If you missed the SCG Test and headed straight to the post-match press conference and heard the immediate plans of the two captains, you'd have no problems guessing who won the match and who lost. If after that you went and saw the results, you'd be as puzzled as a flatfooted Virender Sehwag at a salsa dance session.
One spoke about working hard, about improving in different areas. The other spoke about switching off, getting some time away from the daily grind of practice and enjoying some recreational activities. The former was victorious captain Michael Clarke; the latter was vanquished skipper MS Dhoni.
“What is important is to switch off from the game. You don't really want to overdo it.
“There may be a few individuals who want to spend a bit more time on the field, but I feel it’s always important to switch off from cricket. That really helps you de-stress a bit, and come back in a positive state of mind. I feel that rather than spending more time practicing, what we need is to spend some time off the field with some recreational activity and get some time off cricket,” said Dhoni, after the crushing defeat.
Take loss in stride
The loss may not be a boon for any of the billion-strong fans, but it could be a boon for the players, reckons the skipper. Who says, losing is all bad?
“In sport you are not destined to only win. You'll lose at times. You will face difficult times. That improves you as an individual, and as a skipper.
“If everything comes easily to you, then you don't really appreciate the kind of hard work that goes into it (winning). This is a phase where I think the team will get stronger. Of course it won't reflect in the result right now, but overall it will really help us recognise the importance of winning.”