Home > Cricket > Column > Javagal Srinath
Indian cricketers should learn from Lance
July 29, 2005
As I leave for Colombo on Friday to cover the triangular series I cannot help thinking again and again about American cyclist Lance Armstrong.
It's just not the Tour de France he won for the seventh time. Armstrong conquered an almost impossible battle against cancer. His achievements will not only inspire the usually devastated cancer patients, but also the entire sporting fraternity.
Firstly, Lance is a great doctor and a patient in himself to millions of cancer patients. He showed them the way to lead a quality life. Secondly, he sends piercing insights to sportspersons at all levels, that sport is bigger than injuries, decease or any other anomalies of life. It's only appropriate to say that Lance is a synonym for mind over matter.
Indian cricketers, who get injured too often, should learn from Armstrong. Let us take a bow to Lance Armstrong.
It's time to focus on World Cup 2007. Every step taken from here on must align with the vision of winning the World Cup. It should be right from the early nomination of captain and the coach till building up of database of the rival teams. The preamble to the World Cup should be winning tournaments from this very juncture, starting with the tri-series in Sri Lanka.
Counting from the last decade, Greg Chappell is India's coach number seven. He must consider himself extremely lucky to have got all his requests heeded by the Board. His requests involved the visit of Dr Charles T Kerbs, who deals with injury prevention by encouraging positive functioning of the mind, and Ian Frazer, the bio-mechanics expert who deals with correct body movements. Dennis Lillie was also summoned from the MRF Pace foundation to have a look at the fast bowlers.
According to me, Greg Chappell got his priorities right. He spent his initial time in measuring resources in terms of taking stock of the players' potential, infrastructure and the available technological support. The best move came when he assembled his entire fast bowling resources as the first priority. At last we have seen a coach who underlines the importance of fast bowling. A brief discussion with him revealed his firm belief that fast bowling is the only potent force to win abroad consistently.
Previous Indian coaches must be wondering whether there is a marked change in the Board's attitude, or it is Chappell who could convince the Board and get his things done.
Greg Chappell is aggressive and has a demanding personality. Since his appointment, the media has relentlessly followed his every movement with high optimism. Coming from a country where sport is hardwired into their culture, Greg knows the unforgiving side of the media too.
The practice of choosing a captain series by series only prevails in India. Rahul Dravid's unclear elevation to the captaincy every now and then must be playing on his mind. Rahul's role as a captain should not be taken for granted. The job description of a senior player in the long run is essential. Factoring in the role of an intermittent captain is not really ideal for Rahul's temperament. For such an intense player like Rahul, switching on and off from captaincy might not reflect well on his batting. Once the job description is clear a player can plan his cricket. It's time the Board decides the Indian captain till the World Cup.
The absence of Sachin and Sourav, for the first two matches of the tri-series, must be a blessing in disguise for some of the new entrants in the squad. With Dhoni and Sehwag going great guns, the absence of Sourav and Sachin might not worry the Indian batting line-up.
As always, on Sri Lankan wickets, the spinners will hold the key while the Indian fast bowlers will get a closer look. With the West Indies struggling with their internal problems, the series should largely be a contest between India and the hosts.