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Sunday, 17 March 2013

Former Test skipper Kim Hughes warns of 'future' pitfalls for Clarke

 Former Test captain Kim Hughes has warned of the obstacles facing captain Michael Clarke, who is leading a divided team, and said that a shake-up is necessary to confront Australia's cricket crisis.

Hughes, who resigned after a second Test loss in Brisbane that meant five in succession against the West Indies during 1984, said that the internal tensions that led to the axing of vice-captain Shane Watson, James Pattinson, Mitchell Johnson and Usman Khawaja for the Mohali Test reminded him of his doomed leadership during the 1984 low against the Caribbean, News.com.au reports.

Warning that such a crisis will not be easy to solve and may be creating further issues, Hughes said that he is familiar with Clarke's dilemma, adding that the captain will have to face more tough times ahead, although saying that Clarke has a good support system.

Criticising vice-captain Shane Watson for protesting against his suspension, Hughes said that players behaving like schoolboys should be treated as such, adding that a team needed to maintain the best standards if it wanted to be the best in the world.

Unimpressed by Watson's performance as vice-captain, particularly when a key point in the Argus review was for the captain to consult intensively with his deputy, Hughes said that players in the professional age on annual incomes up to five million dollars have a responsibility to keep fit, observe team rules, complete recovery and performance reviews.

Lauding the maturity of Pattinson in accepting his suspension, Hughes said that that Watson should have followed the example of Pattinson, who took eight wickets at 23 in 62 back-breaking overs in the first two Tests.

Hughes further said that a number of talented players in Australian cricket like Khawaja and Steve Smith, have not improved in the past two years, adding that it is a concern for any future matches.

Criticising the team rotation process, Hughes said that it is badly flawed and treats the Australian cricket team like a club, players joining and leaving the team as per the wishes of the selectors. (ANI)

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