Australian fast bowling great Glenn McGrath says the handling of the 'homework gate' saga during the team's tour of India earlier this year was "pretty poor" and felt it "all blew up" in the middle of the 0-4 Test series drubbing.
"You look at that side and over the next two years we lost seven players. That's going to knock any team in a big way. But I wasn't aware of the extent they'd allowed things to slip until it all blew up in India in March. The way the homework saga was handled pretty poor," McGrath said.
The former pacer said nothing of that sort could have happened during his playing days.
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"There was no way anything like that could have happened under Steve Waugh. There would have been no turning up late or not doing this or that. When you let that discipline slip you're going to have big problems on the field. We had some big personalities but they really pulled together."
The team management had axed four players, including then vice-captain Shane Watson, ahead of the Mohali Test against India in March on ground of breach of discipline.
Coach Mickey Arthur had dropped Watson, James Pattinson, Usman Khawaja and Mitchell Johnson for the third Test of the series for not providing written feedback on how to improve their own and the team's performance.
Speaking about the upcoming Ashes series, McGrath feels it will be a tough series.
"When I was playing it was easy. But now I find it tough to make a prediction. I'm a very loyal, parochial Australian and I can never say we're going to lose a series. So I'm going to say it'll be a good, tough series," McGrath was quoted as saying by The Guardian.
McGrath said the appointment of his former team-mate Darren Lehmann could change the fortunes of the side.
"I played quite a bit with Boof (Lehmann) and he's pretty relaxed. But he's also old-school. He was a class player and he's done great things as a coach. I've talked to guys who've played under him at Queensland and in the IPL and they all think he's great. Players warm to him and respect him and he brings out their best. That's what this team needs."