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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > Diary

Saying it like it isn't

Ashish Magotra | January 24, 2003

On Australia's tour of Pakistan in 1994/95, Australian wicket-keeping legend Ian Healy missed a possible stumping of Inzamam-ul Haq, and allowed the batsman to run for four byes that gave the hosts a single-wicket victory in the first Test at the Karachi National Stadium.

Healy was distraught, he didn't speak for quite some time, too stunned by what had transpired. It was his first real blemish in the game. Later, in his personal diary he wrote: Use it as an experience - life's realities experienced from the canvas. Must now get on with it.

That's exactly what the Indian team needs to do; Get on with it. The New Zealand tour is over, they have experienced life's realities from their vantage point flat on the canvas, and they have to use the experience to better themselves. The mark of greatness in every cricketer -- in every human -- is in the way he uses failures to motivate himself.

Team goals are important, but the individual goals are just as crucial -- without the individual there is no team. While playing regular international cricket it is difficult to actually sit and think about your game -- in the frenzy of competition, you can only focus on surviving the moment, like a marathoner focussing on putting one foot in front of the other. You are too engrossed in what is happening on the field to turn your attention to the errors that creep into your game.

Now, with a two-week break, the Indians have an opportunity to set matters right before the World Cup begins. Maybe this is what each one should NOT be thinking about - all in good humour of course.

John WrightJohn Wright: It all started off so well...we beat the Aussies at home, followed by Test wins in Zimbabwe, WI and England. I was living a dream and then I woke up. The BCCI (read Dalmiya) stepped in, the ICC-BCCI contract controversy, Sourav Ganguly's outbursts, the thrashing in New Zealand followed in quick succession. What's the use of all my plans if Ganguly decides to do his own thing on the field?  I wonder what the World Cup holds in store for me. Sure am glad the coaching term ends here.

Sourav Ganguly:  Martin Crowe, Nasser Hussain and Stephen Fleming at the same place, at the same time, this promises to be a lot of fun. Pity Steve Waugh didn't make it. He should have listened when I told him to mind his own business. As Rahul said, "After God, there is only me on the off-side." I will surely score runs by the ton.

Rahul Dravid: Vice-captain, batsman and wicket-keeper, 3 in 1, yep, that's me. Just one more tournament with the 'keeping' job, though I am getting better at it. Doing it for the team, yes, but I happen to be as good as a goalkeeper behind the stumps -- maybe worse. Keeping 'Dada' in check will be quite a job.

Virender Sehwag: Slam, bang, boom.

Sachin Tendulkar run out by BoucherSachin Tendulkar: Sehwag copies my strokes and scores runs. I am the team's most experienced batsman but my form of late has been in a downward spiral. Ind in WI: 99.00; Natwest series: 56.17; ICC Champions Trophy: 19.50; Ind in New Zealand: 0.67. The good part is it can't get any worse. For runs there is Sehwag, for wickets there is Srinath, for good fielding there is Kaif, for everything else there is me. Um, what else is there, though?

Yuvraj Singh: I am the original Punjab da Puttar. Henry Blofeld said I am a mix of Frank Wooley and Gary Sobers. I am good. That reminds me. I am hungry. Maaa Bhooook Lagi!

Mohammad Kaif: I am as quick as Michael (Bevan) between the wickets and as good as Jonty (Rhodes) in the field. Now If only I start batting a bit.

Dinesh Mongia: Laxman is finally out of my way. But what do I do about Bangar now?

Ajit Agarkar: They called me the "Bombay Duck". I hope to not play against Australia. Against Namibia and Holland, I am the all-rounder India is looking for.

Sanjay Bangar a.k.a Buddha: I can bat and bowl, always playing within my limitations. Only the results are not showing on the field at the moment. How, why, where is it going wrong? When will I get enlightened?

Ashish Nehra: I used to be a swinger. Not any more.

Javagal Srinath: My slower ball is a beauty though it ends up down the leg-side often, it fools the batsmen no end. Have finally discovered my outswinger. My line and length is immaculate as long as Dada doesn't bowl me in the slog overs.

Zaheer Khan: They thought I was a sloth. But now I am at my sprightly best. It's time to set matters right. I bowl at an average speed to 85 km/h. Should I go for the speed record?

Harbhajan Singh: Anil Dada has blocked my path into the team but my batting prowess should give me the upper hand in the battle. Which sport should I add strokes from this time round? Ricky Ponting, my favourite bunny, will be there too.

Anil Kumble: My first tour to South Africa was a success but since then subsequent tours have gone downhill. Experience counts over talent at the World Cup. Let us hope the team management agrees with my views.

Parthiv Patel: Why do they all treat me like a baby?

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Number of User Comments: 91

Sub: What is this?

Can anyone of you tell to the author of this article to stop writing tame joking regarding Indian team like this. It would be much ...

Posted by Hari

Sub: Trash

The article stinks....Never expected Rediff to publish this kind of trash...

Posted by Abhijit Dutta

Sub: India will surprise the world ...

Tendulkar should be given what ever position he wants to bat at. Friends.. No need to worry, India will surprise the world with its excellent ...

Posted by anji

Sub: This is the truth

This is what that really happence. Everyone says to boost the team. Till this time we did so and what is the result. I as ...

Posted by Sheena

Sub: Excellent comments in wright spirits!!!

This is exactly describes our team and spirits they are in. The money has taken away all the talent in India in this sport . ...

Posted by arvind


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