When we were children we thot that cricketers never spoke when they played. the fielding team communicated via sign-language and the batsmen just nodded to each other. The reason was that television those days was archaic and the only voices one heard belonged to the commentators. As a result when we played our own modest version of the game, no one was allowed to speak as a matter of strict rule. When it was necessary then one had to signal for “time-out” and then talk. Silly Us!!
Since last evening, an unfortunate incident at Multan is being blown out of required proportion. I say “required proportion” because the Indian cricket team does not need it just now. Sachin was batting at 194 when Rahul Dravid called the batsmen back and declared the first innings at a score of 675-5. It did come as a surprise to many that the decision was made at such juncture when Sachin was just an over-boundary away from a double-hundred. what made it worse was sourav ganguly’s presence in the dressing room and sachin’s press conference later on. Till late evening, the ex-cricketers gupshup sessions on various channels were theorising on this decision. What came out of it was interesting:
1.Rahul Dravid had been pushed to make the decision by Ganguly, but that was hardly an issue because in the dressing-room there were many heads at work.
2.Since both Sehwag and Tendulkar later stated that it had been decided at tea that pakistan was to be put to bat for an hour’s time at the end of the day, Tendulkar should have been prepared.
3.And it is hardly believable that there had been no message sent out to the batsmen.
At the end of the day, it seemed like Sehwag’s record had been put onto the backburner.But Sachin’s coming out with a disgruntled look at the press-conference gave it an altogether different shade.When a team is playing together, especially outside the country, they are like a household. Any frictions even though clearly visible should be restricted from any undue outside attention. Sachin has been the darling of the nation since the last 15 years and in this case the media lapped it up in seconds. fingers were pointed at Rahul Dravid, John Wright, Sourav Ganguly by experts on panel discussions. What went on inside the dressing room, we dont know and neither do the people discussing about it. it would be only fair to leave them alone to sort out their inherent differences. what we can do is give them our unconditional support, have faith in their abilities and not add to the pressure which is a fallout of constantly being in the public eye.
At the end of the day, today, it was nice to see the whole team hugging each other at Tendulkar’s dismissal of Moin Khan and then sitting in a circle , doing their cool-down exercises before leaving for the day.