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Sight Screen

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Shastri unplugged

Well, sort of. Did you read his interview, on Deccan Herald?
This bit, without taking names, seems to be an allusion to Greg Chappell's recent statement that he would need to work out with Sachin Tendulkar his role in the team -- a comment interpreted as lese majestie in sections of our media:
For individual talent to be converted into team effort, you have to share responsibilities, be flexible with the batting order, where each man is assigned a role. Sometimes you feel that's the one of the biggest problems in Indian cricket. And certainly one of the problems John faced. If a guy has played 80, 90 or 100 Tests, it is an automatic feeling that he should know his job. No, at some stage, you must remind him if he has forgotten. There is every chance that he might have forgotten or got confused.

And this bit I'll throw in here, because that phase of mindless play was a sore point for me when doing the ball by ball commentary.
Let’s cast our mind back to the last series (against Pakistan). You have a crackerjack at the top of the order who is in brilliant form -- Virender Sehwag, who gets a blistering 173 and sets up the game for India. You cannot say that partnership in Mohali on the last day saved the game for Pakistan. The game should have been in a winning position for India by lunch on day five, if not on the fourth day.
Where we lost the initiative, I think this is where the coach has an important role to play -- to get involved in tactics. After the game was set up by Sehwag, in the last two sessions on the second day, India had 120 runs in 54 overs. And no excuse for that.
When you have Tendulkar, Dravid, Ganguly, Laxman — with that kind of talent, there is no excuse. Instead of 120, if you had got 200, the game was set up. You could have put more pressure on the opposition. That is what I mean by a little more team play. It will make India a better side.

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