India should go for the kill
This bunch of Dravid's hopefuls have to make winning a habit like the Aussies, writes Bishen Singh Bedi.india Updated: Feb 15, 2006 16:07 IST
After the stunning win in Lahore, Indians have moved into the lazy milieu of Multan. One hopes the laidback business-minded does not engulf the Indian team's preparation to go for the kill in remaining two one-dayers. Indians have failed in Karachi to display their killer's instinct. Yes, one of the most glaring stumbles Indians have faced lie within their own system. The familiar disease of complacency in Indian sport raises its ugly head every now and then to mock at the professionalism which our officials are so fond of flaunting.
There is no reason why Indians shouldn't return home with 4-1 result in their favour. The taste of winning on its own asks for more naturally. But this bunch of Dravid's hopefuls are yet to make winning a habit like in the Australian mould.
After losing the first one-dayer to theLankans in Adelaide, Ponting's ruthless Aussies cameback with vengeance almost to destroy Sri Lanka in the next two. It was a complete annihilation by the Aussies. Now that is the kind of performance Indians are expected to deliver. Indians would do well to annihilate the high fitness level of Ponting and his team. Plus the relentless commitment of the Aussies which would seal any critic's big gap. The age old reply to your critics has been pretty simple -- Let the bat and the ball do the talking for you. Of course, the fielding element has to be a collective joy to be seen and relished.
Multan is Inzamam's hometown. The burly Pakistan captain may have a trick up his sleeve. But I doubt it. Inzamam's idea of grass is very much like that of tennis star Ivan Lendl, who used to think grass is for the cows!! So it is. But seam bowlers can use it to their advantage to improve upon their wicket taking ability, something never quite capable of giving anybody a bad stomach. Inzamam is a typical huge log of a batsman's mentality which is forever caring for their own batting averages. Making them look fatter and to hell with the miserable plight of the bowlers.
Inzamam is already short of some dry gun powder in his bowling department. I suspect Pakistan's strategy would be adding a little more strength to batting to frustrate Indian bowlers. I am not too sure how that sort of negative planning would help Pakistan level the series in Multan. Inzamam's captaincy has not been very attractive on many counts, but the man's batting is awesome as the figures might suggest. Inzamam has added a lovely feather to his cap by going ahead and opening a full fledged hospital in Multan, what a noble deed. No doubt, Inzy must have been inspired by his former captain Imran Khan. While Indian cricketers are heavily into restaurant business, Pakistani superstars are helping society in a big selfless way. Medical facilities in Pakistan are not quite upto international standards. That is why we have seen many patients coming to India for treatment.
If cricket can help bring the two nations closer to each other, so can the caring for the ailing and the needy. Indian team's gesture to be there in full strength at the inauguration of Inzamam's hospital would go down exceptionally well in the process of bringing the two peoples closer to each other. I can't imagine politicians on either side would have the same soft corner for humanity.
Here's wishing more power to cricketers of India and Pakistan to keep working for peace and humane understanding. Cricket indeed is the greatest medium to promote international understanding.