On a day when Cricket Australia's high performance manager, Pat Howard, came down heavily on Shane Watson, terming him a team player but only sometimes, the squad in Mohali tried to put up a united front, with pacer James Pattinson saying that he accepted the punishment and that it was the right
Pattinson was at pains to explain that the team had discussed the matter, put it behind and was now focussing on the task ahead.
“Everyone in the team has gelled together. We have talked about it and have put the matter behind us. Now, we are focussing on how to get better and achieve the goal from being the number one in the world. We have the talent to get to the number one position and we don't want to be number three in the world,” said the 22-year-old pacer.
The skirmishes between Watson and Clarke have been known for sometime and with the vice-captain leaving the squad after being axed, had led to speculations of a rift in the team ahead of the third Test.
The paceman also spoke for the axed quartet — Mitchell Johnson, Watson and Usman Khawaja, saying that they had let the team down and though the decision has been criticised widely, with many former players terming it harsh, it was the right one.
“It was bit of shock for me. It's a kick on the backside that everyone needs sometimes. We have young groups of guys, including myself, who haven't really found feet in international cricket. I think in reality, it's a right step towards achieving really good things for the team,” the bowler added.
Pattinson, who is the lead bowler of the squad, said the mood in the camp is upbeat.
“It's not about the massive things, sometimes it is being late, you can give fines. The worse thing is being excluded from the team for a Test match and that's what hurts the most. I am glad this happened very early in my career as I can take it in my stride. We were not getting results because I think we got complacent and were dishing out mediocre stuff,” he said.
CA backs team
Meanwhile, Cricket Australia put its weight behind the team management.
“The board is completely supportive of the actions taken by team management,” CA chairman Wally Edwards said in a statement.