‘It is the right step towards achieving really good things’

If the sacking of four players from the upcoming Test had left any scars, they were hardly visible in the Australian camp. There was a ‘laughter club’ like congregation as the team arrived at the stadium to train ahead of the Test against India starting on Thursday, and later, James Pattinson put to rest all doubts regarding the Australian spirit. The team, if Pattinson is to be believed, is upbeat and the episode is as good as a closed chapter.

“That was a bit of a shock to everyone I suppose, but the way everyone has handled it, especially myself and the three who did the wrong thing, I think it has been tremendous the way everyone has gone about it,” confessed the fast bowler.

He added, “It’s been an ongoing thing; these are not massive things. A lot of people are saying it’s not for handing something in (presentations). It’s more than that, like being late for something sometimes. You can give fines for that, but that’s only so much.”

Pattinson felt the action was justified. “It is something that we need. There were a few minor things happening in the first couple of Tests that we had to address and we couldn’t let them slide. It is good that everyone has taken the responsibility to confront the issue and put it in the right way.

“A kick in the backside is, I think, what everyone needs. Missing a Test match is very harsh, but it was needed and I think it was to get everyone going in the same path. In reality, it is the right step towards achieving really good things over the next year as a team.”

Personally, Pattinson noted, “I’m glad it happened in my career at such a young age because I can learn from that. If I was 30 and making the same mistake, I would be questioning myself. I’m younger now; I can really learn from this and take it in my stride.”

Praise for Clarke

The fast bowler was all praise for captain Michael Clarke.

“We’ve got great respect for Michael. He’s done a tremendous job. Not only me, but for the entire team as well. He’s led very well. He’s been very selfless, and puts the team first before himself. On the field, his leadership has been fantastic.

Amazing performance

“His personal performance has been amazing over the last year. He’s led from the front. It’s testing times over here because these are such harsh conditions and it’s his first series as captain over here. But I think he’s done a fantastic job and got everyone going in the right direction.”

Reflecting on the last two Tests, Pattinson said, “India kept it very simple during the start of its innings. From a bowling point of view, it’s been very hard to penetrate and get a wicket early in the innings because they’ve looked pretty sharp straightaway. That’s the main thing as a bowler.

In for a tough challenge

“If I see a batsman coming in, if he’s leaving well, blocking very well and playing straight, then I know I’m in for a tough challenge here. That’s one thing India has done very well. Its bowlers as well. I think the spinners have bowled in really good areas, attacked the stumps really well, and made it hard for us to score.”

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