Arthur claims to be a better coach post ‘homeworkgate’ saga

Melbourne, May 10 (IANS) New Pakistan cricket head coach Mickey Arthur says he has grown from his turbulent experience in charge of Australia that was marred by ‘homeworkgate’ in 2013.

Arthur was last Friday appointed coach of a team that has built a reputation for being notoriously difficult for mentors but has nonetheless risen to No.3 in the Test rankings.

The South African dropped vice-captain Shane Watson, Mitchell Johnson, James Pattinson and Usman Khawaja from the third Test in Mohali for not completing a task, where they were asked to list three items on ways to improve after the side’s comprehensive defeat in the second Test.

Arthur was fired after the series that Australia lost 0-4. He acknowledged his time with the Australia national team didn’t run smoothly, but the South African said he has benefited from lessons learned.

“I hate the word ‘homeworkgate’. And I hate that whole issue. But at the end of the day, would I have done it again? Maybe, maybe not. I’m not sure. But I certainly learnt a massive amount out of the whole experience,” Arthur was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au on Tuesday.

“There are things I would have done differently but they’re not for open discussion,” the 47-year-old added.

“The principles I had in South Africa I tried to introduce in Australia and maybe I needed to be a bit more flexible and really judge the temperature a bit better, and a willingness to change. That makes me a better coach now.”

Arthur was criticised by several high-profile Australian players, including wicket-keeper Brad Haddin, following his tenure.

Darren Lehmann took over from Arthur following the disastrous ‘homeworkgate’ tour of India in 2013, and the former Australia player immediately struck up a strong working relationship with then captain Michael Clarke.

Arthur said he believed Pakistan’s bowling group is the equal of any in Test cricket. He added that he has “unfinished business” with Australia and is relishing the opportunity of a three-Test series, including a day-night fixture at the Gabba later this year.

“The work that Darren and his staff have done with the players has been very, very good. It’s been outstanding. You do feel a little bit like you were on the right track in terms of player identification but who knows?

I’m just looking forward to playing against them at the end of the year. It’ll be a great summer. Hopefully we can get (the Pakistan players) up to speed — they can certainly test Australia in all departments,” he added.

–IANS

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