Oz media hails Arthur for turning Proteas into fierce fighting force

December 27th, 2008 - 12:51 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, Dec 27 (ANI): South Africa have a long history of mental wobbles while playing Australia, but coach Mickey Arthur must receive enormous praise for turning his team from a bunch of disbelievers into a fierce fighting force, according to a section of the Australian press.

Arthur, a balanced family man who has bought his wife and three children on tour, is the secret behind South Africas resurgence in the last two years, the Daily Telegraph said.

Arthur keeps things simple -inking a thick green line on a piece of paper whenever South Africa wins a session. The red ink comes out when they lose a session.

As South Africa chased down a record 414 in Perth, Arthur only knew his team was going to win when he had produced the green pen for three sessions in a row. An open man, Arthur doesnt talk in coach double-speak and is refreshingly honest.

He has got this new-look South African team, with a mixed racial composition, all pulling in the same direction and believing in themselves completely in any situation.

He hasnt done it by pounding the pulpit -rather by putting in place strategies to give players control of their own destinies, the paper said.

Regardless of the result of the rollicking Boxing Day Test, this new crop of Proteas has again showed they simply dont know when to hoist the white flag.

There were plenty of times on Friday when Australia were so superior that it appeared inevitable they would kick away with the Test in a canter. There were also some missed chances from South Africa, like when Neil McKenzie put Ricky Ponting down in a slips catch that would have been caught in under-12 cricket.

Skipper Graeme Smith is also a superb captain and sticks to his plans even when the tide seems to be turning against his team.

He has also instilled a new sense of fun in his team - on show yesterday when Jacques Kallis chased down a sombrero that had floated on to the MCG and yanked it onto his head. (ANI)

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