Warne recalls how Buchanan led to near mutiny in team during 2005 Ashes
Melbourne, Oct 6 (PTI) Years after losing the legendary 2005 Ashes, spin great Shane Warne has slammed then Australia coach John Buchanan for questioning the players' (lack of) desire to win, leading to near mutiny in the team.
"On the bus on the way back to the hotel after the game (Edgbaston Test), John Buchanan called a team meeting. I was like, 'Oh no, what's he going to say now?'," Warne wrote in his book 'No Spin'.
"We collected in the team room and he started with an obvious line, something like, 'We didn't play very well again this game.' Yep, true, Buck. Then he said, 'But why didn't we play well?' Maybe you tell us, Buck. So he did."
Australia would go on to lose narrowly, then escape with a draw at Old Trafford despite being thoroughly outplayed.
"It was along the lines of 'I don't think you blokes care enough and, playing like you are, I don't think you're worthy of wearing the baggy green cap.' I could sense the rage bubbling in the room and could feel it burning inside me, but I waited for the captain, anyone, to say some-thing.
"Everyone sat there quietly, heads down, no-one willing to get involved. I thought, 'To hell with this,' stood up and said, 'Buck, don't you ever tell me I don't care enough and that I'm not worthy of wearing the baggy green cap."
Besides revealing the team's division as England scripted a famous series win, Warne, 49, called his former captain Ricky Ponting's decision to bowl at the Edgbaston Test "the worst decision made by a captain I played under".
"I rate it as the worst decision made by a captain I played under, just topping the charts ahead of Steve Waugh when he made India follow-on (at Kolkata in 2001), because it was based on arrogance about the opposition and our own supposed invincibility, not the cricketing facts," Warne recalled.
He added, "Ricky's decision was a shocker, presumably thinking that one good morning with the ball would finish England off.
"He didn't rate the English batting and it cost him, and us. Here is the truth. Forget anything else you've heard or read. Ricky relied on John Buchanan's stats, which indicated that the bowl-first, bat-last tactic at Edgbaston won more games than it lost."
"He looked back at the filthy weather of the previous few days, not forward, and made an assumption about the pitch having moisture in it