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|February 25, 2000||
Same old storyThe Spare Crib/Abhilasha Khaitan
Not that it's unexpected, but each time it happens, don't you just applaud and cringe at the same time? I know I do. For each time that man Sachin proves his mettle, his team-mates collapse around him, and we all chant, here we go again.
Takes a lot of getting used to for us viewers. Wonder how that guy takes it. Little wonder that he finally shed that additional burden of captaincy, when he already has the onerous of task of making greater than equal to 50% of the team's score. Had Mister 'six ducks in a row' Agarkar not fired, the scorecard would have looked even more embarrassing than it already does.
And then they say, his batting suffers. Because he's captain, I think not. Because he always, but always, has to fire, yes, maybe. So, the solution is a tad more drastic than resigning from captaincy, what? Can't see him migrating to Australia (though its easy for even us mere mortals to do that, migrate to Aussieland!) or even South Africa, where he'd flourish and bloom. Nope, he's not doing that in a hurry. Quite the patriot, which makes him even more special. Pardon me for gushing, but am a little tired of understating my view on Sachin. He's quite simply a misfit in this team, and argue with that all you will.
I remember mentioning in one of my earlier pieces, how Sachin or Lara aren't the reasons why their nations aren't winning. How it's not their captiancy, but the teams which they lead that may be at fault. Not that their teams do not possess the talent, it's the willingness to exploit it to the fullest that they lack. The hunger and drive to be the best.
And I say it yet again. If Sachin's batting suffers, and it may yet. It's not often that he gets out in his 90s, because if there is anyone that knows how to make a century it's him. But, when he sees that it's all upto him, he may be stuck on 97, and no man on the other side of the wicket, that's when he gets out like he did yesterday. One century less for the little guy, and no one can say he didn't deserve it.
So, that's a problem. The solution? Ask me no questions, and I won't pretend like I know! It's not a short term one for sure, so the hullabaloo over the selection of a player or two could cease for starters. We're talking mind-set changes, and that even a professional psychologist may not manage for this team. Because, this one needs to come from within. Clichés galore come to my mind, but rest in peace, you are spared.
What can I say? That was just another day for Indian cricket, and another diatribe from a cricket fan. Hoping today will be any different is all we can pray for. And if only prayers could win matches, we'd be the world champions.
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