Waugh's Australians warned of meltdown - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Waugh's Australians warned of meltdown

By Michael Crutcher 27/03/2003 01:46:14 PM Comments (0)

Australia's tired cricketers have been warned to be wary of another meltdown like the 2001 series in India when their draining schedule resumes in the Caribbean next week.

Australia's Test and one-day players have been on the go since last August and, after just six nights at home following their crushing World Cup win in Johannesburg, they leave again on Monday for a four-Test series in the Caribbean.

Leading sports psychologist Phil Jauncey, who works regularly with the Australians, said Steve Waugh's team could face a similar situation to the one when it lost that memorable series in India after a long season.

The Indians were all but beaten after losing the first Test by 10 wickets and then following on in the second Test but fought back to win the series 2-1.

The Australians are now dealing with a World Cup hangover and Jauncey said a commanding win in the first Test in Guyana starting on April 10 may not be ideal for a group of players trying to stay fresh for another long tour.

"The biggest challenge is going to be mental freshness and probably the worst thing that could happen to them is if they win the first Test very well," Jauncey said.

"That's exactly the situation that transpired in India.

"If that Test is close or if Australia loses, then the second Test should be fine because emotion will take over.

"Otherwise it could be really hard for them to recover because it's been a long stretch and their goal for so long now has been the World Cup.

"They've got to refocus now and that's hard enough when you're fresh but it's going to be really hard when you're tired."

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