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Some off-field stuff as well, says Clarke on axing of Watson

Posted on Mar 11, 11:09PM | IANS

Chandigarh, March 11 : Australia captain Michael Clarke defended the team management's decison to sideline four cricketers, including his deputy Shane Watson, from the third Test saying it is "not just about one incident" but also about "off-field stuff" which has been unacceptable.

"I want the public and the media to understand. Don't get me wrong, it's not just about one incident. Firstly, on this tour, our performances have been unacceptable and there has been some stuff off the field that has been unacceptable for the standards of an Australian cricket team," Clarke was quoted as saying by ESPN Cricinfo.

He admitted it was a tough day for the team.

"I know it is a tough day, a really tough day and it's a tough decision. But at the end of the day, if people are not hitting those standards there are going to be consequences," Clarke said.

Coach Mickey Aurthur was right in asking them to do a specific task after two crushing defeats, he said.

"We were asked to do one thing from the head coach. It was giving information back to the head coach about not only improving your game - what you've learnt from the first two Test matches - but also how can you help this team turn things around and have success.

"It was a very simple task. Yes, it took a lot of thinking because you had to look at your game and where you thought you could improve, what you had learnt and what you could do to help this team level this series."

The skipper said that the four players, who didn't do the homework, showed lack of respect for the head coach.

"In my opinion, for the four players to not do it, not only does it let the team down, it also shows a lack of respect for the head coach and in the Australian cricket team that is unacceptable", he pointed out

Clarke said Australia cannot accept mediocrity.

"We can't accept mediocrity here. This is the Australian cricket team. Maybe I am biased (but) there is a big difference between this team and other cricket teams. If you play for Australia, there is a lot that comes with that and standards, discipline, culture that is all a big part of what we are talking about here."