New Delhi: Australian fast bowler James Pattinson on Tuesday admitted that initially he did not take his axing from the Test side well but has come to realise that severe punishment was essential for not following the team's ethos and letting his team-mates down.
Pattinson, Shane Watson, Mitchell Johnson and Usman Khawaja were on Monday dropped from the squad for the Mohali Test starting Thursday after failing to meet a deadline of Saturday night to provide feedback to coach Mickey Arthur on how Australia can improve after being hammered in the first two Tests.
"We had a training session yesterday and we apologised to the team about it," Pattinson was quoted as saying by the Australian media. "It does hurt, missing a Test match. It's not only that, you let your team down as well. At the time I was told I was quite upset. At the start I didn't take it as well as I probably could have. The easy thing for me was to make excuses and say it's a harsh punishment. But the reality is it's not - it's part of playing cricket for Australia. You've got to do everything right."
"It wasn't hard for the other 12 blokes to get it in on time and they took the time out to really reflect and do what's best for the team whereas we four didn't. Right now I'm still hurting about it but in the long run I think it's going to make us a better team," he added.
The 22-year-old conceded that he didn't put his 100% and that his negligence towards the task showed a lack of respect to the coach and the captain. "It was one of those things where I didn't put in 100% for the team. At this level you can't forget. It's pretty cut throat and personally not good enough. It wasn't a hard task at all and it was something that was very valuable for the team going forward. It comes down to preparation for a Test, you can prepare in the nets and the batting, bowling and fielding but preparing off the field as well is just as important," Pattinson said.
"It shows a lack of respect to the coach, the captain as well, and the rest of the team. I know if I was in their position, as a team member, I'd be quite disappointed in them for being a bit selfish. People talk about it as a harsh punishment but looking deeply into it you realise probably it's not. If you want to be part of the Australian cricket team you have to do everything right. It's not acceptable. I believe it's the right punishment. Everyone in the group needs to understand that this is the lengths we need to go to to be successful as a team."
The decision to drop four players for the crucial third Test drew a lot of flak from former Australian cricketers - including Allan Border and Ian Chappell - but Pattinson stressed that it is paramount to build a positive culture in the team as they've a lot of young players. "They're entitled to their opinion and a lot of the players that are saying that were great players and they probably didn't have to deal with this stuff because they were in a period of time when they were on top of the world," Pattinson said. "We're in a different position. We're trying to build a culture. We've got a lot of young guys. I think other people are starting to come around a bit more and understand the reasons behind it."