Most people would have seen breaking news today that the Australian cricket team is really fucking weird, and four of their players have been axed from the next game because they didn’t hand in a written assignment explaining why Australia were so shit in their previous match. In other news, Ed Cowan fell off the monkey bars and Xavier Doherty forgot his lunch money.
Many players delivered presentations in Arthur's room, while others provided feedback in email form.It is understood Watson and Pattinson planned to see Arthur yesterday. The coach said Khawaja and Johnson simply forgot to provide feedback.
"I asked the players at the end of the game to give me an individual presentation," Arthur said.
"I wanted three points from each of them technically, mentally and team as to how we were going to get back over the next couple of games, how we were going to get ourselves back into the series.”
Two of the four people who were cut from selection in the next match were spell-check nightmare and part-time batsman Usman Khawaja, and bowling all-rounder Mitchell Johnson. Ussy and Mitch didn’t actually play in the last game, which Australia lost by an innings and a thousand runs, yet were still required to provide reasons for the loss, and some ideas on how to win the next one. This is on par with a teacher taking a class of students to the museum for an excursion and asking the kids who were sick that day to write an essay of the best part. Despite the fact that they took no part in the game, surely writing “Drop Phil Hughes” and sliding it under the coach’s door wouldn’t have taken too long.
Interesting fact: Phil Hughes has faced 39 balls of spin bowling so far on tour. He has scored no runs and has been dismissed four times. The South Africans exploited his inability to play pace bowling, and the Indians have done the same with spin. Without going into too much detail, this means that Phil Hughes has an inability to play bowling. As a batsman, that is not good.
My favourite part of the story is the bit that mentions “Many players delivered presentations in Arthur's room” which makes me think that David Warner performing an enthusiastic recreation of his school’s Rock Eisteddfod act from 2003, where he mimed the R. Kelly hit, Ignition. Pace bowler James Pattinson has acknowledged his axing, declaring that he deserves the punishment, yet kind of regrets not handing in his critique of “bowl more like me and less like Siddle” that was written on a beer-soaked napkin from their hotel bar, but thought it too “unprofessional” considering he had misspelt both “bowl” and “Siddle.”
The other major incident to come out of this story is that vice captain Shane Watson took a bit of offence to his axing and hopped the first flight back to Australia, declaring that his future in international cricket was “questionable,” reinforcing a statement that Australian cricket fans have had for years.
Watson has been Australia’s most reliable all-rounder of recent times, but has not been able to bowl following ongoing complications with stress fractures in his back and a note from his mum saying that he didn’t have to do anything he didn’t feel like doing. This has allowed him to concentrate on his batting, which has led to him experimenting with an unorthodox approach to batting that includes not making any runs, whilst trying to run out his batting partners. As an all-rounder who no longer bowls or bats and is a liability in the field, it could be said that Watto’s greatest contribution to the Australian team was not handing in his critique.