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May 12, 2021

Waugh on where Paine went wrong as captainAustralian Justin Langer (right) and Waugh at a training session during the 2019 Ashes. Picture: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Filed under: Outdoors — admin @ 5:54 am

Test great Steve Waugh believes Australia has lost its winning instinct, and urged the team’s leaders to break away from excessive meetings and return to ‘left-field thinking’ in order to regain its mojo.

Australia’s most successful Test captain, with a win rate of 71.92 per cent from his 57 matches in charge, Waugh enjoyed enormous Ashes success and gave a subtle insight into what captain Tim Paine and coach Justin Langer could learn from their Indian heartbreak last summer – and how they can use it to take down England this year.

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And it boils down to not overthinking things.

“You’re planning so much these days, and have all these set plans. (But) when it doesn’t work out, you mightn’t have that Plan B or Plan C, or the one that’s a bit out of the box and left-field thinking,” Waugh said on the Fox Cricket podcast The Road to the Ashes.

“That was possibly needed by Australia in a few of the matches they should’ve won (against India).

“Maybe we relied too much on the quartet of amazing bowlers and sometimes those guys get tired.

“When (Plan A) doesn’t work you sort of forget about those intuitive instinctive moments that sometimes you need to win a Test match – and potentially we’ve probably missed out on that over the last 12 months.”

Waugh first tasted Ashes success in 1989 with an Australian team described as the worst touring team to ever set foot in England, but said the key was in staying in the moment.

“If you’re going well, I thought there’s no point in tinkering with it too much – just let it roll along and don’t overanalyse,” he said.

“That was one of the keys to our success when we won a lot of Ashes series, that we didn’t have too many meetings.”

Meanwhile, former Test star Brad Haddin remains convinced that the IPL will rise again – and prove the perfect World Cup preparation for Australia’s players.

The world’s most lucrative Twenty20 tournament collapsed midway through its season under the strain of India’s COVID crisis early this month, stranding some of Australia’s biggest stars in the Maldives as they attempt to return home from the doomed competition.

Officially this IPL season hasn’t been cancelled, with the BCCI confident declaring it merely postponed until the COVID situation in India is brought under control.

“Logistically a lot’s got to go on, but I think 100 per cent it will go ahead,” Haddin said.

“(It makes sense) to go in the window before the World Cup (in October).

“I think you’ll have bigger squads because of bubbles and quarantine restrictions on teams, so to have half of your squads playing in the IPL leading into the World Cup will be not a bad preparation for your elite players.

“With the money involved there’s no way it won’t go ahead.”

You can watch the Road to the Ashes podcast on Fox Cricket and Kayo, and listen on both Apple and Spotify.


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