Mark Taylor emphasises on need to rebuild Australian team atmosphere

Mark Taylor (right) feels that the absence of senior players like Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey is evident in the team’s environment © Getty Images

Sydney: Jun 14, 2013

Former Australian captain Mark Taylor feels there’s nothing wrong with Australia’s leadership, but the squad needs to regroup and rediscover the ‘team’ feeling. Taylor added that the retirement of senior players like Michael Hussey and Ricky Ponting has affected the overall team atmosphere.

“The sides these days are so split up — you’ve the Australia A team playing over in England, the one-day side in the Champions Trophy and you’ve got others joining at various times — so the problem the Australian side have got is they don’t have those core of senior players together all the time to set the example for the other guys. That seems to me to be Australia’s biggest challenge,” said Taylor.

Giving examples about recent incidents that presented the lack of team spirit in the team, Taylor said, “You go back to the last tour of India. Shane Watson, the vice-captain, comes home for the birth of a child but also doesn’t do the homework, or whatever they sort of nicknamed that.”

He also added the misdemeanor of David Warner but cautioned that it should not be blown out of proportion.

Emphasising the importance of having leadership skills he said. “What you really get when you lose two players of that stature is that all the other guys — the Watsons, the Siddles, the Haddins — it’s up to those guys to step up and form that leadership core.”

“That’s what I think Australia have got to get themselves to, and hopefully during his Ashes campaign. It’s not ideal preparation but I don’t want to blow it out of proportion either.”

Taylor is back in the Cricket Australia board as independent director after losing his position earlier in 2012 due to a constitutional issue in the New South Wales board.

He promised to support skipper Michael Clarke and contribute in rebuilding the team. “I’ll be doing whatever I can as a board director back here to try and instill that team feeling and build that leadership group.

“I know Michael [Clarke] very well and Michael and I have had a number of chats over the last three or four years. I hope that continues and I’m sure it will. Sometimes you need people who are outside that bubble to say to you ‘well, this is what we see’. Sometimes it’s good to have that input,” he assured.