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India needs to focus on winning on the field
by
Jan 08, 2008
By Rahul Namjoshi - Dreamcricket Columnist

The 2nd test is lost and India are down 2-0. We have all been through the umpiring, Australian gamesmanship, the Bhajji ban. But the point is how long are we going to continue harping on all these points, pertinent as they may be.

The Australians may have started this Bhajji episode to distract attention from their own antics and meddle with the Indian team's focus. Even they will be amazed at how successful they have been. Because this entire episode has turned the entire focus of the tour on what the BCCI does next.

What did the Indian team do today? They spent time at their hotel in Sydney instead of traveling to Canberra to prepare for the next tour match. Naturally one can assume that they had heated talks about how they were cheated, how two faced the Australians are, etc.,

But if one looks at the series objectively, there's still more than a month to be spent in Australia. The state of uncertainty about the future of the series for a couple of days was certainly not great preparation for the future.

The team needs to get back to cricketing issues as soon as possible. The composition of the team should be India’s biggest worry at the moment. With Yuviraj Singh and Wasim Jaffer both failing repeatedly, do we get Sehwag in? Who should be bowling? There are too many questions left unanswered before Perth. Non cricketing issues like the ban, the appeal, the future of the tour should be left to the manager, the media manager and the wise men from BCCI.

It did not take an expert to figure out that the cancellation threat was merely posturing. Neither the ACB nor the BCCI could have afforded to cancel this series. Could the BCCI have scuttled it? Yes the BCCI can surely afford it, but its status within the ICC would have suffered irrevocably. With the ICL threat looming large, it seems foolhardy to create divisions in the ICC.

Australians tried to play mind games with the Indians in the Sydney test and they must be celebrating their extraordinary success in extending those mind games from just the Sydney test to the entire series. At the end of the series you will get an article, sound bite from some player or ex-player about how it was a planned move and a deliberate ploy to irk the Indians.

The media, ex players, politicians will whip up a frenzy but India should not get embroiled in all these asides and focus on the bigger picture. India is in Australia to play well, put up a fight (which it did admirably at Sydney). But it's not over yet.

There's still a series to be played out there. If India lose the next two as well, maybe Sydney will be forgotten. If India manage to win even one, it will be a declaration of the mental toughness of this outstanding team.

 
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