'Diligence and care' lacking in taper training February 25, 2007

Simpson blasts Australia over injuries

Cricinfo staff

Andrew Symonds first hurt his arm at training before aggravating it against England © Getty Images

Bob Simpson has launched a scathing attack on Australia's coaching and team preparations in the wake of injuries to several key players. Simpson said Andrew Symonds' bicep problem was a prime example of misguided training techniques.

Symonds initially hurt his arm during Australia's taper training during the CB Series. "Symonds' injury was particularly disappointing and is a pointer to the poor management and coaching," Simpson said in the Indian magazine SportsStar.

"It was at one of these four-hour sessions, which included two hours of fielding with emphasis on throwing, that Symonds felt the injury. He aggravated it the next day in the one-day match of the tri-series against England, necessitating a major operation. The amount of throwing practice that the Australian players underwent instead of a long, slow build-up over some weeks was unbelievable.

"Throwing is perhaps the most dynamic of all physical actions in cricket and must be undertaken with diligence and care. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to have been done in Symonds' preparations."

Simpson, who emphasised fielding practice during his time as Australia's coach in the 1980s, also said Shane Watson's struggle to develop himself could have been managed better by Australia's support staff. "While Watson is a competent, bustling cricketer, I have doubts if he has the skills or flexibility to cope with cricket at the highest level," Simpson said.

"To me, he looks like an over-coached player, lacking in natural skills and movements. Perhaps this is one reason why he has had so many injuries."