Follow Your Heart. Lead Your Mind. You'll find a window everywhere.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Lords Test can’t be won again but the series can be

Okay I too understand that India lost the 100th test between India vs. England, which was incidentally the 2000th test as well in the history of test cricket. For the reason obvious, I’m also upset with the result but, at the same time, can’t really afford to feel traumatized since India lost yet another test; yes, JUST a test match to England.

As a matter of fact, I’m finding it quite difficult to fathom why should we consider the outcome as India’s defeat at all whereas the reality is it was a fantastic win – achieved by England?! More so, as in the test, from the first day to the last, it was the English team only that played far better cricket to dominate and win.

In case the defeat is hurting our ego as we are the No.1 test side in the ICC ranking then I think we should’ve played in the test like a true champion side but unlike an Indian A team facing the senior English side, cockily off the pitch but as chickens on the turf.

Postmortem doesn’t help a dead body come alive so will no post match analysis. A million ‘what could have done’ or ‘what should be done’ stuffs might look great in the newsprint or as TV bytes or web content but, in reality, what really matters is the ‘purpose of playing to the peak’ or to the peril.

Technology, knowledge, strategies, plans… all look more than perfect on
laptops but, on field, only one thing counts and that IS ‘execution’ : ‘consorted applications of commonsense, skill and fitness (both mental and physical)’.

In the test at Lords, honestly we have lacked commonsense, skill and fitness. And how we lacked, here it goes –

Case 1 : Ishant… who confessed on camera that he was sorry for bowling the whole day on the first day of the test to a wrong length which was well short and he wasn’t aware of the slope across the ground, as well as the pitch at Lords.

If one of the main strike bowlers, who has already performed superbly in the recently concluded series in West Indies, needs a full day to learn what’s going wrong with him and his bowling, it’s not a technical problem, it’s a serious problem of comprehension and understanding which can be termed as ‘commonsense disorder’.

In case Ishant couldn’t understand what was needed to be done in order to cope with the slope what was Mr. Duncan Fletcher – the coach of the Indian side – doing?

Plus, it was amusing to know from Ishant only that despite Zaheer’s advice to change ends, he (Ishant) didn’t feel like doing so! What was that?! Confidence or overconfidence or sheer disobedience at the cost of team’s interest!

From cricketing point of view, it is also bizarre to hear, if a bowler says, “I have my certain lengths to bowl to!!!!” HOW can a bowler have certain lengths???!!! Where the length of deliveries of a cricket ball is TOTALLY dependent on the nature of the wicket; the feet movements of a batter; the condition of the ball – whether it’s just swinging or reversing too; the weather; the field placing; and the likes. Sorry, Mr. Bowler, whoever you are, you can have your own bowling action and speed but no own bowling lengths for that matter.

Hence, apply commonsense, supply performance!

Case 2 : Batting… the famous Indian batting which is known, awed (read overawed), and worshiped for its depth and density across the world. But when chips were down and the stage was all set to show some character, the famous batting lineup collapsed like ninepins.

Even if it’s taken for granted that the English pacers were bowling like anything and swinging the cherry at will with clinical precision, I’m mighty curious to know how many runs our famous batting lineup could manage to score off Swann, Trott, or Pietersen!

If a team, while batting, can’t play the pace, can’t play the spin, can’t play the medium pace, can’t play the seam, but is recognized for its batting, then I think the word ‘skill’ has got a different meaning which only applies to cricket and the Indian cricketers and, of course, to a few commentators turned motivational speakers cum columnists and the BCCI.

Hence, maximize skills, minimize frills!

Case 3 : Fitness… Zaheer experienced a slight niggle all of a sudden inside his hamstring and went off the field then and there on the first day of the test. Later for all of us to see, there was NO Zaheer – the kingpin of the Indian bowling attack – could manage to bowl in the entire test because of that injury.

Injuries are accidents; admit. They can occur to anyone, anytime; admit it too. But, if just a niggle could put the mainstay of the Indian bowling attack out of action for almost two tests in a row, what kind of physical trainers and physical trainings are provided then to the players?

Plus, given the telling pressure of expectations as inflicted upon each and every Indian cricketer by all of us, are the cricketers fit enough mentally to handle it?

If so, then what happened to even Sachin Tendulkar at Lords? Can anyone believe that it was actually Sachin who batted at Lords? In case it was Tendulkar, where were that aggression, that attitude and that aptitude of the master blaster? Why the world’s number No.1 batsman, the great Sachin Tendulkar had to bat as if he was playing to secure his place in the test squad; else Manoj Tiwari or Badrinath would replace him in the next test? Was his problem only the body-fever or was there a mind-fever too?

Such questions, of course, don’t create any healthy ambience or positive environment for the Indian cricket comprising of not only the cricketers and the administrators but also innumerable fans like her, him, them, you and me.

However, unless and until those questions are raised more often than not and the right answers found for them, nothing, absolutely nothing, can work for the Indian cricket team irrespective of those so called test ranking, one day ranking and T-20 ranking.

For, it’s ONLY the performance that ensures a ranking, but NO ranking can ever ensure a performance.

Hence, enhance fitness, ensure success!

