Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Its time commone sense prevailed.

With too many strategies, too many new faces in the equation, a couple of series in the subcontinent, just before the world cup and an out of form coach not being supported and respected, we need to get back to common sense approach towards this game, which has long been missing from Indian cricket.

After a record run of successful chases, things suddenly started heading south. A spat between Saurav Ganguly and coach Greg Chappell was blown out of proportions. Despite some of the most experienced campaigners being involved in the issue, it went from upsetting to ugly. Discretion with bringing media to join the discussion table always pays well, a lesson learner. Whatever Chappell’s plans were for the world cup, he wouldn’t have pictured, Ganguly in his world cup squad. Well the coach took a lot of heat for the issue from the people and the management.

So much of disregard can have an upsetting effect on this cricketing legend. It must have reflected upon the environment within the team as well. Incidents of arrogance, shirking and sulking are surfacing far too frequently for comfort. Latest being Sehwag not turning up for nets, telling the waiting coach that ‘he didn’t feel like’, when asked why. While all this must have been affecting the team’s performance Ganguly was brought back and he fired to boot. Then came Dinesh Karthik and he fired too. Its clear, given whats happening within the team, players spending time outside the team are a bit at an advantage. Excluding Kumble from ODIs back fired too and now he is back and back with a punch. If Chappell were still playing he sure would be out of form as time seems not as favorable for him.

But we must put it all behind and respect the coach for the good that he has done for the team. And there are quite a few positives to speak of actually. India’s fielding credentials were despicable before his arrival. Recognizing Dhoni and turning him into what he is today. The coach has also shown that a win has always been highest in his agenda and he has shown it a lot of times. Latest example was seen in SA when he put all his personal issues behind and taught Ganguly to roll his wrists over the ball, while playing the expensive off side shots, that he plays through the gulley. Before Ganguly would often find it hard to keep the bowl down playing that shot due to which he lost his wicket a lot in that area. Chappell carries tons of experience with him and the team can learn a lot from him. We learned that he was giving Sehwag a different kind of practice in SA with bowling machine set at the high to emulate SA bowlers’ bowling. Given Viru’s special hand eye coordination, whether it was on Viru’s behest that he was doing that or whatever was the plan, the plan didn’t work as well as they were hoping and both coach and Viru were thwarted while the fact remains that they were trying.

Coach is kind of helpless, the team, till now has failed to regard and support him and his strategies, the coach him self is not the usual genial gentlemen type that Indian cricketers and management are use to, somehow the harmony has been missing. Too much has been found out within the team to be done, we hardly get time to pay attention to the other team, their weaknesses, their strengths; we just keep struggling within ourselves.

But we have run out of time. Its time we set the record straight and get back to common sense cricket. If we get our combination right, we really can take on any team, we have match winners and so many of them in our team. So even if we can do that much, we would be able to put up a great display. And if by some miracle we grow confident enough about our own stand so much so that we are able to also find time to analyze our opponents, without feeling overworked, we really stand a chance of making it to the top.

My idea of common sense cricket is, take each game on its merit. Plan for that game and that game only. Planning too far ahead is not gonna pay off. Don’t clutter your minds with too many things, do the needful as and when needed, just plan and play for the win. And yes, all of the players must back each other and the coach at this stage.

Seems like I know it all :)

With world cup round the corner, we should’ve been trying to recollect and relive our Caribbean experiences, but we are digging far deeper in the subcontinent instead. Almost every thing has changed, since our last visit to the Caribbean. Tendulkar who was missing from the ODI scene there is gaining his form back while Sehwag who fired in two of the ODIs there, is loosing it. Add to that new faces in the equation, bowling line up going through an entire overhauling. The role of the bowling spearhead is struggling to find a worthy candidate. I think Kumble and Harbhajan must gain some experience bowling in tandem as all of it is likely to get back to them. Yuvraj who played well there is short of batting practice but it just might work for him like it did for Karthik and Ganguly. Difference being that he has not being playing domestic cricket either. Only positive to come out of this series with Sri Lanka is some hands on for our group match with Sri Lanka.

1 comment:

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