Michael Clarke, the former Australian captain has created quite a buzz in the cricketing world by going on a popular radio show in Australia and making some serious allegations over the current Australian team.
Art of Mental Disintegration
Clarke, who was also referred to as ‘Pup’ by his teammates, made his debut for Australia when Steve Waugh was captain. The Iceman was the one who pioneered the art of mental disintegration during his leadership where the Aussies always resorted to sledging in the lead up to the game as well as on the cricketing field.
When Steve Waugh retired, Ricky Ponting took over the captaincy and continued the same brand of cricket. This brand of cricket was quickly embraced by players like Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne, Brett Lee and Michael Clarke who were never shy to get into their opponents faces and heads by resorting to verbal abuse or sledging.
The Aussies were the most dominant team in all forms of the game during this era as Waugh and Ponting had enormous success with this brand of mental warfare and took advantage of a talented bunch of players who were ready to take mental warfare to the opposition. Clarke did his best to follow the same brand of cricket during his tenure as captain.
Current Team Too Soft On India
Michael Clarke claims that the current set of Australia players have forgotten the Aussie way of playing cricket, especially when it comes to playing against India. Clarke says that the Aussies have gone soft and no longer engage in the art of mental disintegration when playing against India.
No one can argue the fact that the Australians are a lot softer in their approach to the game, especially during the last 12 to 18 months. Clarke claims that the Australians do not want to antagonize top Indian players like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma because they are afraid that it might hurt them when it comes to the IPL auction.
Rohit Sharma captains the successful Mumbai Indians franchise and Virat Kohli captains the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). These two IPL franchises are known to spend heavily when it comes to acquiring foreign players during the IPL auction. Clarke claims that Australian players realize that these top Indian players carry a lot of weight during the IPL auction and they don’t want to sledge them and get on the wrong side of them.
This is because they fear that they might put in a word to the IPL franchise owners and deliberately overlook them or not push hard in the auction and bid a high price. In order to protect their financial interests and secure a lucrative IPL contract, Aussie players are now forced to abandon their sledging and be nice when they play India!
Tim Paine Disagrees With Clarke
Current Australian captain Tim Paine did not agree with Clarke’s assessment and claims that his players do not let any IPL contract get in the way of them giving their 100 percent for Australia, every time they take the field. Paine said when India and Australia play, both sides go hard at each other whether it is test cricket, ODIs or T20 cricket.
Paine pointed out that the Australians had deliberately toned down their style of play after the sandpaper incident in South Africa. The ball tampering incident resulted in both Steve Smith and David Warner who were captain and vice-captain at that time receiving a 12 month suspension.
When Paine took over the captaincy, he decided to change the way the Aussies played cricket and looked to rebuild the Australian’s team reputation and legacy with cricket fans all over the world. Paine said that when they played against India, they did not go hard at Virat Kohli because they realized that he was one of those players who actually raised his game when he was sledged and put under pressure.
Paine said the Australians were not afraid of resorting to on-field banter when it is required but focused more on letting the ball and bat do the talking these days. Paine also said that he had no plans of stepping aside and giving the captaincy back to Steve Smith now that his ban has expired. The Australians will focus on winning the T20 World Cup which is scheduled to take place in October in Australia.