Coach John Wright was quiet and understated but, in his subtle way, provided direction to the team. His style was inclusive and friendly as he relentlessly strived to foster team spirit.
Wright’s explanation for the team’s fascination for playing volleyball in every training session.
It is relaxing, there is very little threat of an injury and it promotes team bonding.
Basic elements of meetings run by Wright
-Debriefing of the previous game
-Planning for the next game
-Reminding batsmen/bowlers of one-day essentials
-Presenting a ‘watch out for’ list
-Inviting inputs from players
One thing he did most reluctantly
Pose for team photographs
Wright’s most difficult role in a practice session
Keeping track of, and collecting, white Kookaburra balls
His favourite de-stressing activity
Run laps of the cricket field after the end of play
His favourite way to relax off field
Playing the guitar in his room
Instructions put up by him in the dressing room
-Build partnerships, at least one exceeding 100 runs
-Keep wickets in hand
-Consolidate after the loss of a wicket
-Batsman in form to bat through the innings
-Don’t concentrate on boundaries, they will come anyway
-If one boundary is scored in an over, play for singles
-Take 2 wickets in first 10 overs
-Dot balls create pressure
-Concentrate hard on the second spell, especially its start
-Be careful of giving runs on first and last ball
-Maintain the ball, shine it carefully
-Each one to save two
-Keep up intensity
His terse replies to the media:
Can India beat the Aussies?
We will try and put them under pressure.
Is New Zealand a grudge match?
We would like to keep our winning momentum going.
Is this India's best ever pace attack?
The boys are exciting.
What is your contribution to the Indian team?
I am privileged to be associated and work with immensely talented cricketers.
Your team is in the semifinal, say something to show you are excited!
That is not my style.
Amrit Mathur takes us back to India’s journey through the 2003 World Cup.