May 12, 1999
Watch out for weaknesses
Potentially, the Indian team is unbeatable. To convert the potential into success the team will need some minor corrections both individually and collectively. No team howsoever strong can remain unbeatable throughout the tournament. Since a defeat in a crucial match can greatly demoralise the players and push them in a position where all the remaining matches have to be won to remain in the race, it would be advisable to pre-select a tension-free match and use the opportunity for experimental approach, rest to those need it and honing of reserve strength. The defeat in a inconsequential match should not be taken as a damaging surprise. On the contrary, it should work as a safety valve against accumulation of avoidable tension.
The body language should never emit disappointment, helplessness and lack of confidence. Such expressions can only work as tonic for the opponents. When fielding, all players MUST continuously, but appropriately encourage one another. Small gestures such as visible applause over good throw, good save, dot ball etc. are very important to keep the spirits high. Maintain a smiling face to reflect confidence. A boundary hit on your good ball should not result in an expression full of consternation and helplessness (Attention: Kumble). The batsman is not going to take pity on you and offer his wicket on the very next ball. Your cunning smile may cause the batsman to think whether the boundary was offered as bait by the scheming bowler.
More than one fielder should be seen as chasing every ball. The captain and the mid-on/mid-off players should be seen offering small tips to the bowler. Long discussions should be held only when a wicket falls or during drinks interval.
Just believe in yourself and don't ever give up till the last ball is bowled.
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