Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Sachin dropped or rested ?

The media is trying to create an issue unnecessarily with the dropping or resting of Sachin Tendulkar for the Bangladesh tour.

It is quite apparent that the right time to try new faces is this tour to Bangladesh.
And when the selectors are themselves at pain explaining that Sachin has been rested, why is the media trying to force down our throat that Sachin has been "dropped" ??

They are unnecessarily creating pressure on Sachin.

I will call it cheap journalism.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Playing for Brother Greg

Ian Chappell's article hosted on Cricinfo is full of one-dimensional views in support of brother Greg.

Read his full article at: http://content-ind.cricinfo.com/extracover/content/current/story/288909.html

"Greg would accept it as part of his job to challenge the him to resurrect his batting in order to help India win matches."

Sachin does not need Greg to challenge him, for him to know that he has to improve. Greg was poking his nose in everybody and was too tough and unrelenting. Nobody can give his best with Damocles' sword hanging.

Talking of Greg's processes and stress on youth, he could not make any youngster count. Kaif, Raina both were dismal failures and had already been given extended run coz of Chappell's single-dimension view.

"There is no point in trying to be like an Indian when you've been employed because of your knowledge and experience as an Australian cricketer"

- What an inflammatory comment from Ian Chappell ! He is debasing the Indians here. No process and knowledge can be blindly applied without suitably tailoring it to the people around you. And Greg had rubbed most players wrongly. How can anybody embrace a person's knowledge and processes when he does not have basic man-management skill ? How can you take "gyan" from a person who is constantly questioning your attitude and is trying to find fault with you. A person hell-bent on finding fault will find fault with almost anything and everything.

A coach's job is to find out what works with his players. He cannot come with a pre-determined mindset without understanding the Indian psyche and culture.

"That is not questioning a player's attitude, that is called striving for improvement."

Wow !! What a fantastic play of words ! Greg has explicitly questioned player's attitudes and even called them mafia. He has constantly made public announcements of what should have been kept till the dressing room. As soon as he took over Indian cricket, he commented that Sachin will never be his destructive self again. Imagine, even if that is true, how it will play on the player's mind that they cannot share anything with coach for fear of the coach making it public.

The worse was to come later. In West Indies, Greg publicly announced that Irfan Pathan had lost his confidence. He was criticised even by the respected Wasim Akram that he would never have done this with his players, as it would undermine a player's self belief.

This Indian team - these are more or less the same players who reached the 2003 finals, without so-called Aussie wisdom that Greg Chappell brought, right ?

Greg has been a divisive force, and brought a lot of negative energy with him. As they say, one stinking fish rots the entire well !!.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Analyzing Sachin

The talks of Sachin's retirements are gaining momentum.

What has made this icon of Indian cricket to fall from grace in public's eye.

I think mainly 3 factors:

First and foremost, his injuries over the last 5-6 years which have forced him to cut down on his shots. Sachin has since long stopped playing the pull shot. He has been forced to cut down on aggression because he is no longer able to pull off attacking breathtaking shots, mainly due to his back injury and elbow injury.

Second, I think Sachin is not mentally strong when the going is tough. He used to dominate the opposition but ever since he started "accumulating" runs by changing his style of play, his stranglehold over the bowlers has become weak. Moreover, the biggest chink in his armour is that he is susceptible to sledging. I feel that Sachin loses his concentration when the players target him with sledging.

Third, he is now in a Catch-22 situation. So many other players are catching up with him in Test cricket that he must now make every opportunity count. So he will always be in a dilemma whether to go for his shots or cut down on risks and play percentage cricket. His focus is not very clear now.

I think Sachin is still good enough to play cricket for 3-4 more years and can still compete with the likes of Lara, Hayden and Ponting. He only needs to re-orient his mental thinking and be more purposeful. I think he needs to discard percentage cricket and go for his shots with controlled aggression. He should also practise coming down the track against spinners. If only he increases his mental intensity, I think he can regain the crown of the world's best batsman.

I hope and wish Sachin bounces back strongly.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Ponting Vs. Gavaskar. Are Aussies arrogant ?

Regarding Ponting's reply to Gavaskar's comments over Australia's behaviour :

In my view, it was about the truth pinching hard . Nearly all teams have had problems with Australia's on field verbal tactics.

The South Africans complained of racial abuse when they went there, and in fact pleaded their home crowd to boo the Aussies when they came for return series.

NewZealander Lou Vincent went public with his feelings against Australia by saying they hunt like a pack of dogs and they think they are above the game.

India's Sachin Tendulkar has been the target of Aussies verbal volleys so often, and in the recent malaysia tri-series, ponting made some rude remarks at him after he was called back by the umpire after being initially given out.

Sri Lanka's Muralitharan and Ranatunga have had problems with Aussies.

Brian Lara too. After he reached 400, Ponting instead of congratulating him, went on to say that Lara was a selfish player in going for the record.

No doubt "Arrogant Aussies" is the right tag for your team, Mr. Ponting.

Be a good ambassador for the sports first before trying to become the best batsman.
And as for his remarks that there are not too many popular winners, you only have to look at the popular Windies of the 80s, Sachin tendulkar, Roger Federer, etc. to see the hollowness of his remarks.

So many teams you have roughed up, are now coming out in the open. Who all will you reply to Mr. Ponting ?

Add to that, Ponting and Damien Martyn's recent behaviour against Mr. Sharad Pawar in the award-giving ceremony in the Champions Trophy in India.

Remember Chris Gayle Vs. Michael Clarke in the Champions Trophy where Gayle was fined but Clrake escaped. Gayle later said that the perpetrator of the crime should be equally punished.

The administrators of the game are turning a blind eye to Aussies on field behaviour.