Net-net, none of us should forget that cricket is no Kargil war for the Indian cricket team playing in England at present. So, instead of creating a pressure cooker situation for our players, we must create a win-win situation wherein they will receive our 100% support and trust for every game and in return we will expect and accept only the best from them even in unfavourable conditions and circumstances… notwithstanding injury problems, fitness woes, mental turmoil and whatever it is.

Finally, the Lords test is gone but the series is still on. So, it got to be won. For sure.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Common Man

I’m a common man. Not the one created by none other than R K Laxman. I’m unlike HIS common man. I wear jeans to cover up my assets but not a dhoti to blow up the same as liabilities.

Plus my pair of jeans helps me run fast to flee from the scene whenever I sense there is something which might endanger me and my existence while I peep or poke my Virat (Big) Naak (Nose) into anything, everything that happens around. Locally, regionally, nationally, or globally.

I don’t know how far I know a thing or two, and knowing that… is any knowledge or not, but I know those knowledge is enough for me to know what I know and don’t know.

Ask me about anything and look for an answer, I can tell you that immediately. As long as Google and Wikipedia are not down, I’m up to it.

I have a desktop which I upgrade almost every year to enhance my hardware and software of knowledge. My net connection is called broadband which comes to me through cables those are ‘environment friendly’.

In the summer, the cable melts down; in the monsoon, it gets wet; in the winter, it catches cold and in the spring, it falls in love with other users… so is hacked.

I also have a laptop and a data card. But I hardly use them in order to save the battery that’s the energy, as well as to save the money. Thereby I contribute immensely to the natural resources and to the national economy.

Though I have always preferred strawberries to a blackberry and bananas to an apple, still I don’t mind to have more fruits, everyday, for a healthy lifestyle and a fruitful life.

In fact, if an apple could produce one Newton already, why can’t it produce another? So I’m hopeful about my future at present referring to the past.

Well, Newton reminds me of Physics. I mean the subject that’s full of calculations and manipulations. I guess this very discipline of knowledge is the culprit to make humans so calculative and manipulative. I detest it, for that. Physics without the arts of physique and figure; impossible!

Had there been only Sanskrit and Shakuntala and me, life would have been so refreshingly fresh to love and make love even while the senSEX dropped. Below 1700 points or further. I know there may have been an outside chance of Dushmanta creating problems into my love life but, anyway, for him the local party office of CP(I)M or the councilor of TMC could just come handy.

Time to time, I need to travel. Outside West Bengal. I like to travel by train to a plane; however I know anytime from the train I CAN travel to the sky close to that plane I have chosen not to board on. Courtesy Maoists, elephants, a cabin man, or signals.

On the other hand, even if I fly, I might also land up on the railway tracks, in case a pilot feels like posting an emergency tweet or a status message on facebook about how bad the weather is, how the engine is malfunctioning, and how he’s unable to contact the control traffic at the base. So, he needs the support from the social networking sites. Besides, I’m not eliminating the Diwali-in-the-air celebration of any terrorist group which might find my spirit too resilient and robust to blow off into pieces and puffs.

Whatever it is; terrorists and terrorism interest me. And why not? Post every blast, I always have so much to say on TV channels or on twitter and Facebook. As long as a hearse car or an ambulance is not needed for my family members or me after a blast, I have got just the right opportunity and OCCASION to express my care, concern, anger and frustration to the world.

Make no mistake, by doing so I’m doing nothing wrong at all. Because as a responsible citizen – I the Person of We the People – of a democratic country, I DO have every right to sit on the computer or show up on the news channels… so as to stand up, debating, against all the wrong and the odds… to Stop the Buck.

Also, during that period, my wife might not push me for any window shopping or multiplexed movie or mall hopping; my mother-in-law’s arthritis pain might take some welcome rest; my kid’s homework might be delayed; and my boss might indulge in some impromptu CRS programs and other PR activities. And while it happens, bingo, I get some time to think of the nation for its people before Sachin makes yet another century just to hit my concentration over the rope again, as if I’m not a Virat Hindu… thus can’t think of the people, by the people, for the people of Hindustan nee India.

Meanwhile, Harry Potter is there, I mean was. Murdoch is there, Gorkhaland is there, Maria Susairaj is there, Index and Dalal Street are there… altogether to send my patriotism for a toss in line with Dhoni’s toss against Strauss in England.

Where is the time then? To do, what should be done for the country! Actually there is no solution. On top of it, I have to attend parties; give muahs at least a thousand per day; need to miss all the dear and near ones from a safe distance; receive and give so many missed calls; read all the promo SMS; tweet; FB; Link(ed) in and so on…

In addition, I have weekly fast, bimonthly satyagrahas, fortnight satsang, yoga class, mediation, gyming, swimming, Ramdev following or UPA and Congress bashing, Anna Hazare white marketing and sales, RSS feeds, Virat Hindu Sabhas, BJP jigs, Land or Khand federalisms, daily debates, hourly news, Bade Achhe Lagte Hai episodes… "OMG! My hands are full and tight."

Now, you may feel that as a common man I'm worthless, just like your old furniture or the father on KBC promo, but I know I do a hell lot of things, silently, unknowingly, unconsciously, unreadily and, most importantly, ‘funnily’.

And, finally, please NOTE, even this blog: ‘A Common Man’ – you have not written for me either. (In my trademark bad and wrong English, for that matter.)