Saturday, March 24, 2007

Minnows with Superstars

I often used to wonder "Who is more incompetent? Bollywood or Indian Cricket Team?" Actually I owe a couple of sorries for this. First to bollywood for comparing them with "Team India" and second to "Team India" for rating them way too higher.

To some this might appear as a result of frustration due to a humiliating defeat vs. Sri Lanka. But actually I am quite happy that this team is unlikely to make it to super 8. I think it will be a grave injustice to teams like SA and Aussies if they have to play "Men In Blue". For several reasons - they play cricket which the good teams used to play about 15 years ago. There is no intensity, no fitness and just exemplary display of incompetence.

The question I would ask myself if I have been playing cricket for 15 years and doing nothing else is -

1. Should I make the same mistakes time and again ?
2. How did I improve over last 15 years?
3. Should I really be playing (reminds me of Damien Martin who took a voluntary retirement, the reason he gave "There are faar too many players who are more committed than me. I really don't deserve to be there.")

A lot of cricket fans feel that the players don't play for the team or country, they play for themselves. What I'd say is "Don't play for the team or country. Play for yourself and that requires a great deal of self-respect. If I don't play well - I can't look at myself in the mirror and say I am doing a good job or atleast doing a job for which I am being paid!"

While watching the Aus vs. SA match, I was thinking lets count the number of runs we'd have gotten less than the aussies or the number of runs we'd have saved. After third over I stopped counting, its just apples vs. oranges. You just can't compare Indian team with them. Sorry, just can't.

If one looks at the kind of games the so called minnows play during the world cup, there is a distinct similarity between their play and the way MIB play. There is no strategy, there is no application, there is no plan (forget about Plan A or Plan B. Interesting to note - When Sangakara came forward to Vaas' second ball, we had no clue how to go about it? and juxstapose it with the way Hayden or smith played - against arguably the best bowlers in the world!)

It simply means Team India is plain "incompetent". And there is no reason to feel bad about it, sometimes the facts are too hard to believe. They may be talented - but competence is not just about talent - it's about fitness, stamina, application and a certain degree of confidence that only comes with hours and hours of hard work.

But thats just not the problem of Team India. Its the terminal problem of Indians as a whole. We just don't work hard enough.

Thats the reason I call this team a "Minnows with Superstars".

Before I conclude - I pray that Bermuda don't come up with a surprise against Bangladesh. Mostly my prayers will be heard. If they are not - I think aussies and SA should consider giving a walkover to India in super 8. They just don't belong there.


Suman said...

What really drove me nuts was when a cricket-crazy (albeit otherwise very intelligent) friend of mine remarked that the Indian cricket team does a great thing for the country by playing for it. Remember the Commonwealth Games in 2001 (or sometime around then), when half the players refused to play because they weren't allowed to wear their brand endorsements? Way to go, patriots!

Rohan S said...

Thats very well said Abhijit! I am with you on the 'incompetency' thing that you said about Indian team. I, too, after the match was disappointed but then I watched AUS vs SA the next day.What a match!!More than that...I was watching quality cricket! Pure commitment from both sides!! Then I realised that I was expecting far too much from Team India. True, they don't deserve to be in Super 8s! On that note, I love the the title of your blog-"Minnows vs Superstars".That says everything!.

Abhijit said...

I think you slightly misread it.. It's not Minnows Vs Superstars. But it's Minnows "with" Superstars. We arguably have some superstars in the team, but as a team we still belong to minnows catagory!!