Sport

Bad attitude: Arthur reveals Test team culture problem

Australian coach Mickey Arthur says "back-chat" and "giving attitude" had become an unacceptable part of the Test team culture, leading to his decision to stand down four players for the third Test in Mohali.

Test turmoil: how did it come to this?

Peter Hanlon and Chloe Saltau dissect the 'homework' saga that led to four Australian players being axed for the third Test against India.

Arthur has outlined in his latest blog on the Cricket Australia website the other indiscretions which led to his unprecedented decision to axe Shane Watson, James Pattinson, Mitchell Johnson and Usman Khawaja for not submitting requested feedback after Australia's humiliating defeat in the second Test.

High performance manager Pat Howard refused to divulge what the other behavioural issues were when he addressed the media on Tuesday.

Arthur hasn't named names, but offered detail on the culture problems in his blog.

"Being late for a meeting, high skinfolds, wearing the wrong attire, back-chat or giving attitude are just some examples of these behavioural issues that have been addressed discretely but continue to happen," Arthur wrote.

"If we're deadly serious about getting back to number one in the world, all players need to raise the bar and lift their game.

"If not, we must be content at being number three or four or five in world cricket because we won't get any better. The players won't learn and we'll continue a vicious cycle.

Outspoken ... coach Mickey Arthur.
Outspoken ... coach Mickey Arthur. Photo: Getty Images

"Let's be absolutely clear.

"The decision to suspend Shane Watson, Mitchell Johnson, James Pattinson and Usman Khawaja for not adhering to a team request is the defining moment, but it has been a culmination of lots of small minor indiscretions that have built up to now."

Shane Watson was one of four players dropped from the third Test against India in Mohali by coach Mickey Arthur.
Shane Watson was one of four players dropped from the third Test against India in Mohali by coach Mickey Arthur. Photo: Getty Images

It's not clear whether Watson, Pattinson, Johnson and Khawaja are responsible for any of these other breaches revealed by Arthur.

However, Howard said on Tuesday that some of the four had previously slipped up, while others had a clean sheet.

Corner-cutting, taking short-cuts or arriving with a bad attitude will no longer be tolerated

Arthur, the former coach of South Africa, said the past two days have been the toughest of his career.

"The last week and a half since the end of the Hyderabad Test has been the toughest in my 11 years coaching," he said.

Mitchell Johnson's stuttering career is on hold after he was stood down from selection.
Mitchell Johnson's stuttering career is on hold after he was stood down from selection. Photo: Getty Images

"The media reaction to this decision was like none I've seen in my coaching career and has certainly divided opinion.

"It is a strong message to everyone in Australian cricket that if you want to play for the Australian cricket team, then we demand excellence. Corner-cutting, taking short-cuts or arriving with a bad attitude will no longer be tolerated.

'Homework' sackings dismay ex players

Former Australian Test cricketers express their disappointment at the axing of four players, saying team management should not have "let it get to that point".

"We want to be the Spanish football team, Manchester United or McLaren of world cricket.

"The absolute pinnacle where high standards are not expected, they are second nature.

"Australian cricket fans deserve nothing less."

AAP

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