For three points Australian coach drops four players

Watson, Pattinson, Johnson & Khwaja dropped for failing to make presentation on how to improve team performance.

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Gone are the days when cricketers would get dropped for failures on the field. Nowadays, as four of the touring Australians found out, you get the sack if you don’t respond to e-mails from the boss.

Vice-captain Shane Watson, batsman Usman Khawaja and pace bowlers James Pattinson and Mitchell Johnson have been left out of selection for the third Test starting in Mohali on March 14.
The reason: failure to obey team management’s orders to make a presentation on ways to improve the performances.

Australians have always taken pride in wearing the Baggy Green and have let nothing come in the way of hurting it. Professionalism has always been part of the Australian way. On Monday, they went a step ahead by embracing the corporate process.

After losing in Hyderabad last week to trail the four-Test series 0-2, Australian coach Mickey Arthur wanted three points from his players on ways to improve. While all the others replied by way of e-mails, putting down their thought on paper or by texting him, the four did not respond.

“I wanted three points from each of them technically, mentally and team as to how we were going to get back over the next couple of games, how we were going to get ourselves back into the series,” Arthur said in Mohali on Monday.

The Australian coach said the dropped players failed to meet the deadline set for making the presentation and it was important to maintain team discipline by punishing them. “I believe those four players unfortunately did not meet my requirements so those four are not available for selection for this Test match,” he said.

Former hockey Olympian and now COO of Olympic Gold Quest, Viren Rasquinha, who manages several sports stars, including Mary Kom and shooter Vijay Kumar, said he would expect his players to perform on the field rather than concentrate on PowerPoint presenta tions.” I believe a player has certain unique talents and is good at his sport. He need not be best at making presentations. All I care is for him/her to be super smart on the field and out-thinks the rival,” he said. “A balance has to be maintained between enforcing team discipline as well as treating every issue on merit, on a case to case basis.”

Watson has since left for Australia. Cricket Australia, however, said he was returning home to be with his pregnant wife, who is expecting the couple’s first child.


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