Taking Sunil Gavaskar's "unpopular winners" remark to heart, new Australian coach Tim Nielsen has warned his young team to be as much careful about its on-field behaviour as the result of a match or be prepared to sit out of the national team.
Nielsen, who succeeded John Buchanan post-World Cup, has said players' behaviour would be his key agenda at a pre-summer camp for Cricket Australia's 25 top-ranked players at Coolum later this month.
"To be seen as the best is not just about winning and losing. As the leading team in the world, we don't get as much leeway in that area. We need to be really conscious of it," he said.
Gavaskar, before the start of the World Cup, had described the Australians as "unpopular winners" around the world because of their "awful" on-field behaviour. Nielsen said he wanted the Australian team to be respected not only for their on-field dominance but also for how they conduct themselves -- particularly under pressure.
Nielsen said that with automatic selections Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Justin Langer no longer around, the hopes of generation-next would depend on more than just their ability.
"All the little things that add up into selection will come into play. If any player doesn't present himself well and show he is not able to handle the pressure or present himself under pressure well, it's probably going to be a little bit of an issue for the selectors," he was quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph on Friday
Although none of the Australian players has been in trouble this calendar year, there were seven reports by ICC match referees last year. Veteran Stuart MacGill, who was usually seen as a distraction to the team due to his short temper during Warne's playing days, has already been spoken to about the standards expected of him now.