Contained aggression: The Aussie way

Behind the Aussies on field aggression is a well-oiled machine running. Backing up the players is a support team, bigger than any in the world.

updated: October 18, 2007 09:17 IST
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New Delhi:

Behind the Aussies on field aggression is a well-oiled machine running.

"We never get complacent that we are the number one team in the world. We constantly believe that we are the second best team in the world and we have to get to the first position," said Brett Lee.

The mantra of success coming from one of its bowling stars.

Backing up Brett Lee and Ricky Ponting are a support team, bigger than any in the world.

A coach, an assistant coach, a bowling coach, a fielding coach, a strength and condition coach who helps the team stay in shape, along with a performance analyst, a physiotherapist, a team doctor, a sports scientist, a team manager and a media manager make up for the team's backend support.

Every player's fitness routine is planned out by this team. Even the slightest indication of falling off the wagon, and you're out.

"Getting into the local teams in the Australia is so difficult and competitive. For example, a cricketer who played for one of the local teams was warned that he was overweight and needs to get into shape.

"He ignored all warnings and was promptly dropped from the team. That's how much emphasis they place on fitness," said Peter Lalor, Cricket Writer, The Australian.

After every game the team goes in for a two-hour rehab program whether they win or lose.

The emphasis is on recovery, given the pressure of the game.

"We believe there has to be an emphasis on rest and even that has to be planned," said Mike Young, Fielding Coach for the Australian Team.

Discipline counts

Before a game the team meets to discuss the issue of how to mentally prepare themselves for the match ahead. There's also an optional fitness session that every team member attends.

"I demand that every team member be present there. We work hard because we want to be the best. To ensure that the gap between number one and number two stays wide and gets wider," said Ricky Ponting, Captain, Australian Team.

Compare this to India, where players often give even compulsory sessions the miss, thanks to commitments like ad shoots.

During their time off the international circuit, Australian players have to play for their local teams and have to stick to their fitness routine.

In India, even senior players like Sachin Tendulakr more often than not skip the Ranji games. Players like Ramesh Pawar, who are over weight and clearly physically unfit often find a place on the team.

Its the Australian Way vs the Indian Way and the winner is for all to see.