Monday, August 27, 2012

Just fizz not enough!!!

Indian cricket experienced a super Sunday yesterday (26 Aug, 2012). Winning a test and the U-19 world cup on the same day adds more fizz to the drink. Indian batting, for the next quarter of a century, looks in safe hands. Pujara and Kohli, who respectively replaced themselves in the spots left vacant by Rahul Dravid and V V S Laxman, came out trumps by helping the team win a test match. In the same fashion, Unmukt Chand, holding the position previously held by Virat Kohli, as captain of the U-19 team, led from the front to lift the trophy. In the bowling department too, there was a great show to witness. India’s perennial concern for the lack of aggressive bowlers has been assuaged today, albeit temporarily. Ashwin spun a web around the Kiwi batsmen and Ojha tightened the noose. Harmeet Singh, Baba Aparajith and Sandeep Sharma too showed glimpses of a better future for Indian bowling. And on a day like this, when victories are at hand to celebrate, it does add more excitement among players, public and administrators.

However, it won’t spoil the party to add a word of caution. There was never any doubt about the talent present in the country and so it isn’t surprising to see talented youngsters coming through the ranks. We have had them in the past. And history is a proof of how only few remained. Sachin was a finished product when he entered at 16 both technically and mentally, more so mentally. It was his calm approach to his profession that gave him the success he has today. So is true with the stories of Dravid, Ganguly and Laxman. They all came in as talented youngsters with a lot of excitement but they held their nerves to stay at the top for long. Ganguly was the aggressive of the lot, but he never allowed anything to distract him other than cricket. One must have heard of Vinod Kambli’s career. Rated along with Tendulkar, got back-to-back double hundreds in tests before his buddy, but got distracted by things other than cricket. In a few years’ time, his name was as good as forgotten.

Youngsters will do good to remember that winning games, trophies and celebrating are not the only things about playing cricket. Winning is important, celebrations too, but not to the extent of forgetting their main goal. And it should be to play not just IPL but for India. IPL is all very well, what with the money and the exposure. But it won’t guarantee a place in the test side. Players should look to perform in the Ranji games and get picked for tests. It is the Indian test side that needs more talent. If we can lose 0-8 in away games, then we have to accept that we are in dire need of players who will win us away games. And our youngsters should be able to keep that in mind while looking to slog a ball in an IPL game.

David Wesley for DieHard Cricket Fans

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