London: The former Australia bowler Glenn McGrath feels sacked Australian cricket coach Mickey Arthur's allegations of facing racial discrimination and having to deal with a divided team are "pretty poor" and show that he was "not too concerned" about the side he mentored.
Arthur has sued Cricket Australia claiming that his sacking smacked of racial bias and that he dealt with a team in which captain Michael Clarke and senior player Shane Watson were constantly at loggerheads.
"Arthur's comments are disappointing, no doubt about it. The issues he is targeting - racism and what he said about Watto - those things are pretty poor. And the timing is not flash," McGrath wrote in The Guardian.
"I saw Shane Warne had said that Arthur's comments showed he was not too concerned about Australian cricket. I don't disagree with that. Each to their own. If that's what he wants to do, that's up to him. I feel very disappointed with it. And for it to come out now you do wonder if it was leaked intentionally," he alleged.
McGrath, however, was of the view that the Aussies could turn the situation to their advantage by bouncing back in the ongoing Ashes series which they have started on a losing note.
"...potentially, it's the sort of situation that could bring the squad together. Sometimes when things are happening outside the team, when forces are at work to try to break the team apart or cause issues, it can actually have a different effect and can bring the boys closer together. They become more of a unit and they start to protect each other," he explained.
"If it starts falling apart it doesn't affect only one person on the team, it affects the whole team. It goes back to the old saying of 'control the controllables'. You have no control over what's being said out there, but what you do have control of is how you're going to play in this Test," he said.
Recalling his own days in the Australian dressing room, McGrath said he never felt any tension between Clarke and Watson.
"I'm really good mates with Shane Watson and Michael Clarke and despite what Mickey Arthur may claim I haven't seen any problems between them at all. During the first Test they got on well, they were communicating well," he said.
"My impression is that the unity in the squad is really good and that the energy is very good. I was with the boys before and after the game and there was always a good feeling in the team," he added.
McGrath said it was not unusual to have contrasting personalities in the dressing room but they should be united by the goal of achieving success as a team.
"You're always going to get different personalities within a team. Look at the team I was involved in. There were some big personalities in there but we got on well and came together with the same goal: to play as well as we could and to succeed as a team, and I can see nothing different in this Australia squad at the moment," he said.
"Michael and Shane have got similarities without a doubt. Jonathan Agnew described them as metrosexual on TMS during the last Test and they're definitely both new-age guys -- they like their good clothes, their things, the way they look and there's nothing wrong with that. It's the way things are. In some ways they're quite similar," he added.
"In other ways they're quite different as well, but you could sit down and go through the whole team and look at all the differences and similarities between every player. The one big similarity they have is that they both have a burning desire to succeed and for the team to succeed."
More from this Section
May 20, 2015, 5:06 pm IST
May 20, 2015, 4:32 pm IST
May 20, 2015, 12:50 pm IST
May 20, 2015, 11:05 am IST