A few weeks before the Australian team reached India for a long tour - first a bilateral series, followed by the World Cup - Pritesh Joshi was called up by the team management.
A side-arm specialist from Vadodara, Joshi had worked with the Australian team during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, and the Aussies once again wanted him to be part of their support group during the long tour.
Over the last month-and-a-half, Joshi worked with the Australian side that went on to beat India in the final on Sunday to clinch its record sixth World Cup title. It was certainly not an easy task to master the Indian conditions, but the players and the support staff made it a point to cut out the noise and focus on the job in hand.
That strategy worked. “Initially, they looked tired after a long tour of South Africa and the three-match ODI series against India. They were exhausted and perhaps that played a bit of a role in us losing the first two games,” Joshi told Sportstar.
However, as the tournament progressed, Australia aced its game. “The environment was very chilled out and everyone was in the right headspace. The best thing about this team is that they are very clear in their planning and everyone knows what to do,” he said.
Having worked with the team for a while now, Joshi has befriended Marcus Stoinis and Cameron Green. “We practiced regularly, and it was also a learning experience for me to work with a champion team and understand how they handle crunch situations. It was fantastic,” Joshi said.
Ahead of the final, the environment in the camp was ‘quite relaxed’. “A lot of the players did not turn up for practice, and just tried to stay calm and quiet ahead of the big game. We had a look at the wicket, which was dry, and accordingly, the plans were made. They approached the game with a positive mindset as they did not have anything to lose,” he added.
While captain Pat Cummins ensured the team remained positive, the players, too, played their roles to perfection.
Going forward, Joshi hopes to work with the Indian team. “As an Indian, I really hope to see our team win the World Cup title,” Joshi said, adding: “I would be happy to contribute.”
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