Australia’s players have had to move on quickly from the shock of Mickey Arthur’s demise and, in the words of vice-captain Brad Haddin, make sure the change of coaches brings the quick fix needed to rescue the Ashes.
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Less than 12 hours after some of the London-based members of the squad awoke to the news that Arthur had been sacked, all the players sat in a meeting at the team’s hotel in Taunton and listened to new coach Darren Lehmann deliver his simple message to turn around the tour, starting with a four-day tour match in Somerset.

”It’s obviously a different experience. It’s not something that we have to deal with every day, the loss of a coach, but from our point of view we’ve got to make this a fresh start. We can go over what’s happened as much as we want and analyse what’s gone on, but the bottom line is we’ve got to move forward as a cricket team and we’ve got to start performing,” said Haddin, the veteran brought back as vice-captain to restore resilience and leadership.

Asked whether the players felt culpable for Arthur’s sacking, he said: ”I think we, as a group, have to take accountability of where we are … It’s obviously disappointing for Mickey. He’s put a lot of time and effort into this team, but it’s a fresh start and we’ve got to make sure we’re in the right frame come that first Test. We … have to be accountable for where we want to take this team and we’ll see how successful that is.”

Though there was a measure of delight in England with the latest implosion, there was also a recognition that the dramatic measures might just improve Australia’s dwindling Ashes hopes. Former England captain Nasser Hussain said Australia had pressed the panic button so close to the first Test at Trent Bridge that it might work.

”All I can say is that there must be some serious issues within the Aussie camp. There has to be a split in the dressing room. Once you hang people out to dry, as four players were in India, then they never forget what you have done to them,” Hussain wrote in the Daily Mail.

”There is clearly a large degree of panic in this decision … I don’t think, though, that it will do them any harm. They can’t get any worse.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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