

          Buddha9 hits the nail on the head, this impacts the entire team and not just the gang of 4. Khawaja and the other 2 guys are doing well in the nets from what i read in the papers and really that shows that players are learning and moving on. Ultimately we have to win on the field and if we win the culture takes care of itself. I also do hope to see UTK back in the team for the 4th test as he has earned that spot.

    • Roar Guru

      March 14th 2013 @ 2:21am
      Rob na Champassak said | March 14th 2013 @ 2:21am | ! Report

      ‘In the case of Khawaja it seems he was concerned/obsessed by the fact that, in his belief, he had been dropped without good reason from the Australian XI.

      He saw himself as not being given a fair go by the selectors to inherit his rightful place in the Test squad.’

      ‘Inherit’? ‘Rightful’? Let me get this straight, you want to portray Usman Khawaja as having entitlement issues when there are players like Glenn Maxwell wearing the Baggy Green?

      Give me a break. Khawaja has done ten times more to earn a spot than at least three of the players who participated in the last Test.

      • March 14th 2013 @ 9:37am
        Rock said | March 14th 2013 @ 9:37am | ! Report

        Cracker comment, selector’s ARE the most to blame out of all of this, hopeless at best.

        • March 14th 2013 @ 10:30am
          Rob Barrow said | March 14th 2013 @ 10:30am | ! Report

          Great comments Rob and Stephen

      • March 14th 2013 @ 9:44am
        Stephen said | March 14th 2013 @ 9:44am | ! Report

        I love how some folks are saying he feels he is entitled to a spot, that’s absolute bollocks, the guy moved to the Bulls this season in an effort to improve his game and did so under boof lehman, he deserves his time in the test team because he took the steps to improve his game which he did under boof lehman. Clarke has said he along with the other 2 folks(Pattinson and Johnson) have showed fantastic attitude since the punishment so lets give him and the other guys credit .You all know that these 4 are not the reason for our on field loses but were used as an example to galvanise the other team mates. I really hope to see Khawaja and Pattinson in the 4th test as they are 2 of our better young players

      • March 14th 2013 @ 10:03am
        Praveen said | March 14th 2013 @ 10:03am | ! Report

        Really good comment Rob, look I don’t deny that I am a fan of this guy and being south Asian does help as my kid loves this guy but he has earned his chance on his form and Hohns and Lehman spoke about his hard working attitude yesterday, they wouldn’t put their reputations on the line if it wasn’t true, I will take their word

    • March 14th 2013 @ 2:40am
      John Nischke said | March 14th 2013 @ 2:40am | ! Report

      What a unfair article to Khawja. Who didnt even play and made a mistake for failing to do a task in allocated time. It was not like he refused to do a task. Also, is he the only one with issues or others discretion was also piled onto him as well. What if this was a ploy to give Hughes another chance in Mohali, which a less spin friendly wicket. There is no secret that Hughes has a lot of support in the management. Or what if this was perfect way to hide Coaches and Selection policy failings by putting the failures back squarely on the less liked players. As for you to quote Zammit who Khawja was about to finish his contractual arrangements with, cannot be seriously taken. Who knows what his intentions were after his client was planning to dump him. Lets be fair and look at all issues.

      • March 14th 2013 @ 9:23am
        Hansie said | March 14th 2013 @ 9:23am | ! Report

        Spiro failed to mention that Khawaja has been working since late last year to split from that manager. The comments sounded like sour grapes to me.

        • March 14th 2013 @ 9:47am
          Stephen said | March 14th 2013 @ 9:47am | ! Report

          Its a clear case of sour grapes and he should be taken to court for not stating that he is in the process of seperating from his client, even these guys should have some standards, this one doesn’t have any. I read in the smh he was Haurtiz manager before this and he also seperated from him because of his unprofessional behaviour

        • March 14th 2013 @ 10:29am
          Justin2 said | March 14th 2013 @ 10:29am | ! Report

          What a surpirse Spiro neglected to mention that crucial piece of the jigsaw. Would have taken away half his article so he had to leave it out. Quality journalism hey. How is it the punters know more than the journos?

        • March 14th 2013 @ 10:32am
          Rob Barrow said | March 14th 2013 @ 10:32am | ! Report

          Managers should not be allowed to talk down former clients like this, it just goes against their ethical standards which 99% do follow, this is a one off for me.

