Arthur is sick and tired of all the abuse targeted towards the rotation policy
Australia’s newly implemented rotation policy is no stranger to criticism, but coach Mickey Arthur seems to have had enough and launched a scathing attack against all the critics, stating that they only know how to berate everything without having full knowledge of the reasoning behind it.
Cricket Australia’s decision to rest pace bowler Mitchell Starc during the Boxing Day Test against Sri Lanka was met with scrutiny by cricket pundits and former players as well, but Arthur once again defended the board’s decision, saying that if his workload had not been controlled, there was a threat of a lingering ankle problem becoming much more serious.
During the recently concluded ODI series against Sri Lanka, fans, pundits and ex-players were once again angered by Australia’s decision to rest opening batsman David Warner, captain Michael Clarke and wicketkeeper Matthew Wade for the first two ODIs and thus the national side were dubbed the “B-team” during the two matches.
Fed up with all the harsh words and comments from the media and former players, Arthur has once again tried to explain the reasons behind Cricket Australia’s decision to rest some of the key players.
“We’re very clear on who the best team is and who the best attack is,” Arthur said. “I’ve been really annoyed and frustrated by some of the articles that have been going around. For me it’s common sense. Common sense prevails when we pick teams. We certainly don’t pick teams not to win any cricket games for Australia. Every time we pick a team we’re giving guys opportunities and picking what we think is the best side possible to go out and do the job and win.
“It’s either very naive or just a little bit stubborn that people don’t understand what we’re doing. The example I’ve used is Black Caviar. When he runs a horse race, if they don’t feel he’s 100% right they don’t release him. We’ve done that with our bowlers, and over the year we’ve had three examples of quick bowlers basically rested, and that is all.
“Ryan Harris in the West Indies, Mitchell Starc on Boxing Day and Peter Siddle at Perth. That’s the only time we have rested quick bowlers, and we’ve done that simply because we think they’re at risk. We want to play our guys all the time. With the amount of cricket we play these day’s it is impossible to keep the guys on the park in every single game. So we would not have a quick bowler at risk.”
However, Starc himself announced that he was extremely frustrated with the fact that he was not allowed to play in the Boxing Day Test, especially after having taken five wickets on the final day of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Hobart.
But, in response, Arthur stated that there were many more factors involved than just managing Starc’s workload.
“If you take Mitchell Starc over the Boxing Day Test match, the information we’d got was that he was at risk,” Arthur added. “Then it’s up to us.
“The constant thought that sports scientists are picking the team is so far off the mark that it’s frightening. They give us information, the information is then left up to us to make that decision. Michael, myself and the selector on duty make the decision based on the information we’re given. When we get that information we will see if it holds up and if we think it’s not worth the risk.
“Mitchell Starc plays three forms of the game. He had an ankle impingement, he’s got spurs that are going to require an operation at some stage. We’re hoping that will be a year down the line, but at some stage that is going to give in. There was no point in us playing him in a Boxing Day Test match and risk losing him for the one-day series and then for a tour of India. That would’ve been plain stupid.”
Australia have one of the busiest schedules this year, starting with a four-Test series against India before heading to England for the Champions Trophy and the Ashes, while towards the end of the year, they have to play another Ashes series, but only this time in their own backyard.
Arthur noted that the decision to rest key players from time to time was all tactical since Cricket Australia and the national selectors want to have a complete line-up for important series.
“Whenever we make those decisions, we make those decisions with a lot of thought into how we’re going to use our quick bowler and when we’re going to use him,” Arthur said. “I really want to get that out and put that on record, because I’m sick and tired of talking about it, and I’m certainly sick and tired of seeing some of the articles that are going around in the media at the moment.”