The Sports Psychology Blog
This Sports Psychology blog, comes as Ian Botham, predicts that England will sweep to an easy win, in the forthcoming Ashes series, against Australia.
Cricket: Australia - Mental Dominance?
'We'll win easily!'. The words of former England legend, Ian Botham, speaking ahead of next summers Ashes clash.
Given that England were whitewashed in the last Ashes series, its unlikely that the England players, are contemplating an 'easy' victory against the old enemy.
But, there is no doubt that, things have changed. The retirement of Glenn McGrath and more especially, Shane Warne, means that Australia no longer have the bowlers to exert the mental stranglehold, on the English batsmen.
Sure, Brett Lee will roar in, with fire in his heart. But he doesn't posses the mastership of cricket's dark psychological arts, that Warne and McGrath had in abundance. Mental weaponry, that gave them a real edge, in the mental battle, between bowler and batsman.
An edge, that at its best, caused doubts and anxiety to aggregate in their opponents. Warne giving the impression, that he knew exactly how to get you out. And that he would expect to do so, with his next ball.
Without these two talismen, and the explosive genius of Adam Gilchrist, Australia are simply, a very good test team. Sure, they have Ponting and Hayden, to compile big runs. But no one, to create the atmosphere of uncertainty, that these two legendary bowlers did.
It would be a major surprise, if England beat Australia as easily, as Ian Botham predicts. But, England need have absolutely no fear of their visitors. It's likely that the cycle of Australian dominance, is finally coming to an end. And as it does so, their aura of invincibility will fade.
Once the Aussies realise, that they are no longer unbeatable, they will lose one of their most potent weapons. That of mental superiority, over their opponents. After Warne and McGrath, that will be their greatest loss.
Note: Australia's subsequent home loss to South Africa, confirmed that lack of mental superiority.