Proteas working on mind games to vanquish Aussies

December 16th, 2008 - 1:13 pm ICT by ANI  

Perth, Dec.16 (ANI): South Africa’’s mental conditioning coach Jeremy Snape, a former England off-spinner, last night disclosed that the Proteas players are attending secret psychological workshops to mentally torment their Australian opponents in the Test series starting from Wednesday.
The Courier Mail quoted Snape, as saying that he had instructed the Proteas to disregard past failures in Australia.
The man with a masters degree in sports psychology has hosted workshops for the South Africans where he insisted the battle of the minds would be easier without Australia’’s retired champions.
“The Australians have had a very successful era in the past by having very clear strategies but also players who can execute their plans . . . whether they have got that now, we”ll see?” Snape said.
“Our beliefs around Australian cricket were formed several years ago when they had the best team in the world. But you have to be careful that you take the current Australian side for what they are . . . and not consider Warne and McGrath and Gilchrist as part of that equation,” Snape said.
South Africa, who have never won a Test series in Australia dating back to 1910, have long been tagged with a reputation as chokers.
Their psychological torment at the hands of the Australians was epitomised in 1998 when former captain Hansie Cronje speared a stump though an Adelaide dressing room door after Mark Waugh had saved a Test.
But South Africa, unbeaten in their past nine Test series, believe they can stand up to the mental intimidation.
Skipper Smith has noticed a much calmer aura among his men since they arrived in Perth for tomorrow’’s first Test.
“I think we are far more relaxed, the guys are quite calm and chilled out. The guys have their feet on the ground, no one is too hyped up and we are building up nicely,” Smith was quoted, as saying.
Smith believes new stars such as fast bowling weapons Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel will be a huge bonus because they do not have the mental baggage of playing in losing Test battles in Australia.
“The young guys have got a real zest, a no-fear approach in the way they have come in,” Smith said. (ANI)

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