Proteas in Australia

Oz play down leaked 'dossier'

2012-11-08 10:23
Michael Clarke (AFP)

Brisbane - Australia captain Michael Clarke has played down the significance of the so-called "Protea Files" leaked in the local media a day ahead of the series-opening test against South Africa.

The Courier-Mail newspaper reported Thursday it had obtained a two-page dossier revealing Australia's blueprint for targeting perceived weaknesses in each of the South Africa players, including a "psychological war" on top-order batsman Hashim Amla.

Clarke said the Australian team didn't create the document, adding "there's certainly information in there that is common knowledge."

"We as a team do not have an official dossier ... We look at footage, we talk about opposition players, we study opposition strengths and weaknesses," he said. "But the most important thing for me is not what you say, it's about what you do.

"There's been enough said in the media and the series has been built up beautifully, two very strong cricket teams, now it's about what we do."

It's the second time in a dozen years that what have been reported as internal team documents have hit the news pages - former coach John Buchanan created a stir when he accidentally slipped plans targeting the New Zealand team under the wrong door at the team hotel in 2000.

Clarke rejected the suggestion the information was deliberately leaked this time as a psychological ploy against the top-ranked South Africans.

South Africa captain Graeme Smith saw the funny side of the story, saying profiling opposition players is nothing new.

"I guess it's not that secret any more," he said. "We try to keep it in the guys' heads as much as possible so dossiers aren't left lying around!"

Besides, he said there was nothing new in the contents of the reports.

"Nothing we didn't expect," he said. "All of us have played enough against Australia, we know what it's going to take to be victorious here.

"Our preparation has been really clinical and intelligent."

South Africa only needs to draw the three-match series to retain the No. 1 ranking.

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