Friday, October 27, 2006

The fall of the wall

The wall-a protective, steady, and a solid fence of security that safeguards us residents from the external threats outside the comfort of our homes’. It is the perception of reliability and consistency that is rarely shaken by any force.

It is also a popular nickname given to one of the most sought after Indians, a brand icon of the hutch and Reebok, the right-handed batsman and the skipper of the Indian cricket team-.Rahul Dravid."The wall" as he is called by millions of crazy fans across the subcontinent was once the factor of turning tables in the most crucial of matches.

The “as cool as a cucumber”, steady, diplomatic and passive captain of the Indian team was a marked change from the aggressive, passionate and the volatile former captain,the Bengal Tiger,our own Dada as he was fondly called- Sourav Ganguly.The latter under who’s leadership, we reached the finals of the world cup was the one who shaped the players to what they are at present and has emphasized his tremendous contribution as the most charismatic leader.

However, in the recent times, it was observed that essence of team building has been forgotten by the Indian players. The concept of group dynamics and playing as a collective force seemed alien to the men in blue. A team which had the best brought out from each individual in his contribution to the game has lost its charm. An irony that a wall which in other instances binds buildings together is unable to do so with the human clan. The mighty block structure which withstands the forces of nature like the sun, hail and the storm, is unable to withstand the spinning and fast movement of the circular object hurled with a pace by the opponent players.

The deterioration of the performance and the winning spirit of the Indian team have been apparent over the past few months. The standard in the ICC champions’ trophy taking place at present has made India’s lack of fighting spirit evident. The game against the West Indies which saw a clear case of flawed selection,by bringing in a fast bowler instead of a spinner emphasized the tactical blunder made by the Indians even in their home grounds. In spite of the wickets taken at a crucial stage, the victory still managed to slip out to the Carribeans.An earlier match against the English emphasized the poor margin of success with which the men in blue still managed to hold their heads high.

There is a continuous inability of the batsmen to retain their wickets, lack of pace by the bowlers and the misfielding of the entire team in the series of the past matches. This has invoked an anxiety factor amongst the public; especially with the world cup around the corner. The effect of captaincy on the team is another factor to be looked into. Are the motivation and the psychological morale of our players diminishing due to ineffective leadership? Are the mental pressures of the new role affecting Dravid’s stature of the wall?

In other words, is the great wall of India crumbling?



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