Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Defensive Enigma

Its been a perennial wonder as to why Indian teams lose matches when they are supposed to just play normal cricket without being too flamboyant or too defensive. An example of flamboyance would be the 3rd test against England in Bombay, the 2nd test against SA in Durban etc. Examples of defensive play would be the 3rd test against Pakistan in Bangalore, the 3rd test in the recently concluded series against South Africa etc.

Atleast to illustrate a side losing due to a defensive approach, India need to look no beond than the 1998-1999 Ranji season where Karnataka punished Madhya Pradesh for being too defensive in the Ranji final. MP chose to win the Ranji trophy by virtue of its first innings lead by batting out the last day. Instead they lost due to the web they wove for themselves.

Maybe Dravid needs to talk to people like Sujith Somasunder, Chandrakant Pandit, the lost wonder Vijay Bharadwaj, Sunil Joshi and the run machine J Arunkumar. The wisdom that he gains from this talk could be passed on to the Indian team; rather drilled into them that there is something known as a middle path between flamboyance and going into one's shell.

I am not able to recollect any examples for flamboyance, but one thing I can tell India is, you are your own teachers, so learn from your experiences.

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