Graham Swann’s recent jibe that England continue to single-handedly keep Test cricket alive became a nail-bitingly brilliant mantra for the final day’s play in Cape Town’s drawn Third Test. With the final rubber about to start, I spent some downtime flicking on the cricketing web through recent analysis and came across Ashes winning pair of Captain Michael Vaughan and coach Duncan Fletcher discussing their approach.
There were some delightful pointers to anyone running a sales team, many of which reference the 2005 reclamation of the Aussie’s long-held urn:
Trustful Relationship – This is essential in any team. It stems from respect and confidentiality. Respect in each other’s ability and their knowledge, and knowing the other person’s faults (both technical & personal) but keeping them to yourself.
Shared Vision – Everyone must both be ‘on the same page’ as well as having the same focus and horizon. In their case, they each saw the 2005 series as their focus and knew the team make-up would need to change to meet that challenge in the two-year run-up to it.
Get Character – Talent is not enough. They deliberately sought players that would have the character to fight. The same went for their backroom, of which they couldn’t speak highly enough. Of all the contentious selection decisions they made, the person that won out was always the one which they felt demonstrated their desired character (Pietersen over Thorpe’s dodgy back, achievement connected to his 100th cap just gained and mental scars from previous drubbings and Jones ousting Read for the gloves due to his batting).
Show Consistency – It is vital to show this from start to finish. When something went badly wrong in the first game of a big series, what has changed to make you think that the team originally chosen is no longer fit for the duration? In their eyes, the answer is nothing, as vindicated by their (admittedly bizarre injury to McGrath aided) Lords-Edgbaston turnaround. When you suddenly lose one, remember the terrific twelve months you had beforehand and think of that, rather than dwell on the loss. And the same goes when getting a youngster in to replace a legend. See their potential and allow them to develop into their own legend.