Former Australian national coach John Buchanan says the team’s famed ‘Baggy Green’ culture deteriorated under captain Michael Clarke’s watch.
Clarke announced his retirement from cricket at the end of the series after Australia’s fourth Test Ashes defeat to England, and has since come in for criticism from a number of former teammates including Matthew Hayden and Andrew Symonds.
Buchanan weighed into the affair by praising the departing skipper’s service, but said a young Clarke failed to buy into Australia’s team culture.
‘Players like Steve Waugh, Adam Gilchrist, Ricky Ponting and others really tried to make the “Baggy Green” culture something special, but I could sense it was under threat and under Michael’s captaincy I can sense it has disappeared a bit and that disappointed me,’ he told News Corp.
‘I can remember guys like Hayden and [Justin] Langer sitting him down in a corner and trying to get him to understand what we were trying to achieve.
‘There were times when I felt Michael did not understand or did not want to understand.’
Buchanan’s comments follow Hayden’s claim that Clarke ‘ruffled feathers’ and Symonds’ view that he was not a ‘natural leader’ in the mould of former Test captains. – AAP
LYON ADMITS RETIREMENT SHOCK
Nathan Lyon has admitted the last thing the team expected on the third morning at Trent Bridge was Michael Clarke’s retirement.
‘It had obviously been a difficult couple of days so when he called us together before play and to tell us that the next Test at the Oval would be his last, it was a shock,’ Lyon wrote in his tour diary for the Sydney Morning Herald.
‘With the Ashes lost and Michael’s announcement it has been a disappointing time. England played very well to their local conditions and credit to them. Stuart Broad was very good at putting pressure on our batsmen at Trent Bridge. The England bowlers tested us and won.
‘We knew it was going to be a tough first session at Trent Bridge. We would have also bowled if we won the toss. You have to expect batting to be a challenge on the first morning of any Test and we just did not adapt to the conditions. I am hoping it will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me batting before lunch on the opening day of a Test.
‘While we can’t win the Ashes back, we look forward to a vastly improved performance and hopefully winning at the Oval to give Michael the opportunity of retiring on a winning note.
‘Michael has been a great servant of Australian cricket for such a long time. His great standing in the game deserves a successful and memorable last Test.’