Mickey-leaks: ‘Smith susceptible to lbw, short-pitched stuff for Kallis... and let’s play a psychological war with Amla’
A couple of days ahead of South Africa's first Test against Australia at Woolloongabba, a dossier of the home team's game-plans against each of the opposition's players has been published in an Australian daily, The Courier Mail. The paper claims that the two-page leaked document suggests Australia's plans include peppering Jacques Kallis with bouncers, targetting Graeme Smith with the LBW and sledging Hashim Amla. There are also well-laid plans for newer members of the South African squad such as opening batsman Alviro Petersen, with the Aussies planning to trick him by swinging the ball away and then dismissing him with an inswinger.
It remains unknown who authored the dossier, however their South African-born coach Mickey Arthur on Tuesday had said that Dale Steyn is not the same bowler when he bowls to the left-handers, an observation that is there in the leaked document as well. Arthur was South Africa's coach between 2005-2010.
The Australian team refused to comment on the leak but did not deny the veracity of the dossier. It is not the first time a secret Australian cricket team dossier has inadvertently filtered into the public domain. In 2000, the then coach John Buchanan's gameplan leaked out ahead of a one-day series in New Zealand.
A deliberate Ploy?
However, it has also been suggested that the leak was deliberate and part of the mind games being employed by the Australians. Australian batsman Adam Gilchrist said it played on his mind when he learned exactly how opposition players were trying to get him out. Recalling the Buchanan incident, Gilchrist has described how the published game-plan gave the Australians, a "mental hold" over New Zealand on Australia's 2000 tour of that country.
Mentioned below are the alleged weaknesses of the South African players as per the dossier:
Graeme Smith: 'When Smith is not in form, his feet don't move that much and he can be very susceptible to lbw. We should look to develop some doubts in his mind and get him lbw. While he has improved his offside game, he is still less proficient outside off stump.'