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HindustanTimes Sun,26 Oct 2014

Cricket Columns

Differences in team of little significance
Amrit Mathur
February 29, 2012
First Published: 00:06 IST(29/2/2012)
Last Updated: 00:09 IST(29/2/2012)

Is there a connection between the mess in the team and its messy performance? Most people see a correlation because when players squabble publicly, bad blood is created, which erodes team spirit. Moreover, wisdom suggests that a disunited team can only head one way - towards disaster.

Wait, there is another opinion which says individuals can take conflicting positions but poor on-field performance is caused not by ideological differences but technical defects. A loss must therefore be viewed in cricket terms. This explanation echoes the famous - and brutally honest --words of John Inverarity (chairman, Australian selection committee) who said elite sport has no room for sentiment.

The reality of professional sport is that each player must perform to keep his place and protect his career. Everything else, what others in the team/media or experts think, is peripheral.

Ego clashes and disagreements are not new. The India dressing room has witnessed many classic bust-ups. Yet, in the middle, they suppressed their differences and dutifully played out the roles assigned to them.

Pakistan are a prime example of a fractured team coming together for achieving shared goals. In the end, the only issue is that of team performance, only winning or losing counts. India should be worried about the 0-8 result in overseas Tests, their embarrassing fielding and the inability of batsmen to handle bounce.

The writer is an administrator with an IPL team and the views expressed are his personal


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