Cricket

Warne: Oz approach too formal

2013-03-12 22:20
Shane Warne (File)

London - Australia's selectors need to adopt a less formal approach to bring the best out of the players even if it means allowing one or two to sort out their differences behind closed doors, according to Shane Warne.

Team management have been criticised for disciplining Shane Watson, Mitchell Johnson, James Pattinson and Usman Khawaja for failing to carry out a 'homework' task set by coach Mickey Arthur on the tour of India.

Australia were crushed in the first two matches and Watson, Johnson, Pattinson and Khawaja have now been suspended for the third Test.

"If you wind back the clock to the old days it was about going to a pub or locking yourselves in a room with a few beers in a relaxed environment and making it all informal," former leg-spinning great Warne told Britain's Talksport Radio on Tuesday.

"With everyone just having a chat, it always leads to something. The more formal you make things, it makes people not want to express themselves.

"If two guys have got an issue they can punch one another in a corner if they have to but you sort it all out, wake up the next day, all walk across the line together and away you go."

Warne, one of the greatest slow bowlers of all time after amassing 708 Test wickets at an average of 25.41, said he would probably have been banned as well if he had been asked to do 'homework'.

"I think I would have been in detention for a long time," he laughed. "It probably would have been a combination of me standing up at the back of the class and annoying the teacher."

Warne believes there is more to the 'homework' issue than meets the eye.

"I think there is something more to it than has been given to the public," he said. "Whether it's the players being late for buses or perhaps not being punctual and it sounds like this was a line in the sand.

"For me it's all about a group of guys getting together to try and beat up on the opposition and having a bit of fun on the way. When there are issues in a team environment... it's about making the players feel at ease."

Warne is not happy with the whole Australian system and believes they have been choosing the wrong players for the last year and a half.

"In the side I would pick, there would be five or six changes and I'd use players that aren't even in the squad now," said the 43-year-old, who retired from international cricket in 2007.

"If you look at some guys who aren't in the squad - for example Nathan Coulter-Nile, Josh Hazlewood, Shaun Marsh, James Faulkner, Callum Ferguson - they are quality players. Australia have got the talent but they're just not getting the opportunities.

"The selectors for some reason aren't picking them and we've also got a ridiculous rotation policy," said Warne.

"The players are looking over their shoulders and wondering if they're gonna be selected. They're starting to look out for themselves and that's never been the Australian way."

Warne, the scourge of England's batsmen in his day, tipped the old enemy to beat visiting Australia in the Ashes series that starts in July.

"England are 100 percent the favourites at this stage, no question about it," he said. "But that's almost a good thing for Australia.

"Maybe they can turn up and be a surprise packet if they get their selections right, put the right players on the park and stay injury free."

Read more on:    shane warne  |  cricket
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