Clarke, Watson's 'frosty' cricketing marriage could jeopardize Oz cricket

Sydney, Mar 16 (ANI): Australian captain Michael Clarke's frosty relationship with his deputy Shane Watson could jeopardize country's cricketing future, according to sports columnist Peter Badel.

"On the surface, it seems a match made in cricketing heaven. Michael Clarke and Shane Watson. Pup and Watto. The mere monikers scream a sense of jingoism that mesh comfortably with the macho fabric of Australian cricket," Badel wrote in his column for News.com.au.

"It looked, and indeed sounded, all so perfect. Clarke the captain. Watson his trusted deputy. The planets had aligned. Like Posh and Becks, everything seemed right ... until it started going horribly wrong," he added.

"The Clarke-Watson dynamic has become Australian cricket's elephant-in-the-room topic. Outside the inner-sanctum, the prevailing sentiment is Australia's captain and vice-captain simply can't cop each other," he wrote.

Badel added: "Their inchoate leadership union appeared to become almost toxic on Monday when Watson was sensationally suspended for failing to take part in a peer review of the team's performances in India."

"Watson was among the Flagrant Four, joining James Pattinson, Mitchell Johnson and Usman Khawaja. But, as vice-captain, Watson's cricketing crime was seen as more heinous. Significantly, Clarke was among the head-kickers," he further said.

"Sick of a slew of culture-eroding infractions, he came down hard on the quartet and his own right-hand man, in the process shining a forensic torch on Australian cricket culture and established patterns of thinking," he added.

"Watson returned home insisting that while there is the odd minor hiccup, everything is OK with Clarke. The skipper has now twice denied he is 'off' with his deputy," he wrote.

"We can only take them at their word. But beneath the veneer of supreme talent, tattoos and hair gel lay two complex, highly-driven men who may never click sufficiently for the betterment of Australian cricket," he concluded. (ANI)

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