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HindustanTimes Thu,10 Jul 2014
Just make winning a habit
Anand Sachar, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, December 22, 2012
First Published: 01:03 IST(22/12/2012)
Last Updated: 01:06 IST(22/12/2012)

American football coach Vince Lombardi once famously remarked, "You don't win once in a while, you don't do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit."

If ever these words were apt for India, it is now.

Having pushed the embarrassing Test series loss behind them, the Men in Blue registered an emphatic victory in the first T20I against England in Pune on Thursday. Now, the stage of the final T20I shifts to Mumbai on Saturday, where it is imperative that the hosts continue in the same vein.

Man of the match from the first game, Yuvraj Singh, said it was tough for the team to face the loss in the Test series. But he claimed that the win had provided the thrust.

"Losing 0-4 (in the Test series in England last year) and 1-2 (in the four-match Test series at home) was quite shattering," he said.

"The win has given us the momentum, which we hope to carry forward."

Some of the great teams of the past have been prime examples of ruthlessness. The Australians of the last decade constantly had the foot on the pedal, as only winning would satiate the ambitious lot.

With the Indians having tasted victory after a month since the Ahmedabad Test, they must ensure that the next triumph does not take that long. In fact, they must follow Lombardi and repeat it, make winning a habit.

Travel eats into time
Much of the only day between the games was eaten up by the travelling.

Lack of time did not permit the teams to train, but that does not reduce the value of the contest. For the young India side, it is an opportunity to stake their claim as a feared outfit.

And this English side should not be much of a bother. Jonny Bairstow's is one of the many pullouts the team has had due to various reasons.

The team led by Irishman Eoin Morgan, in the absence of the injured Stuart Broad, is inexperienced.

Ajinkya Rahane must be eager to make up for the early dismissal by replicating his IPL form.

Whereas, Ashok Dinda and Parvinder Awana will be hoping to give a better start with the ball by bowling less short.

The pitch at the Wankhede is expected to see scores of around 175. And with the tickets sold out, the crowds
will expect an exciting match.

All for performance
If England's batting hero, Alex Hale, is to be believed, the visitors will serve the fans with a top-notch performance.

"There's a great feeling around the camp at the moment.

"Obviously, we're disappointed with yesterday's result, but we're going to bounce back with a lot of energy," claimed Hales.

Bairstow returns home
Englan's wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow has returned home early for family reasons.

Bairstow, who was left out of last night's first Twenty20 International against India in Pune as Jos Buttler was preferred over him, departed immediately for England after learning that there was an emergency back at home.

"Jonny Bairstow has gone home today from India tour for family reasons," a brief ECB statement said.

It turned out to be a disappointing tour for Bairstow as he batted just once during England's Test-series win. He was also ignored for the first T20I.

Not enough runs
England Twenty20 captain Eoin Morgan conceded that his side fell short by 10-15 runs after getting off to a blistering start in the lost opening Twenty20.

"We got off to a fantastic start but from there we didn't really kick on."


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