destination india

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

the new look team

The declaration has come at last – a team of sixteen with a huge responsibility on their shoulders. A mix of young and the not so young, we hope for good healthy competitive cricket on both the big and small versions for quite sometime to come. While the bigger versions test the sustainability, perseverance, tenacity, grit and determination of players, the smaller version is all about flashes in the pan on the particular day. With the bowlers being punished for the slightest error and the batsman always getting the benefit of doubt, it finally boils down to, in a lighter vein, as benefit matches for batsmen.

Rahul ‘Jammy’ Dravid takes on the task of the Captain and millions of hearts flutter in anticipation. Born in Indore on 11/1/1975, he plays for Karnataka and has earned the distinction as the Invincible one, the Wall. His face is always devoid of expression, his mind, a mystery. He takes wins and losses with equal aplomb. The team he finally gets has some old-timers, a few recalls and a couple of debutantes. A reasonably good mix, one can safely comment. With the World cup fast approaching, the team should set its sights on creating a winning combination, the players have to develop an understanding among themselves, when on the field, they have to interpret the tiniest of signals of their mates, they have to cultivate the habit of scoring singles and twos, of grounding the bats when stealing cheeky singles, of latching on to catches, of knowing when to play cautiously, when to throw caution to the winds. They have to work as a team – not look for individual milestones. When the team wins, milestones are created automatically. The concept of dependence on a couple of players to see the team through has got to be shown the boot.

The new Aussy coach can guide the boys, he cannot play on their behalf, he cannot take their decisions, he can only sit in the pavilion and sigh and bite his finger nails when he sees his ward commit stupid errors and lose games that should be won. It is for the boys to deliver, not shirk responsibilities. When the team wins, each of the players stand to gain some material goodies, let us hope it gets into the winning habit and not make tall claims. Runner up in a World cup does not necessarily mean that the team can mow down the opposition with ease – it has to prove that it can do it.

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