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|February 4, 2000||
Talk big, think bigSonia Savkar
As a great chunk of the Indian population ponders and looks for answers to explain how this debacle Down Under happened we get a great heap of vivisected and dissected, macro and micro views from just about every true expert and the not so true.
By now we know that Indians can't bat on fast wickets, their diet lacks the Will Pill, the BCCI secretary is at odds with the coach, the BCCI is odd, period, the players have lost the interest to play for God, country or just plain fun, at least half of the team at any given moment on the field should have been watching the game on television back home - in short whichever way you look at it everything sucks.
But what do the players think? What does it take to get their honest opinion on what they think went wrong? For that matter are they thinking at all? By now I can lip synch for Sachin for pre match and post match statements and ghost write his answers for his brief interviews. No, he doesn't think captaincy affects his performance because it hasn't been affected.Yes, it's disappointing to lose so badly but that's because the opponents were better.
No, he doesn't believe in pulling anyone up for bad bowling or batting or fielding because you don't scold adults and in the final analysis it's not their fault, it's his for not staying at the crease and making 145 runs at least.
Can you ever imagine Steve Waugh making that last statement? I remember him stating with confidence that he's got 11 players and if one fails the other takes over and if he fails there's another and on it goes. All for one and one for all.
A team. That's the only word to describe them. I haven't been inside the dressing room of the Australians but I have a strong inclination to believe that they don't sit around brooding too much if they hit a bad patch. That's not their nature. If the sun is shining outside it's time to play ball and have another go. For them, every new day brings a new opportunity and if they're on a winning streak they'll go hell for leather to hold on to it. This team believes in backing up their word with action and result. If they say they'll win the series you know deep down they will no matter how much you pray that Sachin or Dravid or Ganguly will weave some miracle and all three come good with the bat simultaneously.
Perhaps the answer for our team lies in just that. Talking about winning, not just at home but away as well. Perhaps it's too soon for any of them to say with conviction 'We'll win this!' the next time they go overseas, but then again it might not be. When you talk big you're committed to doing something about it. Committed to grassier wickets at home, better training facilities and more accountability from the management and the players for a start.
And that's why I'm waiting, we're waiting - so many of us who've invested time and energy and emotions in this beloved game - for someone other than expert observers to tell us something we don't know. So come on, please Mr.Dalmiya, Kapil, the BCCI, Sachin and whoever else holds a position that matters, tell us that you know what the whole world knows and you care enough to try and change things toute de suite, which means starting today and not tomorrow.
Tell us you'll be darned if you'll let Indian cricket die like Indian hockey.
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