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What?s Martin crowing about anyway?

It has been a tough one month for us in New Zealand. Our performance has not been one that we can write home about.

india Updated: Jan 08, 2003 00:05 IST

It has been a tough one month for us in New Zealand. Our performance has not been one that we can write home about. We are a much better side than what we have shown, and as a captain I have huge faith in my team mates and my own abilities as a cricketer.

After all, it is this team which performed outstandingly over the past twelve months and brought lot of happiness to fans back home. The likes of Dravid, who had a great year, Kaif, Yuvraj, Sehwag and I have all had great performances in this span and I am sure this is a passing phase for our team. We have been on road for last 15 months winning lot more than losing and I am pretty confident that with the World Cup coming up shortly, we will be back to our winning ways.

It has been the worst period ever since I became the captain and what amazes me is that none of our batters right from 1 to 7 have scored runs. The only notable performance has been Sehwag's 100 in Napier. I have not seen a team where all the batsmen have failed to score at the same time.

Though we have lost this series, we still have matches to go and a lot to play for with the World Cup on the anvil. We need to get back to winning ways and most importantly, get our confidence back which has taken a bit of battering on this tour.

I know we will, because the boys have worked very hard on this tour and realise the importance of rediscovering form in the next three games.

We play on Wednesday at a new stadium, which could easily rank as one of the best in the world. It's huge, beautifully designed and provides a superb venue for one-day cricket. The weather has been hot and provides the groundsman a good opportunity to prepare the ground and the pitch.

We will be back to full strength with Sachin returning after his injury. This will bolster our batting, as he is a huge pillar of strength for the team.

Our performance has come in for huge criticism back home. This is quite understandable, but this will also give you the picture of true support for the team. There were accolades showered when we were playing well and this will also be a test for the fans to be behind the team when we are not playing well.

One thing I need to mention here about the comments made on the TV by Mr. Martin Crowe on captaincy.

It is quite natural that when a team loses, the captain will come in for a lot of criticism, but definitely not from one who has won just 2 of his 16 Tests as a captain - a win record of 12 per cent, when compared to someone with a win record of 40 per cent.

It also does not suit him to talk about leading from the front when he left the ground after 25 overs in a World Cup semi-final and the team lost the game from a strong position. Luckily, he was born in New Zealand and not India.

I think all the viewers need Crowe to explain the "leading from the front" way. Of course, we know that talking big on the air is easier than actually playing. I hope you read this Mr. Crowe!

First Published: Jan 08, 2003 00:02 IST