Melbourne: Former skipper Steve Waugh has urged current captain Michael Clarke and his deputy Shane Watson to sort out their differences for the betterment of Australian cricket. Watson was one of the four players to be suspended from the squad ahead of the third Test against India at Mohali for failing to submit performance reviews nine days ago, fuelling rumours of a possible rift between the all-rounder and Clarke.
Former Australian captains Waugh, Mark Taylor and Allan Border wanted the Test skipper to draw intensively on the advice of his deputy in assembling the 2011 Argus review of national team performance. "Part of the Argus report we recommended was we wanted an increased role for the vice captain as we felt the captain and vice captain had to work together in Australia's rebuilding phase," Waugh told 'Courier Mail'.
"They will have to work and fix it up. To Michael and Mickey's credit they have said this is the way we want to do things, if you want to play for Australia you have to fall in line," said Waugh who won 41 of 57 matches as skipper during his 168-Test career.
"At the same time they have to be flexible, got to realise a cricket team is made up of different characters. There will always be clashes of personality, it is just how you manage it and get all the people going in the same direction. The skill they have to have is to work together."
Waugh recalled the time when he had started his career 27 years ago, incidentally against India. The team was then recovering from the exits of Greg Chappell, Rod Marsh and Dennis Lillee. "It is not easy to build a culture. When I first got into the side in 1985 we were in a rebuilding phase and whenever that is the case you lose a lot of experience and know how which you almost have to relearn. I guess that is what the captain and senior players' role is."
Meanwhile, In a much-needed boost for the beleaguered Australian side, vice-captain Shane Watson on Tuesday landed in the Capital ahead of the fourth and final Test against India, scheduled to start here from Friday. Australia have already lost the Border-Gavaskar Trophy after three heavy defeats in the first three Tests of the four-match series.
One of the four players suspended from the squad ahead of the third Test at Mohali on disciplinary grounds, Watson, who had left for Sydney for the birth of his son last Thursday, came back after serving a one-Test ban for failing to submit a presentation to coach Mickey Arthur on how to improve his and the team's performance.
"We are really happy to get Shane back; it is really important he's come back," Arthur said. "Shane's been exceptional over the last week, we've had numerous conversations with him," he added. Arthur flew with the squad from Chandigarh and joined with Watson who was already here.