destination india

Friday, March 11, 2005

give the newbies a chance

The current series with Pakistan has generated quite an amount of goodwill. It would have been even more meaningful if more newbies had been given chances. But, our old, tried and tired team is at it again. A great one for chasing records, we believe in the minimum of experimentation. Once in a while, we do induct someone and drop him like a red hot brick when he fails to come up to expectations; simultaneously we heap criticism on whoever was responsible of trying out the variation.

At the beginning of this series with Pakistan, our leading players had something or the other to prove: Tendulkar needed a century to become the topmost century scorer of World cricket, Captain Saurav wanted 99 more runs to reach 5000 runs, Kumble needed 6 more wickets to reach a magical figure of 450, and Harbhajan was 11 short of the 200 figure mark. Apart from these, the Captain had one more thing to prove – having been minus a century for the last 13 innings in a row, he would have liked to get back into the scoring mood, not nick at outsiders and return to the pavilion with a wry face. It may be noted that the average age of our Team is 30 plus. By the time the next World Cup comes, they would have become old soldiers to whom the comforts of the pavilion would be more welcome than the grueling rigors of jumping, flinging and performing all sorts of acrobatics to prevent runs from being scored by the opponents. Cricket has been transformed today to a game where only the super acrobats can survive, not those who move around the field like sloths.

In comparison, Pakistan has come with a relatively younger side. They know that their chances of a win against a formidable side like the Indians are remote. Still, they have come with larger visions; they would like their youngsters to gain invaluable experience, not just of Indian conditions but also of the cricketing culture.

Not only Pakistan but all cricket playing nations are grooming their youth for the coming years.

In contrast, we still stick to the same team and promote players who have an indomitable desire to remain on top of the charts so that their earning potentials from sponsorship are not easily snatched away by others. This is, I think, what selfishness is all about. Considering the present composition of the Pakistan team, would it not have been better to have given chances this time to more youngsters rather than hoping for individual milestones to materialize?

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