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Sight Screen

Monday, August 08, 2005

When is a team a team?

Hari, in response to the All Time Greatest Team post earlier, has a comment that provokes debate:
but in the context of your post, i think even playing together doest really make you a team. many indian cricket teams of the recent past are good examples. they did play together representing india. but there were always friction between the team members (gavaskar vs kapil and so many others). which resulted in the team really not playing as a team. another example is the USA basketball team in the recent olympics. all the team members were highly talented, top 20 players in the NBA. but together they could not win a gold because they were playing for their own good and prestige.
True enough, that bit about the Indian team not playing as a team -- and selection has a lot to do with it.
Often in the past, a player who had fought his way into the side on sheer merit would find himself sharing a dressing room with another/others who were in the side for reasons other than cricketing -- and it's damned hard for a professional player to think kindly of a non-performing mate whose slack he must take up.
That was perhaps Saurav Ganguly's single biggest contribution to this side -- during his best days, he moulded a team in the real sense and with John Wright pushing the players into mingling with one another and celebrating one another's achievements while Ganguly played the no-nonsense, one for all leader on the field, team spirit was at its very best.
It is no coincidence, really, that if the peak of Ganguly's personal form saw the height of Team India in the real sense, his more recent falling away from his best has seen a decline in that same spirit; part at least can be explained by the fact that a captain who is not delivering loses a bit of the edge off his authority, when it comes to being tough with his mates.
Oh, BTW, you can see this as food for thought and discussion... or as an anti-Ganguly post. :-)


  • Definitely food for thought Prem. I have a feeling that the board is going to continue with Dravid as captain. It may give Ganguly a chance to recover his form and redefine his role in the team. One advantage of Dravid's captaincy would be that he wont have to keep anymore.
    I was also curious about what outlet are you using to watch the ashes. Is it satellite TV or willowtv on the internet?

    By Blogger Rishi Gajria, at 19:33  

  • Prem, I agree with you comments. I started typing a rather long and unorganized rant as a reply and then posted it on my blog instead. If you are interested its at

    Hope India wins,

    PS: I wish I had the ability like you do to go through (let alone blog about) so many columns and reviews in so many different newspapers.

    By Blogger Hari, at 02:01  

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