Justin Langer, coach of Australia, and Australian team mentor Steve Waugh talk during a training session at Southampton.
Justin Langer, coach of Australia, and Australian team mentor Steve Waugh talk during a training session at Southampton.

Waugh Cry: Aggression the ‘Australian way’

Combative cricket is Australia's Ashes ambition according to former Test captain Steve Waugh who declared there were no "shrinking violets" in the group.

Waugh was captain when Australia last won an Ashes series in England in 2001, through an era in which his all-conquering side was labelled "ruthless".

Now Waugh is working with Australian coach Justin Langer as a team mentor, and said despite a turn towards being more civil in the wake of the sandpaper scandal, he said an Ashes demanded more.

 

 

 

Coach Justin Langer and team mentor Steve Waugh talk strategy. Picture: Getty Images
Coach Justin Langer and team mentor Steve Waugh talk strategy. Picture: Getty Images

 

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"This side is going to be combative, that's the Australian way," Waugh said on Monday in Birmingham.

"They know they can't cross over the line. What happened 18 months ago has had a huge impact and they have played in a fantastic spirit since then.

"But we have to play with conviction and courage. That's the way we play. We are brought up to play in a positive, aggressive manner and I don't see that being different this series.

"There ain't going to be any shrinking violets out there.

"They are going to be combative, it's an Ashes series. Expect them to play in a positive frame of mind with strong body language."

Waugh also declared there was nothing wrong with being called ruthless.

"The definition of ruthless is fulfilling your potential and playing to the best of your ability," he said.

 

Team mentor Steve Waugh (second left) speaks to the Australian batsmen during a training session. Picture: Getty Images
Team mentor Steve Waugh (second left) speaks to the Australian batsmen during a training session. Picture: Getty Images

 

"That's what I wanted my team to be and if they said that was ruthless, that was fine."

Waugh was asked to give a meaning for the term "mental disintegration", which was a cornerstone of the team's he captained.

But he said it was a less potent force in modern day cricket.

"Disorientating the opposition through extreme pressure," he explained.

"You can't really have that power over the opposition any more, because they all know each other.

"And in the end, there's a lot of bluff going on."