New coach Justin Langer and captain Tim Paine’s attempt to launch a new era, free of verbal abuse and a pugnacious streak, has attracted plenty of push back.
South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis noted how “tame” Australia were in a recent ODI series, while Shane Warne and former England captain Michael Vaughan have both mocked the players’ pact.
Clarke became the latest high-profile player to express criticism on Tuesday, calling for Paine to return to “tough Australian cricket”.
“If you try and walk away from it, we might be the most liked team in the world, (but) we’re not going to win s***. We won’t win a game. Boys and girls want to win,” Clarke said on Macquarie Sports Radio.
The recent Ethics Centre report, commissioned by Cricket Australia (CA) following the Cape Town cheating scandal, expressed concerns about a team culture of winning without counting the cost and the “normalisation of verbal abuse in Australian men’s cricket”.
“Once again we find someone (Clarke) missing the point,” Katich told radio station SEN.
“We were caught for blatantly cheating and we have to rectify that as quickly as possible and to earn back the respect of the cricketing public in Australia and worldwide. Our behaviour is a big part of that.
“We’ve been a disliked team for a number of years through that on-field behaviour and it obviously came to a head in Cape Town.
“It’s a tough battle for this team taking on the burden of what’s come before them. It’s not going to be easy.”
Katich memorably had his hands around Clarke’s throat at the SCG in 2009 amid a dressing-room spat but Wednesday’s comments are consistent with his view of cricket’s cultural problems.
The former Test opener, floated as a contender to sit on CA’s board or be Pat Howard’s successor, notably argued softening Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft’s bans would have been a bad idea and reflective of a “win-at-all-costs mentality.”
CA’s board recently reaffirmed that Smith, Warner and Bancroft’s bans will not be adjusted.
Langer, who met with both Smith and Warner recently while in Sydney, is tired of talk about his side’s behaviour.
“I’m not sure what people want from us,” he said last week.
“We can’t confuse the messages. On the one hand we’re too aggressive and probably stepped over the line. Now we’re getting called tame.”
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