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With great power comes great responsibility
by
Feb 03, 2008
By Rahul Namjoshi - Dreamcricket Columnist

“With great power comes great responsibility” and believe me I am not talking about Peter Parker’s (Spiderman’s) uncle when I say these words. Because one advice that Parker’s uncle gave him was to stick to his principles. It applies to the young turks of Indian cricket as well. Responsibility was the lacking weapon in an otherwise full fledged Armada.

The baton had to be passed over some time from a glorious generation to the next one. A young captain wanting a side devoid of any senior influences gets it. That’s a bold selection call for a committee from any nation, leave alone India. A VVS still hopes to be in the ODI side but he knows that he will barely be able to make it. But what does a young 20 year old guy do when he knows he has taken a VVS’s place? He saves 10 runs maybe on the field. But will he score those 20 runs under pressure? (And VVS is being used only as an illustration here) He may not, in his first 10 matches. But once he gets a hang of it, may be, he will. The question is how long a rope does one gives to the youngsters. Not long enough to hang them one hopes.

Agreed, the youth brigade won the world T20 cup. The strategy then was simple. Keep wickets in hand over the first 5 overs and go berserk after that. Where was the strategy in the T20 game against Australia on the 1st of Feb 2008? It was all slam bam kind of cricket being played out there, One has to agree with the fact that the guys came down from India some 4 days back (well most of them anyways), and the Indian captain also admitted that this would be more of a practice match. But the shot selection from 8 out of the 11 guys didn’t make any sense did it? India might still use the triangular series as a team selection criterion for the future. The selectors may have already been informed of the fact that India might suffer some more losses in the team building process. And that they might be able to build one of the most talented ODI teams in the world if the players are given a vote of confidence. MSD is capable of bringing about the change, one hopes.

In a fabulous interview on Harsha unplugged, Tendulkar was queried about his statement ‘Experience is a double edged sword’. He explained that experience teaches one a lot of do’s and don’ts. But experience also makes one afraid. Afraid of things, that one knows can go wrong. One starts thinking of the possible pitfalls on the way. The young ‘inexperienced’ Indian team has been brave and fearless. Fearlessness being the chief ingredient of its recipe for success in the shortest version of the game. But sometimes exuberance can have its own problems. Going for broke may not be the best strategy every time one goes out to play. In the T20 match, experience would have been a single edged sword.

The 3 tier system in cricket is becoming almost like an educational system in India albeit with some differences. T20 is one’s MBA, ODI is one’s graduation and Test cricket is one’s SSC.

Doesn’t that sound ridiculous? But that’s what exactly happening today. The world is changing too fast for us, But we have to retain some stability in what we do. A cricketer is getting more money today playing some silly games, much more than struggling for 5 days in a hard fought contest. Ashish Nehra being the best example that comes to one’s mind. He has been the most influential guys around to propagate the theory about the advantages of playing ODI cricket over test cricket,

Will Spiderman try and get out of the his own web that he has spun, which boasts of superpowers? Watch the next episode.

 
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