Opener Cowan publicly backs sacking of `flagrant four` for Mohali Test

Updated: Mar 21, 2013, 14:26 PM IST

Sydney: Australian Test opener Ed Cowan has publicly backed the sacking of four of his teammates from the team for the Mohali Test, adding it has in fact lifted the team spirit in the squad.

Cowan also insisted the playing group has no issues accepting Shane Watson, who could captain Australia in the fourth Test against India starting Friday just 11 days after being dropped for failing to complete a performance review.

Australian coach Mickey Arthur and captain Michael Clarke - who is in doubt for the final Test with a back injury- have been condemned by former Test stars for the zero-tolerance stance they took in Mohali.

Cowan said the sacking of Watson, James Pattinson, Mitchell Johnson and Usman Khawaja, have not divided the team but actually strengthened it as the tourists try to avert a 4-0 series rout in Delhi, adding it feels as though there is a bit more solidarity around the group.

Cowan added they have been unified by what happened in Mohali and there is no doubt the tough decisions needed to be made if we aspire to be the best team in the world, which they do.

The left-handed opener said there had to be some tough decisions and it showed immense courage by the leadership group to make those decisions and the group is right behind that, adding it feels as though they have come together behind that and they feel quite buoyed by the concept of moving forward together.