The nature of Pakistan’s incredible turnaround in the opening Gabba Test impressed all and sundry.
From having been bowled out for 142 in their first innings to falling just 39 runs short from a win that seemed completely out of question — this was a once-in-a-lifetime feat that had many’s mouths agape with incredulity.
Same was the case with former Australia pacer Brett Lee, who while calling the match for TripleM, witnessed a turnaround that almost made it to the history books.
Pakistan’s gladiatorial Gabba chase
But as most have either credited centurion Asad Shafiq, his lower order companions, coach Mickey Arthur or captain Misbahul Haq, Lee feels there has been an oversight.
The man affectionately known as Binga feels Pakistan’s newfound fighting spirit bears the hallmark of their assistant coach Steve ‘Stumper’ Rixon.
In an article published on Sportsta.me, Lee identified Rixon as an unsung hero who works in the background, is an excellent man manager and instils a never-say-die attitude in his players.
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“I had the good fortune of playing under Steve at NSW and he’s an absolute genius of a coach,” wrote Lee.
“His influence on the tourists will go unnoticed by those outside of Pakistan’s inner sanctum, but among Steve’s numerous strengths and qualities is he knows how to speak to men.”
The 40-year-old continued, “I have no doubt his renowned mantra to ‘never give up’ would’ve been the chatter in Pakistan’s change room as they prepared to chase down 112 runs for victory on the final day’s play.”
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Lee was effusive in his praise for Pakistan, but felt Australia relaxed with the finish line in his sight — something he is sure Steve Smith’s men would never do again, thanks to the lessons learned in the first Test.
“They might’ve been guilty of taking their foot off the pedal…but I have no doubt they’ll never adopt such a mind-set again,” concluded the ex-pacer.
courtesy : express tribune