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|February 14, 2000||
Tomorrow is another dayThe Spare Crib/Abhilasha Khaitan
You know what I call a win-win situation? India Seniors vs. India A vs. India B. Now, that's what I call a happy situation. Whatever they do, India can't lose. They should have more of these, what? Just to keep that winning feeling alive. Because winning a match isn't exactly like riding a bicycle or swimming or whatever, is it? It is possible to forget how, and that doesn't augur too well. So, the organizers of the Challenger Trophy had the right idea, right? Fairly smart, creating winners out of a group of hopefuls, just before they set out to redeem at least an iota of what was lost Down Under.
And this is not all sarcasm, you know. I do mean it when I say that it's important for any team or person to feel like they can win, no matter what the level, prior to the big one. Hey, remember those silly inane tests that we all had to go through in school before the final exams? And if we did well in those, not much else, but at least the confidence levels were boosted, right? It's called the 'feel good' factor in some circles, and I'd say that factor can make or break your chances of succeeding in any situation. Not to say that the result would always be positive in terms of the final win-lose bit. But it would more often than not ensure a best effort, which is really what we could ever hope for.
Having said that, what we definitely do not need is a controversy or two. Really, keep those side issues exactly where they're supposed to be, on the side. Don't need them cluttering the table, which is in any case overflowing with the real problems of match-winning. So, the whys and the wherefores of selection, the inclusion and exclusion of players and the retention or removal of captains? Not interested. Talk cricket. And we have something to say, right?
And another thing, which definitely does not merit discussion, is the 'home soil winners' concept. So, who isn't one, eh? Do we denigrate Australia, South Africa and New Zealand when they win many matches on the trot on their own soil? On their own wickets and in front of their own crowds? Do we? No, we don't.
But, we have not too many nice things to say about our own team when they win a few at home. So, when media-persons and sportsmen tag the Indian team "unassailable" albeit in their own country, let's not even blink a eye, because they who don't take pride in their own, can't blame others for running them down.
So, we messed up big time Down Under. And, it's not going it be easy to live that one down. Fairly embarrassing, humiliating and what have you. But the idea is not to perpetuate the crime, is it? Would be a better notion to work on changing the tide, and hope it swings the right way this time.
And, let's do remember. At the end of the day, it is a game. And, in a game there are winners, and then there are losers. You win some and you lose some. Lost a lot, we have. So, winning ain't going to come easy. Not even on home turf, because lest you forget, what is an advantage for most countries, is not always so for India. Because, we the people are the biggest critics of our own. Would take a brave man to obliterate the presence of the thousands of eyes boring into you, willing you to do well, or not do at all. Very minimal margin for error, and why not? It's not been easy going for the fans either, you have to admit.
A tough situation awaits. And unlike at Motera, at Mumbai, India can lose. Or win. It's all about how big the dream is. Because, every loser wins, once the dream begins.
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