Aussies blamed for being too nice

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Nice guys often finish last is probably a very debatable concept in sports. But where does the Australian cricket team stand in all of this.

Updated: January 22, 2008 17:31 IST
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Nice guys often finish last is probably a very debatable concept in sports. Given that you have the example of Roger Federer or the West Indies cricket team of the 70s and the 80s.

But where does the Australian cricket team stand in all of this. Many believe that one of the reasons they were outplayed in Perth is because they could not be their usual self.

Australia aren't invincible anymore. But still it is believed that they aren't exactly misbehaved any more either.

We decided to see if there is indeed a link between the win at all cost attitude of the Aussies and their ability to rule the world of cricket.

They also just happen to be the best. The Australians have been consistently at the top of the rankings in tests and one dayers. But they also hold the number one tag for being the most aggressive, rude, and intimidating opponents.

But after the fall out of the Sydney Test and accusations that Ricky Ponting's men was behaving like a pack of wild dogs, a different side emerged in Perth.

The match, in fact, began the way a match should end with 72 hand-shakes and one pat on the back to show that Harbhajan may have already been forgiven.

What happened over the next four days is history.

Australia outplayed in every department of the game and that too in conditions that suited them. That was reason enough for the Australian media to point fingers at their team again, a flip-flop of a journalistic sort.

Cricket writer Mike Colman wrote in the Courier Mail - "In the space of a week the Australians got civilized. So instead of a confident, arrogant, winning team, we get a nice, civilised one. Maybe a losing one."

In that lost Test at Perth, the Aussies were visibly more polite, whether it was appealing or talking to their opponents or even congratulating them for a milestone.

Could it all be because they were too nice and behaving contrary to their nature? Some experts seem to think so.

"How will a hen lay an egg, if it can't cackle?" asked Navjot Singh Sidhu.

So maybe Australia need to find the right mix of aggression and mental disintegration for the time being though players like Mike Hussey, who have tasted their first Test defeat are unwilling to give compliments too easily.

The Australians might have come in for criticism for having become too soft versus the Indians, but here is hoping that they do not forget the giant leap that cricket and cricketing spirit has made in the Perth Test.

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