        • March 14th 2013 @ 11:22am
          Amith said | March 14th 2013 @ 11:22am | ! Report

          John you are on to something, our whole issue has been our woeful top order batting and inability to take 20 wickets, yet Arthur somehow manages to shift the blame on 4 guys. I would hate to think what would happen had Khawaja played one of the matches as we would probably put the football drug issues on him as well. Seriously though the guy made a small mistake, has learned from it and is training hard in the nets according to Clarke, lets move on and look forward to seeing him in action in the 4th test as he is a key batsman for us. As for Zammitt i won’t even waste my words on him, talk about trying to raise your own public profile. Arthur’s problem is that the team does not respect him. He needs to look at himself and figure out why. Ultimately it could be as simple as he is not the right fit for the job…..doesn’t mean he is not a good coach. The damage done here is irreperable, and he has to go before the Ashes.

      • March 14th 2013 @ 9:36am
        Praveen said | March 14th 2013 @ 9:36am | ! Report

        Agree completely with John nishke, kid hasn’t played a match but let’s blame him for being 2-0 down

    • March 14th 2013 @ 3:22am
      Silver_Sovereign said | March 14th 2013 @ 3:22am | ! Report

      I always thought people who claimed usmans religion and cultural differences were the reason he has been treated so shabbily were crazy, now im not so sure. First he gets picked for a couple of games top scores in a win, gets run out by ponting when set, then dropped and losses blamed on him. Then hes told to improve his running and fielding when other recent callups are at the same level or worse, then he gets only a couple of odis, now ussie gets picked for a tour, cant get a game, and now hes suspended for not being a team man. Im sorry I cant go there, when under performers like cowan(hes still improving they say after 15 tests, an average of 32, and getting out each time spin arrives) and hughes(the next bradman, according to the experts) keep getting chance after chance. Maybe its time for Clarke to grow a pair, man up and stop only seeking yes men. First symonds, then katich, both husseys, rogers, okeefe, Clarke cant handle some players it seems

      • March 14th 2013 @ 3:45am
        Teds said | March 14th 2013 @ 3:45am | ! Report

        Thank you for this comment. It is indeed disturbing and heartbreaking to see this going on in Cricket Australia. It is not just about cricket either. CA has been a huge ambassador for Australia around the world. What goes on in there can also be construed as a reflection of the Aussie society in general. The grave question is, can a person of a different ethnic/religious background find success in Australia, if they worked their behinds off. I hope the answer is, yes.

        • March 14th 2013 @ 3:58am
          Silver_Sovereign said | March 14th 2013 @ 3:58am | ! Report

          I don’t care what race or religion he is, if he can help the aussies win get him in there

          • March 14th 2013 @ 10:08am
            Praveen said | March 14th 2013 @ 10:08am | ! Report

            As an Indian migrant I can say that I never take the line that race is a issue because khawaja got his baggy green and has shined under NSW and QLD, but he does get less opps then other batsman in the team and all I hope is that he gets 3-4 games in row so he can show of he belongs at high level or not, for me no doubting his talent in long format of game

            • March 14th 2013 @ 10:34am
              Rob Barrow said | March 14th 2013 @ 10:34am | ! Report

              Good stuff Praveen.

        • Roar Guru

          March 14th 2013 @ 4:32am
          peeeko said | March 14th 2013 @ 4:32am | ! Report

          there is no way that Usman is being left out because of race issues – this 2013 and to most people the selection of Usman is a positive in terms of marketing and spreading a great message about cricket

        • March 14th 2013 @ 5:32am
          Ra said | March 14th 2013 @ 5:32am | ! Report

          That is a dumb rhetorical question Teds. Eleven boat loads of Anglos invaded this country and in one foul swoop imposed their ethnic culture here and have made it. Since then a whole world of ethnic cultures have changed the face of Australia. Check out the names of many elite sports people wearing various representative colours including the green n gold. Most now have a non english or Aboriginal ethnic background so in answer to your dumb question Teds has to be yes.

          • March 14th 2013 @ 7:48am
            Teds said | March 14th 2013 @ 7:48am | ! Report

            Unfortunately, that is not what appears the case to be when it come to selection of Usman Khawaja. All inclusion applies to all the people of the world, and then a muslim is singled out due to his faith and Pakistani background. He is more qualified than most to play in the test team and at one point was slated to be the next captain before he became a victim of discrimination. Shame.

