You could have been forgiven for having a little snigger when the news broke yesterday morning that four Australian cricketers were omitted for the upcoming 3rd test match against India due to failing to provide a presentation to their team-mates.
Vice-Captain Shane Watson, batsmen Usman Khawaja and pace duo James Pattinson and Mitchell Johnson were all found guilty and consequently will not feature in the next test match. Current Aussie Captain Michael Clarke went on record to say that it was not the first time these particular players have breached discipline rules and therefore suggesting that failing to produce a PowerPoint presentation was not the sole reason for their omission.
Regardless of whether that it true or not this entire saga is pretty humiliating for Australian cricket, they are currently 2-0 down in a 4 match series in India and so far have shown little promise to turn the series around. This is unlikely to improve; Watson has been a key component to the side since the retirement of senior players such as Mike Hussey and Ricky Ponting. His all-round ability with bat and ball are crucial to the side; not to mention his fantastic ability at first slip. Khawaja, whilst admittedly not a first team regular, certainly has some potential to be a more than useful batsmen in the future and this news will dent his long term chances at international level. As for Johnson and Pattinson, the Aussies are well served in the fast bowling department but Pattinson, especially, has been a bright spark in an otherwise distasterous tour to date.
Whilst this entire event has been amusing, it is important that England supporters to not fall foul of hypocrisy. It was only a few months ago that the England side was at the centre of a massive player fall out, with England superstar batsmen Kevin Pietersen dropped out of the side due to apparent text messages he sent to opposition players. Luckily, the issue was resolved and Pietersen has been fully reintegrated back into all forms of cricket for England.
Whether or not these four players represent Australia again is up for debate, it is an issue which however could have one of two implications. Either the group of players become a tighter unit and adopt a seize mentally. Or they can apart from the inside, player revolts and a loss of form could lead to an embarrassing summer with back to back Ashes series. Only time will tell.