Head coach Mickey Arthur may have come under a lot of criticism for his decision to axe four players of the Australian cricket team for the third Test against India, but he has been backed by Bob Watson, father of the vice-captain of Australia, Shane Watson.
The 31-year-old Shane was one of the four players to be axed from the probables for the third Test at Mohali due to a number of reasons, capped by a failure to turn in an individual assignment.
Watson immediately headed back to Australia to be with his heavily pregnant wife and said that he would be considering his future as a Test cricketer.
While Arthur's decision to drop Watson and Co may have polarised opinion, one man who is certainly behind the South African is Watson's father, Bob. Watson Sr told Sport360 that the four players, including his son, should have done what the coach asked of them and having failed to do so, must now face the consequences.
"Arthur is the right man for the job,” Bob said. “He is justified in asking the players to be prepared and he did nothing wrong in giving home work to the players.
"The players should have obeyed his instructions and I don't know what prompted my son to return home early.
Bob also hoped that Shane would return to India in time for the fourth Test starting March 22.
"Yes, Shane’s wife is expecting a child in the next couple of weeks,” said Bob. “But Shane should return to India for the final Test if the delivery happens before then.”
Watson and captain Michael Clarke may not be the best of buddies, but Bob urged the duo to to put their differences behind them and focus on Australia’s future.
"There may be a difference of opinion and both may have their own views,” he said. “Both should put all this behind them and concentrate on playing for Australia."
The Michael Clarke-Mickey Arthur Bombshell
First Published: March 14, 2013, 10:53 am