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HindustanTimes Tue,16 Sep 2014

Cricket

Need different strokes
N Ananthanarayanan, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, December 31, 2012
First Published: 21:02 IST(31/12/2012)
Last Updated: 00:26 IST(1/1/2013)

Every dark cloud has a silver lining goes the saying. After the disappointments Indian cricket fans had to endure in 2012, there is definitely hope that things will take a turn for the better.

The biggest areas of concern in the year gone by was the form of the Test team, MS ‘Captain Cool’ Dhoni’s leadership, the poor fitness of pace bowlers and the unsettled look of the middle-order following the retirement of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman.

The uncertainty around Sachin Tendulkar’s international future has added to the gloom. He has already retired from One-Day Internationals. This means 2013 is likely to usher in changes that will take the game forward in India.

A wishlist: To begin with, the hosts will respond strongly and defeat England in the One-day series in January, and follow it up by defeating Australia in the Test series.

And the Indian skipper, having learnt from the needless negativity that talking about the pitch breeds, will focus on getting the tactics and performances of the team right.

The Indian cricket board may finally wake up and make changes to the team management that will bring more dynamism to the set up.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) may also split the captaincy to get the focus back on Test cricket. India will also find one or two young batsmen who will settle down in the test middle-order and join hands with Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli to herald a new era in batting. Tendulkar will take a call on his Test future. The batting legend knows it is time to end the frenzied talk and will look for positives, either through strong performances or in life beyond the boundary. The younger bunch will then step up, not just with the bat but also with their sprightly fielding and an attitude that will brighten up the dressing room.

The cricket board will, hopefully, learn better communication skills and realise that it needs to reach out to all stake-holders in the game. That means taking the right decisions at the right time and owning up promptly when it makes mistakes. Last but not the least, all pitch preparation work will be left to curators to handle the job in a professional manner with no intervention from the captain, coach or the cricket board.


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