The big B match | india | Hindustan Times
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The big B match

Sri Lanka coach Tom Moody, in this exclusive column for HT, says his team would look to trap India in a pressure-cooker situation.

india Updated: Mar 23, 2007 03:16 IST
Tom Moody

For an Indian fan, a win in the game against Sri Lanka must seem like a do-or-die situation, and I suppose it is. However, a win is just as significant for us too, because we are keen to carry through two precious points into the Super Eights. The pressure on India is that victory or defeat means the difference between continuing in the World Cup and being out of it.

We would obviously look to prey on that sense of pressure, because it often makes teams take rash decisions when batting or fielding, as they hunt for quick wickets or runs. Other than that, there are no separate strategies in place. All we are focusing on is playing a disciplined, solid game as we have done thus far. In other words, we will sit tight, because worrying about failure and thinking ‘what if’ usually doesn’t pay.

Speaking strictly as an observer, I think this is what India did against Bangladesh. Such doubts obviously encourage negative thoughts, and every individual in the team needs to have absolute confidence in himself as well as the team in order to do his best. This is especially true in conditions like those we have seen in Trinidad, which do not live up to expectations. The pitches here are perhaps not as reliable as a majority of one-day pitches around the world. The big scores against Bermuda and Bangladesh don’t entirely reflect the difficulties facing batsmen given the uncertain bounce.

Plenty has been happening off the pitch as well, chief among them the mystery surrounding Bob Woolmer’s tragic death. While the confusion has not really affected our on-field approach, I think that is attributable more to the fact that we are still in a state of numbness that prevents us from accepting the fact that Bob is gone. But for the sake of Bob’s family, the sooner the dust settles and speculation comes to an end the better. At least he can rest in peace then.

The other occurrence has of course been Inzamam’s retirement. He has always seemed to me an unlikely combination of one of the game’s finest players and one of its worst runners!

It is to his great credit that at times, the only chance of getting him off the field was to run him out. Inventiveness, a cool head and calculation were qualities he shared with ODI legends like Dean Jones and Michael Bevan, and those are the
qualities people will remember him for.