It was entertaining following the latest cricket match between Australia and the West Indies in the DFL cup in Malaysia. The match was relayed online via text commentary through www.cricinfo.com. Work was a bit lax today, and I spent most of the afternoon following the match through the Internet.
In the previous encounter between the teams, the Windies were cruising with Chanderpaul and Gayle blasting their way to the target. Then a sensational collapse where 7 wkts fell for around 30 runs let to the Aussies taking the game away from them. A similar situation almost befell the Indian team with 5 wkts down with the score in the 30s.
I've always been a keen follower of international cricket; and one aspect that still holds my respect is the way team Australia handles pressure situations (big match temperament). I don't think there are any other cricket teams that can handle pressure as well as they do (and choke off an opposition as often as they do).
Experience on the field has taught me that its on that rare occasion that a team gets to pull themselves out a high pressure situation where all the tables are turned against them. Its sometimes a 'hero of the day' that comes around that changes the result of the game - but never seen a team do that.
Its this aspect of Aussie cricket that any avid supporter (no matter which team you support) would have to sit up and take note of. Its not luck. Not when it happens time and time again. There have been many occasions where just the slight glimmer of a win has prompted the whole team to drive a successful result (as was the case in the last match, and almost the case in todays).
So whats the secret? Perhaps developing strategies on how to handle situations such as these? Or perhaps the team's motivation jumps exponentially during these pressure situations? Maybe its individuals in the team that motivate each other? Or maybe special courses in BMT?
Whatever the reason, its still highly entertaining to watch the Aussies in action - especially when they look down and out of the game. Its never over till the fat lady waltzes.