Australian vice-captain Shane Watson's sacking along with three other teammates for the third Test match against India in Mohali over a serious disciplinary has brought out his rift with captain Michael Clarke in the public domain, according to sports journalist, Ben Dorries.
"Misty-eyed Michael Clarke choked up when he farewelled Ricky Ponting but he would never shed a tear over Shane Watson. That has been the underlying and largely unsaid issue in Australian cricket, a Test captain and vice-captain who simply can't cop each other," Dorries wrote in his column for News.com.au.
"While there were other factors at play in Australia's mass cricket sackings, the often glacial relationship between Clarke and Watson was a powderkeg waiting to explode," he added.
"Things have sometimes got so tense that both men have privately bagged the other, a situation that would have been unthinkable under the likes of Allan Border and Geoff Marsh, Ian Chappell and Rod Marsh and Steve Waugh and Adam Gilchrist," he wrote.
Dorries further added: "It perhaps should not be a great surprise that things have come to this, as Clarke and Watson effectively came from the same place and both were striving for the same thing.
"Both were desperately seeking acceptance from fans and from their teammates. It was almost inevitable that two strong-minded individuals chasing the same thing would end up butting heads," he said.
"While Clarke is now universally admired for his astonishing batting feats and pro-active captaincy, Watson is still seen as the unfulfilled, teasing talent. Watson has flirted with greatness but never got there while Clarke has vaulted across the great divide that has potential on one side and performance on the other," he further wrote.
"The other part of this sorry saga that was a disaster waiting to happen was the appointment of Test captain Clarke as one of five Australian selectors. Clarke, once grabbed by the throat by Simon Katich in the SCG dressing room, had to face more dressing room dramas over his selection role," Dorries concluded.