OPINION

Hitting the Summit

December 24, 2008
BangaloreGuy

If you're a cricket writer worth your salt, then by this time you would have written about Australia's loss of form, and also somewhere pondered about the impending competition between Indian and South African teams for the number 1 slot. There would be case studies on the different aspects - with some like Ian Chappell describing Indians as slightly ahead because of their balanced bowling attack vis-a-vis the South Africans as also the captain, Dhoni. There would also be some other chaps who would celebrate rise of South Africa more than India purely because it puts cricket's no1 somewhere in the "white" folds.

If India are to raise their game enough to be number 1 in all forms of the game, they should necessarily be as competitive as the Aussies were - against all teams. The Aussies didnt get to be number 1 by beating the top teams comprehensively and by just beating the lesser ones. The Aussies beat all comers (save India) rather comprehensively. Even if it was Bangladesh, they looked to beat them by an Innings and more in tests, and by hundred runs or more in ODIs - and they frequently did that.

It is this aspect that has to be embraced by any team which wants to be number 1.

Hence, for a team with a stated goal of wanting to be number 1 in Tests and ODIs - the shocking display of not declaring and going after England - on a 5th day with about 60 overs left is not on. The goal has to be always a Win - and when that looks impossible, a draw). A series win of 2-0 looks much better for a team than does a 1-0 - especially against an England team which they'd whitewashed in ODIs.

M S Dhoni missed more than a trick when he said he wanted the Yuvi and Gambhir to get to their centuries. In similar circumstances in Sydney, Ricky Ponting put India in, to play out 72 overs - and aided by some gobsmacking umpiring mistakes, and appeals that bordered on the wrong side of cheating - they did show India up.

It is unfathomable how an England team which got the best of conditions to bat on, and could only muster up 320 or so, can achieve a similar score in the last innings of a Test, with the pressure of losing the game, and perhaps in fading light - at a higher ask.

When commentators speak about Cricket being a mental game, it is to this that they refer. Cricket's a game of confidence - something that stares you in the face, when you look into the Aussie era of the last decade or so - wins from positions where others would cave-in, in fact some of them wins just because Aussies believed in Winning longer than anyone else, epitomising what Alec Baldwin says in Pearl Harbor "Victory belongs to those that believe in it the most and believe in it the longest. We're going to believe"

BG blogs off and on, on politics, current affairs and anything else that catches his fancy. He used to take his politics rather seriously - but doesn't anymore!
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Hitting the Summit

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Author: BangaloreGuy

 

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#1
Chandra
December 24, 2008
11:20 PM


Ya, we are all smarter than MSD and we know better. We have greater information about the pitch and bowlers than our captain and we know to use that information better than our Captain. Lastly but not the least, we are aggressive go getters who want to win everything while our captain is very happy with a 1-0 win.

#2
kerty
December 24, 2008
11:40 PM

There is no excuse for India's non-game plan in 2nd inning. In spite of having impressive 1st inning lead, India seemed interested only to draw the game. From the get go, India was in no hurry to score runs, going at it less than 2-3 runs an over. In spite of losing play time to fog, India was content to score at snails pace and by the time it declared which seemed like it took forever to do it, it was too late, there is no hope left to get the England side out within 30 or so overs. At no time in 2nd inning, India played to win this game.

#3
pravesh
December 25, 2008
06:16 AM

Absolutely, no excuse for such a horrible "SELFISH" ploy by MS Dhoni. I think he thinks himself now to be bigger than the game. He is behaving like a aristrocrat.

#4
Chandra
December 25, 2008
07:02 PM

Kerty, Pravesh

You are absolutely right! It is this wrong attitude that has led India to end 2008 on number 2 in both Test and ODI cricket rankings. hahahaha.....

#5
commonsense
December 25, 2008
08:11 PM

Chandra:

"Kerty, Pravesh

You are absolutely right!"

hmmm, i thought only the non-existant God and self-styled prophets are "absolutely" right!! But that's just pea-brained me!

#6
Chandra
December 26, 2008
05:53 AM

CS

So you finally realised you are pea brained?

#7
commonsense
December 26, 2008
11:11 AM

Chandra,

I knew that all along, so it's not a discovery - my pea brain was always what it is.

Anybody who actually seriously argues with Kerty couldn't be anything else. I thought smart people like you would know that err, ummm, unless, err, ummm you too are....?

#8
commonsense
December 26, 2008
10:06 PM

Take #2, since I have nothing better to do:

Do I have a pea-brain? I thought everyone with a standard-issue brain would answer yes to that question. Who else but a pea-brained guy would argue seriously with fundamentalists such as Kerty and Ruvy?

#9
BangaloreGuy
URL
December 28, 2008
03:26 AM

Chandra,

Getting to no.2 has been fairly easy - India's done that under different captains - its been the getting to no.1 (and staying there) thats been tough - even when India were World Champions. There's a vast gulf in points between no.1 and the rest - and there's (or was) good reason for it.

Besides, if we cant win 2-0 in a 2 test series at home, where will we aim to win it?

Parvesh,
Never said it was a selfish ploy mate - even winning is selfish, for that matter. I just said it doesnt help in being no.1

Kerty,
yep.

CS,
common-sense pea-brain and fundamentalists all in a couple of lines - thats funny, mate!

#10
Chandra
December 28, 2008
09:44 AM

Bangaloreguy

I donot think it was possible to win this game. Anyway, we will know in 2010 whether we are good enough.

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