Ashes 2013-14: Mickey Arthur feels Michael Clarke, James Sutherland could face the axe if Australia lose

Mickey Arthur was sacked as head coach of Australia in June prior to the Ashes in England © Getty Images

Perth: Oct 25, 2013

The stakes for Australia are high with Mickey Arthur, who was sacked as coach ahead of the last Ashes campaign, warning Cricket Australia heavyweights James Sutherland, Pat Howard and even Test captain Michael Clarke could lose their jobs if England wins.

“If they lose this Test series there is going to be a lot of questions asked,” he told Fairfax Media on Thursday.

“I think James Sutherland, I think (high performance chief) Pat Howard, I think Michael Clarke … I think some serious heads could roll if Australia don’t win this Test series.”

Clarke is not seriously under threat and is set for a return from a chronic back injury in what we would be a timely boost for Australia.

The star batsman was ruled out of Australia’s one-day tour of India this month  and feared he could miss the first Test.

Fast bowler James Pattinson is expected to miss Brisbane with a back stress fracture, heaping more pressure on the likes of pacemen Peter Siddle and Ryan Harris.

Australia’s fast bowling stocks are already depleted with Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins both expected to miss the entire Ashes with back injuries and Jackson Bird also under a cloud.

But they have been boosted by Craig McDermott returning to the fold as bowling coach with his goal being to have up to six quicks hitting their peak at the same time.