Could India or Pakistan mimic Australian discipline?

A statement has been made; freeloaders and undisciplined individuals will not be tolerated in the Australian team.

Dr Amyn Malyk March 13, 2013
The news of axing of four players - Shane Watson, Mitchell Johnson, James  Pattinson and Usman Khawaja -from the selection for the third Test match in Mohali came as a shock to many judging by the reactions of the former players and media alike. However, Australian cricket is known for its ruthlessness and no nonsense attitude.

At first, it seemed like a harsh punishment. The only thing these four players were guilty of was not submitting something akin to a half page review of how the team could improve to the coach in the stipulated time frame. It may seem all the more surprising as Australia needs all the players it has after two demoralising defeats; one of the four is the vice-captain and was speculated to bat at number three in the coming match, another was to be drafted into the team after poor performances of other batsmen, the third has been their best bowler on the tour and the fourth has a great record on the ground for the match.

Astonishing isn’t it?

If you are looking to win the match and keep the series alive you need these people in the team. This decision has also led Watson to leave the tour and reconsider his future in Tests.

The decision to drop him from the game was incommensurate with the crime, he said. To hell with diplomacy.

Former players minced no words to deplore the move.

Former Australia captain Allan Border stated,
I'm surprised that's the penalty for something so mundane. It seems like it was on a schoolboy tour or something. It's an over the top reaction.

Mark Waugh also spoke strongly against the decision,
"I'm stunned. I've never heard of this sort of thing before at top level in any sport. When you are losing there are niggling things there but they're grown men, it's not schoolboy stuff. It's not under-6s, this is Test cricket… there would have been a better way.

Other testimonies were just as damning.

But what everyone has missed is the importance of discipline.

When the captain and the senior most player could hand in his so called ‘homework’, so could these four. They are not above the team and should not be treated as special. It may seem that the other transgressions like not turning in the wellness forms every day during the tour have been ignored and these four, who might have been exemplary in other respects, were dealt with harshly.

That may be true but a message had to be sent; harsh punishments. Discipline needed to be restored especially after two defeats of such magnitude. The danger of letting this slip would have the effect of a lax attitude on the remaining squad members.

The authority of the coach (and also that of the captain and manager) would have eroded with every member deeming any exercises that the coach lists as optional. That would have affected the team performance even further.

Yes, cricket is not about ‘PowerPoint’ and ‘report writing’ - it is about on field performances. But, the coach is there to improve those on field performances and take the blame for the lack of them and to do that he needs the authority.

This incident, if taken lightly, had the potential to undermine that authority, a possibility that the Australians have made clear is not acceptable.

A statement has been made.

If you want to have the honour of representing your country, you need to show professionalism. Freeloaders and undisciplined individuals will not be tolerated.

Could this statement be have made in a different way with less severe punishments?

Perhaps.

But, the question that is on my mind is could this have happened in Indian or Pakistani teams?

Read more by Dr Amyn here or follow him on Twitter @amynmalik
WRITTEN BY:
Dr Amyn Malyk The author is a PhD student at Emory University Rollins School of Public Health. He is a former Fulbright Scholar who likes to write. He tweets as @amynmalik
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

COMMENTS (18)

Farrukh Hanif Awan | 7 years ago | Reply How can you say we are not disciplined. IT takes discipline to drop catches after catches and still be the keeper of a team. It takes discipline to make sure your average stays below 30 even if you are an opener of a team. It takes discipline to keep a No good experience middle order married to a tennis star as a well middle order no good batsman. It takes discipline to keep on votching for a player who is past his sell date. It takes discipline to learn from your mistakes and still be able to make the same mistake. It takes discipline to make sure when you get out, the name Styen is somehow part of the dismissal. It takes discipline to make sure you bowl short pitch "halwa" even when you are labelled as the spearhead of the pace attack It takes discipline to find only three brothers from the Akmal clan. They might not know how to catch, field or bat but it still takes discipline. As far as Indians go, it takes discipline to keep on giving a flamboyant batsman who has lost his edge seriously but still be part of the team. It takes discipline to make every new player who takes a catch, bowls a flat delivery, runs amok on TV spots to be made into a millionaire but who fail considerably well when they go abroad. It takes discipline to find every known scientific reason behind the reason the maestro got out was not his fault but that of the umpire, the fieldsman, the bowler who bowled the ball or the little dirt underneath his feet shifting slightly to imblance him to be bowled yet again.
Sonia | 7 years ago | Reply For all those who start defending the national turf at the mention of the country's name and without understanding what is being said, Australia is touring India currently and hence India must be a direct comparison for the tactics or the decisions taken by them. Secondly, the writer had also mentioned Pakistan for he is drawing a comparison to the subcontinental culture and asking if such a decision was possible in this culture.
VIEW MORE COMMENTS
Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