Lachlan Kitchen (left), Australian RJ and cricket commentator, and David Warner. — X
Lachlan Kitchen, the popular Dubai-based RJ and cricket commentator at Talk 100.3 FM, knows how to control his emotions in big moments.
The Australian native, a lifelong member of the Sydney Cricket Ground, was commentating when Glenn Maxwell scored the winning runs in Sunday’s World Cup final against India.
But he didn’t let out a roar and jump for joy.
“I didn’t want to be a bad winner. I didn’t want to scream like ‘Yeaah, the Aussies have done it,’” Kitchen told the Khaleej Times.
Kitchen, who had attended his first World Cup match in 1992 as a nine-year-old when his team took on South Africa at the SCG, reveals why Australia always rise to the challenge in big matches.
“I think they see it more as a game. It’s nothing more important than that. It’s a game and they approach it with a smile. Of course, they have the self-confidence,” he said of Australia’s record of winning six out of eight World Cup finals.
The Aussies, according to Kitchen, also have the rare luxury of drawing inspiration from their iconic past champions.
“Australia have generations of players to look up to. Look, Mitchell Marsh’s father, Geoff Marsh, won the 1987 World Cup in India,” he said.
“Then every time, Steve Waugh, Adam Gilchirst, Ricky Ponting walk into the dressing room for a chat with the boys, they pass on the knowledge, maybe, on how to win the big matches in the World Cups.”
But even with that legendary big-match temperament, Kitchen didn’t expect Australia, who were languishing at the bottom of the table after losing the first two matches, to stage a stirring comeback.
“Not at all. This was an Australian team that 12 months ago had a brand new captain in Pat Cummins. Marnus Labuschagne was not even in the side. He only came as a concussion replacement in South Africa last September. I really didn’t expect this sort of a comeback,” he said.
“They were unaware of what their best eleven was. I thought they were going to be unprepared for the tournament.”
Catches win matches
Travis Head has now become a part of the cricket folklore with his incredible, diving catch to dismiss Rohit Sharma in the final before scoring a magical hundred.
But Kitchen says it was David Warner’s athleticism on the field in the third game against Sri Lanka that turned Australia’s fortunes around.
Having lost their first two matches, the Aussies were reeling from a blazing start by Sri Lanka, but Warner pulled off two breathtaking catches to inject new life into Australia.
“I think the turning point came in the match against Sri Lanka when Warner took two amazing catches to get Australia back; Sri Lanka, if you remember had got off to a great start, and they scored big in their two previous games. That was our third match, after losing the first two,” he said.
Those two catches brought Australia back into the game as they went on to produce a brilliant eight-match unbeaten run before putting India to the sword in the final.
“Most of these Australian players play regularly in India, they played there in a Test series earlier this year, so many Australians play in the IPL every year. So they know the conditions very well,” he said.
“Also, seven players in this squad won the World Cup in 2015. They have the experience of being in these situations in big moments.”