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Work ethics matter

The mega-event has come to an end and although we played very well and came back with our heads held high, the disappointment of not winning the World Cup will remain in our hearts for some time.

india Updated: Mar 30, 2003 00:24 IST

The mega-event has come to an end and although we played very well and came back with our heads held high, the disappointment of not winning the World Cup will remain in our hearts for some time. More so because we were a team that convincingly beat all but one of the sides and outplayed them in all aspects of the game.

As captain, the way the team played gave me immense satisfaction. I was very happy that the boys I backed to the core came through so well and I am very pleased with what they achieved. It took me three years to build this side, get the right combination, the right people at the top and the work ethics going. Work ethics are vital to a team's success and this is one area of Indian cricket that we all have to carefully look after.

We came in for a lot of criticism and flak at the beginning but in the end, I am happy that I have been proved right. It just goes to show that if you're honest and committed to your job, the results you want will materialise no matter what people say.

Many of our reputations were at stake during the World Cup. And while the pressure on anyone playing in an event of this nature is immense, it's just that bit more if you're playing cricket for India, so the boys did well to stand up to it. We had a session with psychologist Sandy Gordon in Paarl before the tournament began and although it was for just two days, it helped.

These things are important in such high-pressure tournaments --- it's important to get the mind right because most people come under tremendous strain when they know the result of a game can decide the fate of their careers.

There was a lot of adverse reaction when we didn't play well in the first two games but we, as a team, always believed that we would do well in the tournament. We have also, always played well with our backs to the wall and yet again, we did that. The level of intensity was high and the boys really got everybody going.

The bowlers deserve special credit. They bowled like champions, with a lot of aggression. It was both quick and with accuracy and was rewarded with wickets. I still believe that picking wickets is the key to success in one-day cricket.

They should also be credited for going 12 months without injury despite the amount of cricket and the one man responsible for keeping them that fit is our trainer Adrian le Roux.

He is a professional to the core, a no-nonsense man and responsible for the team's success.

The boys are now well aware of their bodies and that is what helps them to give their best.

We are back in India now and have a break for a few days. It's good to be back with our families to get our batteries re-charged for the tour to Dhaka. It is up to us to maintain this form and play consistently all year around. This is one challenge we have to meet head on and prove to ourselves, more than anyone else, that we have in us what it takes.

First Published: Mar 30, 2003 00:23 IST