Former New Zealand pacer Shane Bond has backed Australia's decision to suspend four players, including vice-captain Shane Watson from the third Test against India on disciplinary grounds, saying the move will augur well for the future of the team.
After the ongoing tour of India, Australia's next Test assignment is the Ashes in England from July and Bond does not believe the sacking episode will have any long-term implication on the performance of the team.
"I thought they would feel a bit of pain in India when I saw the team they were taking over, I didn't expect them to win. But I expect them to be a different unit in England or in their home conditions where the fast bowlers come more into play. I don't think this series will have too many bearings on how they'll play in the Ashes," he said.
"They basically had a kick up the backside. We've seen it with other teams in the past. And being a player myself sometimes it's good to get that kick to remind you of the standards that are set. Although there will be some grumpiness from the players and criticism, I expect it to come out okay," Bond was quoted as saying ESPNcricinfo.
In an unprecedented move, Watson and three other key players -- pacers James Pattinson and Mitchell Johnson and batsman Usman Khawaja were dropped from the Australian squad for the third Test for failing to make a presentation on how to improve their personal as well as the team's performance after the humiliating defeat in Hyderabad.
Miffed by the decision, Watson has flown home to be with his pregnant wife and said he would consider his future.
Bond is not surprised by the strict standards laid down by skipper Clarke.
"Knowing Michael, he sets incredibly high standards for himself and as captain he's doing the same for his team," said Bond, who is now New Zealand's bowling coach.
"When you lose, everything comes into question and they've had two comprehensive hidings so far (in India) so he's decided something need to be done.
"He's going to cop flak, as well as some people who'll say 'good on him', and it's about what comes of it. That might not be in these next two Tests but a year down the track," Bond added.
The Michael Clarke-Mickey Arthur Bombshell
First Published: March 12, 2013, 3:31 pm