destination india

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

return of the feel good factor

It makes all of us feel good to be on the winning side. In a country where emotions run high at the very mention of the word cricket and when polls are conducted at the drop of a hat to discover the pulse of the masses, the spectacular win in the first ODI of this series with Sri Lanka seems to carry a message – it is clear and simple: we have locked our sights to 2007. The select group proved without doubt that the fight is not lost in us; we can still make people chew their words. It was a perfect display of a well knit team where each and every member knew what was expected of him. The experimentation with Irfan Pathan was a master stroke – he turned out to be a surprise weapon. As the coach had said – thanks to technology, today all the players are aware of each other’s weaknesses and strengths. They capitalize on these traits. Hence, to maintain the one-upmanship, you must always possess special weapons.

There are any numbers of talented players and, if one does not deliver, another will. There is no place for complacent players. Tight schedules of shooting for ads in exotic location with beauties for company should not affect the performance on the field.

All said and done, a score of 350 with useful contributions by the top order was always going to be difficult to overhaul for the visitors, as it turned out. Sachin has changed the number on his shirt – it is now 33. His tennis elbow is a thing of the past; he has shifted gears and, hopefully, will ensure that 2007 belongs to us. It is a pity that he missed out on yet another century. And – Rahul Dravid has proved once again that he is not just a wall and a dependable player but also one who can change his style to suit the requirements of the situation. There was a point in his career when he was written off as one fit only for the bigger version of the game – he, however, is a player to the core. He can mould himself to any version – and deliver. He rightly deserves the MOM award. We expect his team to continue the winning spree.

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