Opinion: Katich and Whateley are jumping at shadows

As I read the recent reports of the feud between Michael Clarke and Simon Katich reigniting after Clarke was on Macquarie Radio discussing the prospects of a dismal summer of cricket ahead, and Katich responding.

This prompted an almighty spray from long-serving broadcaster Gerard Whateley, backing Katich.

I couldn’t help but think Katich and Whateley miss understood what Clarke had said throughout the interview.

It was, as Tim Minchin once said, “Like two tennis players trying to win a match by hitting perfectly executed shots at either end of separate tennis courts.”

Clarke comes out in an interview on Macquarie Radio saying Australia can’t play Mr Nice guy and should go back to the tough way the Aussies know how to play.

The same brand adopted from Allan Border, Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting and Clarke, the list can go on and on of previous tough Australian captain’s.

Katich responded by saying Clarke missed the point of what they are trying to achieve with this new ‘clean image’.

This was then backed up by Whateley also chipping in by saying Clarke was the last of the “climate change deniers” and the result of the sandpaper ending up in the field was the residue from Clarke’s legacy as captain.

Whateley was way off the mark with the last point.

Whateley can’t tarnish Clarke’s reputation as captain by what happened in Cape Town earlier this year.

Steve Smith had been Australian captain since 2015, Clarke was long gone out of the position.

I feel as though Katich and Whateley were jumping at shadows with Clarke’s comments, thinking he meant to go back to how they played in the lead up to Sandpaper Gate.

Clarke never mentioned they should go back to the style of cricket that resulted in blatant cheating.

What Clarke was trying to say was, Tim Paine’s men should go back to how they played under Clarke’s captaincy, and others before him.

I can’t help but agree with Clarke, the Australian team should go back to the rough and tumble style of play.

There is one caveat on this though, we need a strong and mature captain to control it.

Do you think Clarke would have walked away from David Warner and Cameron Bancroft’s little meeting saying ‘I don’t want to know’, no.

I love Steve Smith but I can’t help but feel he was given the reigns as the captain of the Australian cricket team far too young in his career.

Why was he picked as captain so young?

Smith couldn’t control the players like Warner, even Clarke admitted in his interview he had to have regular one-on-one discussions with Warner to remind him where the line was.

I’m not dismissing Smith as an Australian captain, I think he would have been one of Australia’s greats, in his early 30s.

I also agree with Katich and Whateley, we can’t be hated by the cricketing fraternity.

Yep, believe it or not, we are hated by every country in the ICC.

The Australian Cricket Team does need to clean its image up, not be hated.

Play a brand of cricket where Australia plays aggressively but at the end of the game, all the players congregate in the dressing rooms for a beer and a laugh.

That is a team I, like most Australians, would be proud to watch.



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