Don~~t look up, look down on Aussies: Wright

Published: Friday, August 4, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Sydney:The Down Under bound teams should take a leaf out of Sourav Ganguly's book and look down upon the Aussies without being overawed so as to withstand the psychological battle the Oz wage on their opponents, says former India coach John Wright.

''You don't look up to them, you look down on them. If you give any hint of being overawed you are gone,'' Wright writes in his book 'Indian Summers', excerpts of which were published in today's Courier Mail.

In the book, which was released in Australia earlier this week, Wright said this was the advice he gave the Indian players before the start of Steve Waugh's last Test series, which India drew, and Ganguly followed it with success.

''You just have to convince yourself they are human and feel pressure like everyone else. That's the attitude our captain Sourav Ganguly had. He got up people's noses but he was successful,'' Wright said.

The former coach reveals that at first the Indians did not exactly get his message and looked confused.

''The players looked up at me with bemused expressions probably wondering if I planned to jump or fly,'' he said.

India became the first team in decades to threaten Australia at home in the 2003 Test-series in which they won and lost a match before almost spoiling Waugh's fairwell party in the drawn third Test.

Wright said he could understand the intimidation that the visiting teams faced in Australia as he himself experienced it in his playing days.

''I drew on my days playing Australia in the early 1980s when we used to just stand there and watch these guys in green and gold track suits. As soon as you start doing that you are losing the battle,'' the Kiwi said.

The former coach said all touring teams should know that they would face systematic hostility when they play Down Under and be prepared to face it instead of letting it overwhelm them.

''It's so predictable it really should be on the itinerary. Some well-known ex-players start to talk then one of the current team chips in with his view. Depending on your view it's either psychological warfare, cheap point scoring or the same old bullshit,'' Wright explained.

''Whichever way you look at it, if it has any effect then you're far too sensitive to be taking on the Aussies on their own turf.

You just have to try to laugh it off. We were never intimidated in that series which is the key to playing in Australia,'' Wright advised.

Wright also recalled an incident in the 2001 Test series against the Australians in India and said the World Champions did not even hesitate to intimidate during the net sessions and said Steve Waugh's men started closing in on his team's training area while jogging in a bid to rankle the Indians.

''The banter got louder and more confident the closer they came to our stretching circle -- if they had come any closer they would have trampled us. We were under way,'' he said.

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