Young players' bad manners no surprise

CRICKET

In the heat of the battle, the Australian cricketers showed their true colours in the opening gambit with the Proteas, and it reeked of the competitive arrogance that has punctuated the national team's performances in recent times.

They're great winners. The James Pattinson sledge-fest for the South African captain was borderline, but when Peter Siddle started to exercise his language skills - or lack of them - at Hashim Amla, he made a complete goose of himself.

As hot-spot and the snickometer revealed, Amla didn't touch a Siddle delivery. Siddle's behaviour, virtually accusing Amla of cheating by staying at the crease, was a low point of the match.

The television commentators were their usual forgiving selves, and Amla himself belatedly laughed it off when quizzed about the exchange.

That said a lot about Amla - he was being a gentleman and a fine tourist. Is it any wonder young cricketers are bad-mannered?

From the perspective of a junior umpire in the recent past who witnessed some tasteless offerings from pre-teens, one can only surmise the teachers of this sort of behaviour are Siddle-type episodes.

Then David Warner used the aggressive behaviour as a badge of honour, saying they got under the South African's skin.

After Warner's ropey effort with the bat in the first Test, I'd be advising him to play the silent participant until he produces and leave the appraisals to the skipper.

One dominant performance doesn't make a summer. Two players made sure of that position, not the whole team.

The reborn Michael Clarke is in peerless form and Ed Cowan, amid significant pressure, put his hand up grittily and stylishly.

And surely selectors must go with the existing 11 and leave Shane Watson to work back to full fitness, rather than send him into Adelaide without bowling responsibility.

Conditions played a massive part in the Brisbane draw on a benign pitch, and one could reasonably expect the world's number one team to hit back forcefully in Adelaide.

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