LAUNCESTON'S past and present national cricket captains have found themselves at the centre of the debate over the controversial culture of the national team.
Australia's one-day captain, former South Launceston batsman George Bailey, was forced into a spirited defence of the culture immediately after yesterday's ODI defeat of India in response to comments in the auto-biography of Mowbray's long-time Test captain Ricky Ponting.
In an extract from At the Close of Play, Ponting reveals he had concerns about Michael Clarke's leadership qualities when the Test captaincy was being handed over, and questioned the transformation of the team's culture over the past decade.
But Bailey said it's easy to make cheap shots when the team isn't winning.
Speaking after his man-of-the-match performance in Australia's commanding 72-run victory over India in Pune, stand-in skipper Bailey said: ``I think it's so hard (to define culture) and it's not something you train.
``It's something you can't fake. It's one of those things.
``It's great for people to say they have it or they don't, but actually how that happens I don't know.''
Bailey said even Australia's dominant teams often dealt with rifts between star players.
``When that Australian team of the early 2000s was playing, there were some guys in there who didn't get along,'' he said.
``But you would say the culture was fantastic. They had respect for how they played.
``I'm really proud to be in this changeroom. I think we're going great places.''
Bailey threw his support behind Clarke and newly-installed coach Darren Lehmann, saying the atmosphere they were creating was one of success.
``I'm looking forward to reading the book because I think Ricky is one of the most respected blokes in Australian cricket, probably in world cricket,'' he said.
``(The extract) finished saying that since Michael took over as captain Ricky was really impressed with him too.
``Actually having that extra responsibility brought out the best in him, so that was pleasing to read.
``Since Darren's come on board as well, his big influence, and what he talks a lot about is family, about team, about manners.
``I certainly think we're on the right track, no doubt about that.''