Mohali: One will have to wait and see if Australia regret ‘dropping’ James Pattinson for the Mohali Test, but the speedster himself was apologetic on Tuesday for letting the team down.
Pattinson was among the four stood down from the third Test by the team management on disciplinary grounds. Speaking at a media conference, Pattinson also said that he has great respect for captain Michael Clarke.
The following are excerpts
The mood in the Aussie camp after four players were stood down for the third Test
Firstly, it was a bit of shock to everyone... But everyone, especially me and the other three guys who did the wrong thing, have handled it in a tremendous manner. It is something that we need. There were probably a few minor things that happened in the first couple of Tests that we had to address and we couldn’t let them slide. It is good that everyone has taken the responsibility to confront the issue and put it in the right way and get everyone going in the right direction. We have still got plenty to play for in this Test series.
On what exactly was the problem
It’s been an ongoing thing… But these are not massive things. It’s like sometimes being late for something. You can pay fines for that, but the worst thing is being excluded from the team or not playing a Test match. That hurts the most. But it’s not only that, by not doing what has been asked for, you let your team down as well. At the time I was told I was quite upset. At the start I didn’t take it as well as I probably could have. I think we’ve got to get this in our heads straightaway that it’s all about coming together as a team and do everything as a team. We had a training session on Monday and we apologised to the team about it.
The criticism by former players
I have seen a few of them... It is harsh… Missing a Test match is very harsh, but it was needed. I think it was needed to get everyone going in the same path. I think everyone needs a kick in the backside. We have got a group of young players, including me, who haven’t really found their feet in Test cricket. There are also a lot of inexperienced players… If we get everyone going in the right direction, it would help to achieve success on the field. I think this is a small step… It might be harsh, but in reality it is the right step towards achieving really good things over the next year as a team.
His assessment of himself
Being young, you can offer excuses as you want and blame other people. But if you take responsibility, you can change things and learn from mistakes. I am glad it happened in my career at such a young age because I can learn from it. Everyone in the team can learn from it and use it as a warning sign against complacency.
On team spirit after Shane Watson left for home
Everyone in the team really gelled together… As a team we have done really well, addressed the matter front on, straightaway talked about it as a team and put it behind us. As a team, we are out to achieve success and getting back to No. 1. Over the past year we have gone from fifth to third place, but we are not a team who want to stay there. We want to get higher and I think we have got the talent to really do that. Talent can only get you to a certain level, but the team should form a great culture outside the field.
If Watson and his exclusion dilutes the competition
I think we’ve got very good back-ups... It also gives the other guys an opportunity to step up. If we win this Test, it would be a massive thing for us, seeing what has happened.
Impression of Clarke as captain
We’ve got great respect for Michael... I think he’s led very well. He’s been very selfless, he puts the team first, before even himself. On the field, his leadership has been fantastic. His personal performance has been amazing over the last year. He’s led from the front. It’s testing times over here because these are such harsh conditions and it’s his first time as captain over here. My relationship with him is great.
On bowling in the subcontinent
It is a massive challenge… There are no tougher conditions than here for a fast bowler.
On Harbhajan Singh not getting as much success against the Aussies as was expected from him
I think it’s been quite tough for Harbhajan… He’s bowled well without getting the results. Everything has gone as per their plans. Their spinners have done really well. Individual success is one thing, but they’ve bowled well as a team. It’s very hard to change a winning team.