Former Australian coach John Buchanan, who joined the world champion team in 1999 with an “error-free” mantra, said the players were still to play a flawless game but were motivated to pursue pefection.
Buchanan said the Australians may not have a perfect game but they have a perfect team, which was always motivated to improve itself despite a number of records to their name.
“We haven’t played the perfect game (yet). But we do have the perfect team, one that constantly tries to improve itself, individually and collectively,” Buchanan said.
He said Australia’s pile of spoils grew but motivation never waned. “If it had, it might have meant we had the wrong players, if they needed some form of reward, punishment, external incentive,” he said.
“It hasn’t been about motivation. It’s been about creating an environment for a group of players who want to improve themselves all the time.
“We’ve never compared ourselves to our opposition. We would look at our opposition as preparation. But our comparison was always with ourselves. That’s one of the key reasons the Australian team is different,” he was quoted as saying by The Age.
Coaching an already world champion side was not a easy ask but Buchanan believed there was always room for improvement.
The secret of Australia’s continued success on the cricket field lay in the fact that the players treated themselves as the second best team in the world, captain Ricky Ponting said on Thursday.
When preparing for a match or a tournament, the team considered itself the number two team, which needed to get better, Ponting said.
According to the two-time World Cup winning skipper, “We must never be happy with what we have achieved and try as hard as anybody else.”
The Australian team did not set itself any targets when it went out on the field as they did not want to put any restrictions on themselves regarding the total.
“We never restrict ourselves because when you put restrictions on yourself, you cannot achieve great things,” the Tasmanian said.
The trials and tribulations in Indian cricket did not escape Ponting’s attention.
“I don’t really know….India is playing under a lot of mental pressure. We must learn how to cope with it.”
The respect Ponting had for Sachin Tendulkar also came through, as the Mumbai batsman was described as one of the all-time greats.
“He is the best batsman I have seen and I am trying to be as good as him.”
Ponting was speaking at a function announcing a scheme through which every run that he will score in one-day internationals throughout the year will help get underprivileged children to school.