The secret of Australian success

Robert “Crash” Craddock writes about Shane Warne’s list, and about Warne’s animosity towards Steve Waugh and Adam Gilchrist.

But underneath it all there is a fascinating, essentially untold story about how two superstars of the modern game somehow managed to survive and thrive year after year in the same side despite a fallout which left each man cold.

Waugh will never expand on the details because he could not be bothered starting a bushfire from which no one could win.

Warne’s definition of Gilchrist as “still a batsman-keeper rather than the other way around” is not flattering (even given Gilchrist’s freakish batting skills) and one which Gilchrist would not enjoy.

You can call Gilchrist a madhouse slogger and he will laugh along with you but dismissiveness of his keeping skills hurts him because he sees himself as a keeper first.

…..In a perverse sort of way, Warne’s modest rating of Steve Waugh and Gilchrist gives us a hint of why Australian teams have been so successful over the past decade – they simply put the personal stuff to one side and go out and play for the team.

It sounds easy to do but it has been beyond many fragmented England, West Indian, Indian and Pakistan teams of the same era.

Warne and Waugh might not have been each other’s cup of tea but you would never have known it on the field.

The ability of Australia’s players to put their personal stuff to one side and play for the team is undoubtedly a big part of Australia’s success. I don’t know, but I suspect that New Zealand are also good at doing this, which is why they are able to punch above their weight in international cricket.

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