“Pickle juice please”.
This wasn’t a partying teenager calling out to a bartender in the midst of a Saturday night binge. Instead, it was Matthew Wade’s desperate plea to the Australian dressing room in the match against Pakistan at Brisbane today.
Coming in at the fall of Mitchell Marsh’s wicket, Matthew Wade walked in with the scoreboard reading 78/5. As wickets continued to fall around him, Wade held fort. As Australia pinned their hopes on the wicket-keeper batsman’s fighting abilities with the bat, Wade got busy. He nudged and pushed along while rotating the strike and keeping the scoreboard ticking along.
There was just one problem though, but this had nothing to do with wickets falling at the other end. The humidity at Brisbane today was in excess of 80% and with all the ones and two’s that Wade was running about, fatigue and cramps began to creep in.
And by the end of the 40th over, Wade had seen enough and summoned for Australia’s “secret ingredient” – pickle juice.
It worked like magic
A quick gargle from a small green bottle was all that Wade needed to resurrect his batting and the fortunes of Australia’s innings. Soon enough, he was striking boundaries with gay abandon. Sixes ensued as well, much to the delight of the crowd which had nothing much to cheer until that stage.
As Pakistan’s bowlers wilted under the humidity, Wade flourished. He scampered for an improbable two off the penultimate ball of the innings and then brought up his hundred off the final ball with a single.
Sure enough, the pickle juice had done the trick.
A hundred was scored, Australia had a target to bowl at and when their bowlers cleaned up a hapless Pakistan batting line up, the match was won by a massive 92 runs.
A known Australian secret
While this was perhaps the first time that we’ve witnessed pickle juice being used by cricketers to rehydrate, the Australians seem to have discovered the properties of the juice as an agent to treat cramps well before the rest of the cricketing world.
Watch video of Australia experimenting with pickle juice
The theory, according to Damian Mednis (a strength and conditioning coach), stems from the fact that studies have proven that pickle juice helps in easing cramps.
Apparently, when pickle juice makes contact with the back of the throat (which houses a nerve centre), it stimulates the nerve system to shut down the overactive neurons that cause cramps.
As the commentators picked up Wade’s call for pickle juice from the stump mic, chuckles and jokes started to flow. And when Wade began cramping again when wicket-keeping, Chappell couldn’t hold back – “Wade seems to be struggling with cramp. More pickle juice I think,” he said.
The Australian fans weren’t going to let this pass. Some of them took to Twitter.