‘Top secret’ dossier aims at South Africa disintegration
How do you fluster someone as technically stable and temperamentally sound as Hashim Amla?
According to a ‘top secret’ dossier, drawn up by the Australian think-tank, and “leaked” to News Ltd, contains instructions on how to unsettle each member of the South African lineup, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
It emphasizes particularly on ‘mental disintegration’ techniques ala Steve Waugh and is also reminiscent of the Justin Langer’s Ashes ‘dossier’ that somehow made it to the press from Coach Tim Nielsen’s inbox in 2009.
The latest document has been drafted by Australia’s Coach Mickey Arthur, who was also in charge of the South African team for a good five years. Arthur has thrown up a good dose of short-pitched bowling to bring Graeme Smith’s number one ranked side, which includes four of the world’s top 10 batsmen, to their knees.
Amla, Smith, Jacques Kallis and JP Duminy are the one who come in for a special mention.
On Amla it says: “We should look to get into his head and play a bit of a psychological war. We should also look to attack him with short-pitched bowling. Let’s really go after him with some short-pitched stuff.”
Kallis and Duminy, according to the document, would also be found wanting against the short ball, while Smith’s ‘vulnerability’ was in his footwork.
“When Smith is not in form his feet don’t move that much and he can be very susceptible to lbw. We should look to develop some doubts in his mind and get him lbw.”
Former captain Ricky Ponting revealed there were specific plans for each member of the South African side.
“We’ve done our homework on each of their players, a lot of homework on all their players. We’ve got very specific plans, the way we’re going to bowl to a lot of their batsmen,” Ponting said.
“As a batting group, we’ve spoken long and hard about the way their bowlers will bowl to us as well. It’s nice to know that stuff, and a bit of inside information from the coach is good, but at the end of the day it’s about how we’ll react on the field… You can have the best plans in the world and unless you can execute them it doesn’t really matter,” he added.
The document also includes plans to counter the extremely potent threat of the Proteas’ fast bowlers which includes the fiery Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel.
On Steyn it says: “It is almost impossible to pinpoint an area of weakness…but doesn’t bowl as well to left-handers. Not sure why. Our left-handers should certainly be looking to score against him.”
It is far more critical of the tall Morkel, saying “he can be a bit all over the place. We should look to test his ability to absorb pressure.”
Ponting said he was expecting a war but clarified that the sledging bit was not being rehearsed.
“Those things happen in the heat of the battle.”
“Our young quicks are dying to get out there and have a crack at especially some of their top order players. You can expect a lot of fireworks, you can expect some fireworks, and some of their top order can expect a lot of short balls as well, which is an area we think we can attack them.”