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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Cricket

India's mind goes into Webster's book
N Ananthanarayanan, Hindustan Times
Roseau, Dominica, July 12, 2011
First Published: 00:12 IST(12/7/2011)
Last Updated: 14:03 IST(7/10/2011)
Indian batsman VVS Laxman plays a shot, during the first day of their second Test match against West Indies, at Kensington Oval in Georgetown, Barbados.

It was an unusual sight, as both the India and West Indies players and staff unwound at the team hotel on Sunday night after toiling under the sun in the drawn third Test.

VVS Laxman, with a towel on his shoulders, was bent over a table and was immersed in a lengthy conversation with well-known sports psychologist Rudi Webster. Although Webster had interacted with the Indian players before the 2007 World Cup, wasn't he called up by the West Indies team? He was called up to boost the morale of their struggling batsmen before the second Test.

So, is Laxman looking for fresh inputs to steel himself before the demanding England tour? Webster clears the doubt. He was, of course, doing the listening, but it was to get into the mind of the Indian middle-order stalwart as part of the sports psychologist's new book on cricket.

"It was wonderful talking to Laxman, he is so articulate," gushed Webster. "I'm working on a book. I have also spoken to Rahul Dravid and MS Dhoni. It is really great to know the way they think and go about their game."

So how was it talking to the one-day World Cup winning captain? "He was on the verge of being spiritual," is all Webster is willing to reveal, as of now.

The affable Webster is a big fan of Sachin Tendulkar, admiring the master batsman's ability to weather any tough situation on the pitch and the way he has carried himself off it throughout his long career. "I hope I'll get to interact with Tendulkar soon," he says. One of Webster's favourites is Virender Sehwag, who missed this tour to recover from a shoulder injury. "I have really enjoyed talking to Sehwag. Please convey my regards if you meet him," he signs off.


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