Cricket - Arthur demands more from Australia

Australia coach Mickey Arthur has warned his players ahead of the the third Test against India that they must raise their game if they want to become the top-ranked team in Test cricket once more.

PA Sport
Cricket - Arthur demands more from Australia
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Shane Watson is one of the players punished for perceived indiscipline

Shane Watson, James Pattinson, Usman Khawaja and Mitchell Johnson were told earlier this week they would not be considered for the match after the team management opted to punish them for failing to make a presentation on how the side could improve following the heavy defeat in the second Test.

In his blog on cricket.com.au, Arthur said: "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."

Vice-captain Watson has since flown home to be with his pregnant wife, hinting he is now considering his future with the national team.

Australia skipper Michael Clarke suggested the sanction was imposed for more than one breach of discipline, and Arthur has also shed a little more light on what he perceives to be the problems within his squad.

He continued: "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.

"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."

Former South Africa mentor Arthur also admitted the past two days had been the toughest of his 11-year coaching career.

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

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

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