Sydney, Mar 13 (ANI): Australian captain Michael Clarke has claimed he can still work with his deputy Shane Watson in future despite his sacking from the team for the third Test against India in Mohali over a disciplinary breach, and he rejected claims that he doesn't go along well with the all rounder.
Speculation has simmered for months that Clarke and Watson do not see eye-to-eye, prompting the skipper to publicly deny a rift existed during the recent Australian summer, News.com.au reports.
As he left India to join heavily pregnant wife Lee, Watson said he felt harshly treated by Australia's hierarchy and there are fears he could be stripped of the vice-captaincy if he is available for the Ashes.
However, Clarke said he supports Watson's decision to quit mid-tour and believes the pair can preside over a strong leadership structure for back-to-back Ashes campaigns this year.
Asked if he expected a backlash from players, including Watson, Clarke said no he doesn't, adding the players know 100 per cent that this is not about the individuals, and he has made that very clear.
Clarke added he doesn't think it will have any impact on his friendship with the four guys because he knows he has got the respect of those guys and they know how much he respects them.
Clarke said that is probably why he feels comfortable fronting players on these issues, adding these are their standards, and if you're not hitting it, there's going to be consequences.
Clarke said Watson has no reason to fear being axed as vice-captain, saying he definitely can remain as deputy.
Clarke added Watson knows how important he is to this group, and he knows he is a senior player in this group and both of them on this tour have learned a lot and spent a fair bit of time together which has been good for him as captain and also Watson as vice-captain. (ANI)