THE CASE AGAINST: SORRY Xavier, I disagree.
Mickey Arthur’s ridiculous decision to dump four players – two from our best XI – not only means we won’t win the third Test, but that we now have little hope of winning back the Ashes.
Grab a slice of the $1.45 for England to retain the little urn because it’s money in the bank.
This decision has not only torn apart the Australian team’s fabric, it has the captain and vice-captain at loggerheads and their teammates questioning which side of the fence they sit on.
Worse still, it has turned us into a world laughing stock.
The players aren’t the biggest losers – the team is.
It’s been punished when solidarity, unity and that ancient thing we once called team spirit should have been promoted at any cost.
To put it bluntly, it is an un-Australian decision that appears to be made solely by a South African.
I am all for punishing players who break team rules or don’t meet standards, but this sanction outweighs the crime.
What about dropping players who don’t make runs or take wickets, instead of players who don’t do their homework?
What was wrong with a fine, an apology in front of teammates or several testing sprint sessions with physical performance manager Andrew Weller in the searing Indian heat.
Did the players have a boozy night out, turn up to training under the weather or not show?
Have they compromised or hindered their own preparations for this Test?
Ian Chappell summed it up best yesterday, saying: “If it’s team spirit they are trying to build, I’m not sure this is the right way to go about it. In my time, I was more interested in what they did on the field rather than what they wrote down on a bit of paper.”
I hope there’s more to this story because if there’s not, we are in worse shape off the field than on it.
Now that’s a scary thought.