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BBC Sport's Chris Florence reports
"Steve Waugh is a master of mental warfare"
 real 14k

banner Wednesday, 14 February, 2001, 13:06 GMT
Waugh's master strategy
Waugh's leadership has reaped rewards for Australia
Waugh's leadership has reaped rewards for Australia
Steve Waugh is playing mind games with the Indian cricket team according to an Australian sports psychologist.

The Australian captain's verbal assault on their opponents was calculated to have the most impact said Australian Institute of Sport psychologist Jeff Bond.

He called Waugh a master at mental warfare and predicted his running war of words with Indian captain Sourav Ganguly could decide the series.

Sledging, along with a measured and systematic verbal battles in the press, are what Waugh has described as tools of "mental disintegration" in the past.


He's certainly very very strong in (psyching out opponents) and I think that's one of the reasons the team's doing as well as it is
  Jeff Bond
AIS sports psychologist
"The Australians are going in there with a sort of proactive front foot," he said.

"The Indians are going to be a bit hesitant as to how good the Australians are and if the Australians nail them first off, their confidence gets dented, and the thing cycles itself.

"They get into a negative spiral which is exactly what happened to the West Indies.

"It'd be the first thing you'd want to do - sink the boot in."

Bond said Waugh was calculated in his approach to demoralise other teams.

Ganguly will be the target for Waugh
Ganguly will be the target for Waugh
"Steve Waugh might be a master strategist because I think he's shown the ability to get them to keep going, to keep resetting the goals, keep setting the bar a little bit higher so there hasn't been a great deal of evidence of complacency," he said.

"He's certainly very very strong in (psyching out opponents) and I think that's one of the reasons the team's doing as well as it is.

"He strikes me as the sort of person who doesn't say or do anything unless he's really thought about it and he's doing it for a reason."

Part of Waugh's success came down to keeping the team fresh and not allowing any of the players to get complacent, Bond said.

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See also:

13 Feb 01 |  India v Australia
India widen spin search
13 Feb 01 |  India v Australia
Aussies up for challenge
12 Feb 01 |  India v Australia
Ganguly in positive mood
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