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HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014

Cricket Columns

Bisla’s knock epitomised team culture: Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir
April 16, 2013
First Published: 00:42 IST(16/4/2013)
Last Updated: 00:43 IST(16/4/2013)

One of the biggest challenges of captaincy is leaving someone out of the eleven and even harder is to communicate it to him.

To me, the best way to do this is with honesty and transparency. Therefore, in KKR we always ensure that coach, Trevor Bayliss, or assistant coach, Vijay Dahiya, or I communicate to our teammates that they are not in the playing eleven. It's imperative we do it before they get to know from someone else.

I remember before the league final last year, Balaji got injured and we had to bring in Lee as a replacement.

McCullum was sure to play but because we can play only four foreigners he had to make way for Lee.

Our combination was disturbed and I was feeling wretched for McCullum. He was about to miss his biggest fixture.

Tough call
I decided to break the news myself. It was a big call. I decided to do it in front of the team so that there was no ambiguity before the big game.

So here we were, settled in our meeting room in the Chennai hotel. I started the meeting by communicating the news to McCullum. I also apologised to him and also gave the reasons for his exclusion.

'Baaz', as we call him, understood and hopefully pardoned me as well.

The last two games, McCullum and Lee have been benched. Once again, both the legends have been extremely understanding of the team's cause.

Trust me, it's not easy but someone like Lee has not only taken it in his stride but also continued to contribute immensely in his role as bowling mentor.

Crunch game
Perhaps, we played our second big game of this season. First was the opening game against Delhi, which we wanted to win and start on a winning note.

The second one was on Sunday against the Sunrisers, as it came after two losses. Morgan and Kallis were brilliant but for me Bisla's success at the top was a statement.

His knock of 28 was a macro success for the team culture where we believe in perseverance. It's all about judging a player over a period of time rather than discarding him after a failure or elevating him after flashes of success.

Kaizen Media Solutions
The writer is KKR skipper


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