John Arlott via Wisden Cricinfo:
“Australianism means single-minded determination to win – to win within the laws but, if necessary, to the last limit within them. It means where the ‘impossible’ is within the realm of what the human body can do, there are Australians who believe that they can do it – and who have succeeded often enough to make us wonder if anything is impossible to them. It means they have never lost a match – particularly a Test match – until the last run is scored or their last wicket down.”
That’s why I admire Australia. There’s a reason they’re one of the most successful teams in the world over the past 100 years. They’ve always been counted amongst the very best, and both Steve Waugh’s and Don Bradman’s Invincibles compare to any great outfit in any sport across the world. The result of an excellent domestic policy that provides both the facilities and opportunities for talent to develop, a history of great leaders, and – most crucially – a national culture that values discipline, effort, grit, and winning.
That is Australianism – exemplified by David Boon’s classic battle against India and dehydration in Madras, which helped Australia believe in itself after years in the doldrums, and Steve Waugh’s over-my-dead-body innings that marked a turning point in world cricket and officially established Australian dominance.
Dean Jones talks about some of the reasons Australia was so successful in the second part of the interview I linked to above, and the significance of their victories over India and Pakistan in 1987 – interesting stuff.
It’s a brilliant study in self-development because it primes one to never give up. It’s a lesson many people have yet to learn – but I am confident that more people would achieve their potential and be successful if they imbibed some of that spirit and chose not to lose hope and stop fighting.