Something is clearly missing…

As I read Saurav’s interview in Rediff, I noticed that he was talking about saving the match and I was wondering why we were always on the defensive.

Look, we had 2 batsmen scoring centuries in the 1st innings and managed to establish a slender lead.  Even at that time, we were not talking about bowling out Australia and winning the test match but started concluding that the test would end up as a draw.

And then when Ponting declared the second innings and setting a target, we were still talking about an inevitable draw and nowhere was there any spirit of taking the bull by its horns and making it!!

A friend of mine was telling me that she was really frustrated by the Indian response to the challenge and said that Cricket was after all a mental game and we were not tough to play that game.

I remembered the occassion in the World cup in England when Australia lost its opening match against Pakistan and its prospects were looking bleak. Steve Waugh, the then Captain said that they will win every match and they did, not only in that world cup but in subsequent world cups as well!!

We did not go Down Under to win the series but to play our best and in the process did neither.  And even when Kumble or someone in the team talks about winning, it is merely customary and doesn’t come from the gut.

Ganguly has said as the parting words in his interview “We have two more Test matches to go and we would try our best to do well in the series”.  and that pretty summarizes our approach to winning the game. Listen to the ambiguity in ” try our best to do well” and this comes from one of India’s most successful captains!!  And compare this with the Aussies’ determination to beat their own record of 16th successive win.

We need  not be as brutal as the Aussies about winning but we can surely treat ourselves as winners and not just to do well.

No wonder, we still do not have Golds in Olympics or even one grand slam singles title in tennis.

Let’s consider ourselves as Winners first and play the game from that perspective.  When we play to win instead of playing to draw, we have every chance to win.

I’m amused by the demand in some fora that ICC should declare the match as invalid or as an Indian victory!  We were not playing to win and hence do not deserve to win! Pure and simple.


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