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Buchanan says Australia were 'soulless'

December 20, 2003 10:46 IST

Australia coach John Buchanan has accused his team of producing a "soulless" display and of paying too much attention to private sponsorship deals in the second Test defeat by India earlier this week.

Buchanan wrote a savage letter to his players during the four-wicket defeat in Adelaide which put India 1-0 up in the four-test series.

He was critical of Australia's performance on Monday (day four), saying the side had been "immature" in their shot selection as they scored only 196 in the second innings in good batting conditions.

Local newspapers published extracts on Saturday of Buchanan's letter. "Boys, I am so disappointed with the soulless, 'un-baggy green (cap)', immature performance today," he wrote.

"I question what progress have we made as a team, as individuals?

"I love each and every one of you but, like my own family, you thrill, you frustrate, you anger.


"In the lead-up to this game and up until tonight (Monday), the issues that have dominated conversations, priorities and by definition (I may well be incorrect), your attention/focus/clarity -- deal-making; sponsors; Tug's (captain Steve Waugh's) farewell to Adelaide; helmets; what the media is saying about you.

"(You are) letting yourselves down seeking excuses rather than being totally responsible for your decisions."

Buchanan was quoted by the Adelaide Advertiser on Saturday as saying: "It's a private letter obviously.

"It's disappointing if it found its way anywhere. It's a matter between myself and the players, not just the players, the whole team. That would be my only comment."

It is the fourth time Buchanan's memos to the team have ended up in the public domain.

The coach of the World Cup champions and top-ranked test side has previously seen his team plans published in the Australian media during series against England, South Africa and New Zealand.

A document from Buchanan was intended for Australia's players on the 2001 Ashes tour but a copy was also inadvertently slipped under the door of a journalist's room at a hotel where the team were staying.

The third Test against India is in Melbourne starting on December 26.

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