            • March 14th 2013 @ 8:05am
              Renegade said | March 14th 2013 @ 8:05am | ! Report

              This is the most disgraceful comment i’ve seen.

              • March 14th 2013 @ 8:10am
                Red Kev said | March 14th 2013 @ 8:10am | ! Report

                Hey Renegade – thought you’d like to see this: http://www.smh.com.au/sport/cricket/khawajas-battle-on-two-fronts-20130313-2g06b.html
                I told you to take a closer look at the manager before citing his arguments as any sort of support. Guy is a typical corporate tool.

              • March 14th 2013 @ 8:17am
                Teds said | March 14th 2013 @ 8:17am | ! Report

                Usman Khawaja’s treatment is the most disgraceful treatment i’ve seen.

              • March 14th 2013 @ 9:45am
                Renegade said | March 14th 2013 @ 9:45am | ! Report

                Hey Red Kev,

                Yeah agree, the guy does appear to be a bit of a tool by what’s being reported however this doesn’t change the fact that Khawaja did not complete a task that he was given as part of the team.


                Your comment is slanderous and a blatant case of reverse-racism.

              • March 14th 2013 @ 10:47am
                Rob Barrow said | March 14th 2013 @ 10:47am | ! Report

                When you think about it all the problems Arthur cited have nothing to with why they have been smashed, except perhaps missing training, although I think they were late. As a former college sportsman myself, one thing I do realize is that not every guy is the SAME in a team. That’s how sports should be, it needs characters. If Arthur expects every player to be the same ‘yes sir’ kinda guy then too bad he should quit coaching and take refuge in a fishing cabin up in the Arctic. It’s been poor man-management by Arthur and co, as simple as that. If we fail to get 20 wickets this innings then i will be filthy for Pattinson not playing and if we have another top order collapse i will be filthy because Khawaja would have come in and we could have done with his grit in the top order. Clarke moving up is a good step though

            • March 14th 2013 @ 10:11am
              Praveen said | March 14th 2013 @ 10:11am | ! Report

              Ted no bigger fan of khawaja then me but I wouldn’t go in hat direction, I think Athur treats him unfairly but I am sure Clarke is his supporter in the selections as both are former NSW team mates an went to same school

            • March 14th 2013 @ 1:42pm
              Ra said | March 14th 2013 @ 1:42pm | ! Report

              Im probably not as intimate with the detail as ur but i would be very surprised and disappointed if exclusion is due to cultural or religious differences

        • March 14th 2013 @ 9:51am
          Stephen said | March 14th 2013 @ 9:51am | ! Report

          I am a big fan of Khawaja and Hughes. In Khawaja’s case i also think he was dropped unfairly but many players before him have so i won’t get into that call. THe key thing is he showed positive intend by going to the Bulls and the results were obvious, he is a great ambassador for the subcontinent community and the support on this site other other sites from our subcontinent fans shows that but he has to be picked on merit and runs only and on that basis he does deserve selection. No doubting he would have played today in Mohali, so lets hope we see him in Dehli in the 4th test

        • March 14th 2013 @ 11:23am
          Amith said | March 14th 2013 @ 11:23am | ! Report

          Yes i don’t care what religion or background he is, yes we are from the sub continent but we don’t need to be picked on that basis. Khawaja has earned it on his performances and that’s the bottom line. And we have other guys like Sandhu and Rose coming through who will be good talents for Aus in the future too.

    • March 14th 2013 @ 3:31am
      John said | March 14th 2013 @ 3:31am | ! Report

      For me, the different response of the four individual players is telling. Three of them seem to believe they have been hard done by, that its not their fault, that they are victims. Patrons on, on the other hand, has admitted he screwed up and wants to get back into the side. Is it coincidence that he is the best performing of the four? As for Watson, two centuries in forty tests? For a top six Australian batsman? Let’s stop defending the guy and ask for a record that befits the history of the side he is letting down.

      • March 14th 2013 @ 7:17am
        Matt F said | March 14th 2013 @ 7:17am | ! Report

        Johnson apparently stood up in front of the group and apologised for letting the team down so it would appear that he reacted similarly to Pattinson

        • March 14th 2013 @ 7:23am
          Red Kev said | March 14th 2013 @ 7:23am | ! Report

          Pattinson’s statement said “we” several times, and the other two were in lockdown. I think it would be fair to say all apologised until proven otherwise.
          Of course most people are like Spiro are more interested in slandering Khawaja, it is what CA wants, 15 months of articles in the media has proven that is okay to kick the guy, he isn’t afforded the same respect as others.

