On the same lines, another former cricketer, Anshuman Gaekwad said, “I do not think so. It is just a single reason (for the axing). Under the circumstances – the way Australia are playing in the ongoing series, it is too harsh a step.”
Gaekwad has the coaching experience of handling the Indian national team in the past. Gaekwad, who tried to fit into Arthur's shoes said, “Had I been there, I would have sat down with these players and discussed about it. I would have looked into the interest of the Australian team.”
The decision taken by the Australian think tank is an extreme one as one is not accustomed hearing four players from a touring side being axed for the same Test match. “Especially axing players should not happen in the middle of a tour,” said Gaekwad.
Soon after this news broke out, it was also announced that Watson would be flying back to Australia - related to the birth of his first child. The player was already granted leave from the tour if the need arose related to child birth and it seems to have arisen immediately, after his axing. How surprising! It is not clear whether the player would also make it on time for the final Test match at Delhi. But not only his exit, but axing four Australian players have made the Australian squad look very thin with only 13 players left to choose from, for the third Test match.
Mitchell Johnson and Usman Khawaja have not featured in any of the two Test matches, which the Australians lost embarrassingly. Their exclusion would not hit them hard. But, Watson and Pattinson were two of their most important players in the two Test matches, where the Aussies looked up to these players to deliver with the bat and ball respectively. They are going to be missed badly. Gaekwad said, “They are big cricketers. They have proven themselves in cricket. These players could have proved instrumental in the series. These players are match winners.”
It is surprising as to why these four players did not comply with the work assigned, while rest of the Australian players did their homework either texting, e-mailing or slipping a note under the coach's door. Was it a case of discipline? Chauhan said, “I think so that Australia has put discipline above their team. The coach – Mickey Arthur is looking to make the Australian team number one in the world. He must have felt that these people did not have the kind of vision, passion and dream to make the Aussies a number one team. May be, he is also looking for alternative players. That is what all I can think of.”
Irrespective of what reasons may have led to the ouster of the Australian players, it has only increased India's chances to go 3-0 up in the Test series. A series whitewash is on the cards.
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