Neck on the line: Arthur
Australian head coach Mickey Arthur admits he has put his ''neck on the line'' with the cultural shake-up that led to four players being controversially stood down for a Test in India.
The 44-year-old South African has borne the brunt of criticism for the unprecedented move to suspend vice-captain Shane Watson, James Pattinson, Mitchell Johnson and Usman Khawaja from the third Test in Mohali, which India won by six wickets on Monday.
The punishment does not extend to Friday's fourth and final Test in Delhi, where the quartet will again be available for selection, but Arthur concedes he will be judged on the episode long after this tour.
On Tuesday he announced he was shutting down his Twitter account, on which he had more than 33,000 followers, following a torrent of abuse during the series but the coach makes no apology for making such a firm statement on arresting what management identified as sliding attitudes in the squad.
''I've never been one just to sit back and let things drift,'' Arthur said.
''If I'm doing that, I'm not doing my job. I'm empowered to coach this team, to run this team and get this team back to where it needs to be. We've got to understand where we're at, at the moment, with a very young group of players that needs to be shown the right way to go. If you've got older senior players the team governs itself and then it's easy just to run and coach.
''If you've got a young team you need to grab the team and really make the players understand what their responsibilities and ownerships are of the side.
''I would say I've put my neck on the line. But I've put my neck on the line because I'm really passionate about Australian cricket and I'm very passionate about this team.''
Arthur signed an initial 3½-year contract when he joined as head coach in November 2011, a period that takes him through to the end of the World Cup in Australia in 2015.
He was the first foreigner to coach Australia but is close to securing permanent residency.
Prior to this series, in which Australia trails 3-0 with a match to play, he had overseen a rebuilding period under the captaincy of Michael Clarke when the team had lost only one Test series, 1-0 to South Africa at home last summer.
However, the tumultuous campaign on the subcontinent, on and off the ground, has led to suggestions, led by former coach John Buchanan, that it will be Arthur who pays with his job if Australia cannot turn around its woes outside India.
Arthur said the players, including those suspended, had responded well since the turmoil of last week and he is ''comfortable'' with where he stands.
''I want this team to achieve ultimate success and that's to get to number one in the world,'' Arthur said.
''It was needed. It had to happen and the responses have been fantastic.''