          • March 14th 2013 @ 7:39am
            Matt F said | March 14th 2013 @ 7:39am | ! Report

            This is all from a Peter Lalor interview I saw last night. He mentioned Johnson standing up in front of the group but didn’t mention Khawaja so I didn’t mention him. Lalor’s main point was just about how poorly Watson reacted in comparison. I’m assuming Khawaja apologised or else he probably wouldn’t still be over there. It’s a bit sad when the vice captains reaction is more childish than all of the other players

            • March 14th 2013 @ 9:54am
              Stephen said | March 14th 2013 @ 9:54am | ! Report

              If you read the article Clarke said that all 3 guys have showed great attitude after their axing. He also said that Usi is training very hard and trying to get his opportunity for the 4th test and that’s all he can do. These are Clarke’s words not mien and shows that these guys are working hard to get back in the team and that’s all we can ask for.

              • March 14th 2013 @ 9:57am
                Renegade said | March 14th 2013 @ 9:57am | ! Report

                Spot on.

                That’s exactly what they should always have been doing…..if this is the result of “homework gate”, then it was definitely needed.

              • March 14th 2013 @ 10:11am
                Matt F said | March 14th 2013 @ 10:11am | ! Report

                The article? There are stacks of articles on this so you’ll probably have to be more specific. As I said, my comments were simply based around an interview I saw last night. Khawaja wasn’t mentioned in the interview, well not in this context anyway, so I didn’t mention him either. It’s good to see that he’s also apologised and is now working very hard to put himself back into contention for the 4th test.

              • March 14th 2013 @ 10:13am
                Praveen said | March 14th 2013 @ 10:13am | ! Report

                Good comment Stephen an shows that all 3 guy are working bum hard to get back in and I happy to see clarke comment on khawaja training hard

              • March 14th 2013 @ 10:39am
                Rob Barrow said | March 14th 2013 @ 10:39am | ! Report

                Arther talks about “Minor Indiscretions”! Does minor indiscretions, need such drastic actions? Like using a sledge-hammer to crush a crawling ant? Whatever happened to the idea of a ‘sense of proportion”? Equitable punishment? Switching on a public announcement system when you are chiding your wife about her frequent burning of the steak? But i will gladly move and hope we can win the test startng today. And as i mentioned yesterday i am 100% confident that Pattinson and Khawaja will be back in the 4th test, Pattinson is a must and Khawaja depending on how the batting lineup goes We are down in this series and to not have Pattinson and Khawaja playing today is not acceptable, i just hope we are competitive in this match.

            • March 14th 2013 @ 9:58am
              jameswm said | March 14th 2013 @ 9:58am | ! Report

              I think Watto reconsidered on the plane, as his tone when he got back was a lot more conciliatory and apologetic.

              • March 14th 2013 @ 10:13am
                Matt F said | March 14th 2013 @ 10:13am | ! Report

                He did to a degree but there was still the odd comment about it being too harsh etc. He did back away from the whole “I need to assess my options/future” comments though

              • March 14th 2013 @ 12:12pm
                Red Kev said | March 14th 2013 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

                Maybe someone can send Watto a link to my article trashing him as a test batsmen? That’ll help his consideration of his future.

          • March 14th 2013 @ 11:26am
            Amith said | March 14th 2013 @ 11:26am | ! Report

            Yes Red Kev is right, Pattinson apologised for all 3 as all were in lockdown, now all 3 are training hard to get in the 4th test and Clarke said that last night, fantastic to see good attitude from all 3.

    • March 14th 2013 @ 5:16am
      Ra said | March 14th 2013 @ 5:16am | ! Report

      They are paid professionals expected to be part of a team on tour and asked to be proactively part of a team review. Its sime – be part of the team decision making process for the greater good of the team or get out. Self review and performance management are part of being a professional and cricket at the elite level is a profession. Front up to your off field responsibilities or go home and let a guy who wants to be there for the team to step up. The great old cliche: nobody is greater than the game; still applies guys; suck it up!6

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