Steve Waugh urges Oz to display `mongrel` attitude to win Ashes
Melbourne: Former Australia captain Steve Waugh has urged Australia to cultivate the attitude of playing in the Ashes the ``Aussie way`` to hold the urn not once but twice in the coming months.
Waugh was one of the men in the 1989 Ashes squad, which began the series by being labelled the worst touring team ever to contest the Ashes, although the unbreakable team bond that they formed as they journeyed up and down the motorways, was a major factor in their winning the series, Telegraph.com.au reports. Urging Michael Clarke and his boys to emulate the 1989 ``winning`` attitude, Waugh said that Australians must display an element of ``mongrel`` in their play and charge ahead even during a confrontation, adding that they must claim the high ground and put their flag in the turf.
According to Waugh, the Australians needed to back themselves in every situation, attacking rather than retreating, displaying positive body language, pushing while running between the wickets, exhibiting energy in the field and batting and bowling in partnerships.
Waugh further said that while he was playing, each victory gave him and his teammates strength and belief, adding that the primary factor of their success was the enjoyment that they derived from seeing their teammates succeed and the notion that the team always came before the individual. Stating that Clarke must convey an attitude of it does not matter what his team does as long as they do it with purpose and intent, Waugh also said that the back-to-back Ashes campaigns will provide Clarke and his English counterpart Alastair Cook an opportunity to leave a legacy and to charter a course back to the top in Test Match cricket.
However, Waugh advised Clarke to focus on staying in the present by acknowledging and embracing the capacity crowds and recognising that there will be plenty of Australian supporters to ease the tensions and celebrate their positive play, adding that he also needed to reinforce the fact that the players must relax and enjoy the game while playing. Waugh further said that Clarke needed to be energised without being over the top, focused but also open to improvisation and controlled and authoritative under pressure.
Stating that Australia has a good opportunity targeting Cook in the hope of wounding England``s spearhead, Waugh also said that both the captains will confront each other on 10 occasions, with one captain guaranteed to have his reputation and record enhanced, and one left to ponder his defeat and subsequent chorus of doubters.