Australia’s plan to use verbal aggression against Amla is set to cause the biggest stir
According to Australia’s game plan dossier, which was published in News Ltd newspapers, they are looking to unsettle South Africa batsman Hashim Amla with verbal and “psychological” warfare.
The papers also reported that the dossier included “secret” plans on how to take down different South Africa players, including Jacques Kallis, who would be attacked with bouncers, and leg-spinner Imran Tahir was set to be the main bowler for every Australian batsman to attack.
Furthermore, the Australians will look to trap South Africa captain Graeme Smith on the crease and dismiss him lbw and look to increase the pressure on both Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel.
But, the Australian’s decision to distract Amla with verbal aggression is by far the biggest controversy since he scored two centuries the last time the two nations met back in November last year.
Before the dossier had been published, former Australia captain Ricky Ponting had denied that sledging was going to be a big part of the series, but hinted that it may come into play when things start to get heated up.
“Whenever South Africa and Australia play the rivalry and the way we go about our cricket is very similar, I expect it to be good, hard tough Test match cricket. Whether that means there’s words spoken or not, I don’t know. That’s stuff that happens in the heat of the battle. We’ve got no preconceived ideas about going out there and sledging or talking. We’ll hopefully do the talking with bat and ball,” Ponting said.
Besides having the advantage of playing on home soil, Australia will also have the upper hand in terms of coaching staff since current coach Mickey Arthur used to be South Africa’s head coach in the past.
Ponting noted that Arthur had been a useful asset in pointing out the key weaknesses of each player after having worked with them for years.
“We’ve done our homework on all of their players, we’ve got very specific plans with the way we’re going to bowl to a lot of their batsmen. As a batting group we’ve spoken long and hard about the way their bowlers will bowl to us as well. It’s nice to know that stuff and a bit of inside information from the coach on how their bowlers will probably try to bowl to us as well is good. We’ve got some areas for their batsmen that we’re going to target. Our young quicks are dying to get out there and have a crack at some of their top-order players. You can expect some fireworks. Some of their top order can expect a lot of short balls as well, that’s an area that we think we can really attack them. All in all our preparation so far has been good,” Ponting added.
The leak of Australia’s dossier is very similar to an incident in 2000 when then-coach John Buchanan’s game plan for a tour of New Zealand was exposed in the media as well.