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The Wright and wrongs

Amrit Mathur reminds us of the good old days of the quiet and understated Indian cricket coach John Wright.
None | By Amrit Mathur
UPDATED ON MAR 09, 2007 01:55 PM IST

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

For batsmen

-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

For bowlers

-Take 2 wickets in first 10 overs
-Curtail extras
-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

For fielding

-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.

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