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We can't accept 'mediocrity', says captain Clarke

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Published: Tuesday, March 12, 2013, 12:32 [IST]
 
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We can't accept 'mediocrity': Clarke

Mohali, Mar 12: Defending the decision to axe four players, Australia captain Michael Clarke said it was not about "one incident" and he was not ready to accept "mediocrity" in a team that sets "high standard" on a cricket field.

Shane Watson, James Pattinson, Mitchell Johnson and Usman Khawaja were the four players sacked from the squad for third Test against India due to breach of team orders.

"We can't accept mediocrity here," Clarke was quoted as saying by the Australian media on Tuesday.

"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," Clarke added.

Speaking on the reactions to the sacking, he said: "A lot of people saying that (they have been too harsh) don't know the full story and hopefully by me giving them more information they will understand this.

"There is a lot that comes with playing for Australia, we do set a high standard, we have to, we have been so patient with the group of players that we have because we have lost a couple of senior players."

Clarke also mentioned that it was not about not doing the homework and not about "one incident."

"It's not the fact that they didn't do their homework, to represent this team we have high standards, we need to have those to get the best out of every person in this team.

"It's not just about one incident, there's been a number of things where we haven't been giving ourselves every single opportunity to be the best individual players we can be."

The skipper said the quartet was disappointed at missing out on selection.

"They were disappointed there is no doubt about it. I don't think there is any harsher punishment than missing a game for Australia, let alone a Test match, especially when your back is against the wall and you are 2-0 down in the series.

"But they respect the decision and understand why it was made."

"Let me make it clear, it wasn't about the four players. The discussion the leadership group had, the players named were irrelevant, it was that four players did not adhere to a team requirement.

"No doubt there was disappointment, they want to be part of this team. But I can guarantee you every single player knows what our standards are, what is expected and if you don't cut it, there is disciplines and consequences, it's a tough team to be a part of."

ThatsCricket

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