Australia has talked the talk and largely walked the walk about changing the way it plays in the wake of the ball tampering scandal but whether the cultural revolution led by Justin Langer stands up under the pressure of a World Cup remains to be seen.
Over the past 12 months the Aussies have made a point of being more respectful and letting their actions rather than their words do the work on the field — an approach that wasn't always so common in yesteryear.
Four years ago as Michael Clarke led Australia to World Cup glory on home soil the contrast between the bullish Australians and nice guys from New Zealand was made clear in the final. Wicketkeeper Brad Haddin attracted criticism for giving send-offs to Grant Elliott and Martin Guptill, and after winning the decider mocked the Kiwis for being too pleasant.
Haddin returns to another World Cup, this time as Australia's fielding coach, and stood his ground when confronted with an awkward reminder of that game in 2015. Talking to journalists yesterday, he was quizzed about whether he regrets his behaviour in the final, given he's now part of a set-up where being a good bloke and showing respect and humility is as important as cover drives and outswingers.
Haddin abruptly shut down a conversation with an English reporter after bristling at the line of questioning in their tense exchange.
Reporter: On the new culture that Justin's brought in over the last year or so and raised on-field standards of behaviour, when you look back to the last World Cup final, do you have any regrets now (about) the way you acted?
Reporter: Does that not go against what the new culture is meant to be?
Haddin: No one was reported. I don't know where you're going with this.
Reporter: We can expect that from Australia in this World Cup, can we?
Haddin: A win?
Reporter: No. Sledging, send-offs, whatever you want to call it.
Haddin: I think you're looking for something that's not there. Next question.
In the aftermath of the cheating scandal there were suggestions Australia should look to New Zealand for inspiration as the Kiwis — led by Brendon McCullum and later Kane Williamson — embraced the importance of playing in the right spirit. Former coach Darren Lehmann even suggested his troops should take a leaf out of the Black Caps' book and culture is still very much a hot topic almost 14 months after Australian cricket's darkest day.
Haddin cracked up the media throng with a sarcastic "beg your pardon" when one cheeky journalist mentioned he had a reputation in his playing days of never being shy in the sledging department, but he refused to give much away when pressed on how much the team's culture has changed since the South African controversy.
Rather than dwell on whether the Aussies were going to walk on eggshells, he preferred to emphasise how crucial it was they imposed themselves on the contest when they crossed the boundary line.
"Obviously we had some things we had to work through over the last 12 months but that's been put to bed a long time ago," Haddin said. "Now it's about getting into really good habits and getting ready for this first game.
"You want a contest out there. That doesn't have to be verbalised — that's the way you present yourself with your body, that's the way you create that environment. You can create that environment in the field with the presence you set so all anyone wants out there is a fair contest."
As for whether David Warner — a man known in the past for pushing the infamous "line" we've heard so much about — is under any specific instructions to keep the chat to a minimum in the field, Haddin said he doesn't expect the returning star to back down from being the intimidating presence he normally is. However, rather than using an acid tongue to assert himself, the ex-Aussie gloveman believes Warner has enough tools in his kit bag to make an impact without opening his mouth.
"David will bring the energy he always does," Haddin said. "He's a real competitor in the field just with the presence he brings, with the movement he does in the field.
"The running between wickets, he ups the ante of the tempo when he's out there."