Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Well Done Rajasthan - Fantastic Job

This has nothing to do with the Rajasthan police or the Rajasthan government's methods at keeping Rusdie away but more to do with its Ranji Trophy cricket team. Rajasthan was way down in the order of states who were likely to win the Ranji Trophy for several years and when they won it last year, there was much delight and surprise. But to win in twice in a row shows that they have perfected a process that is worth emulating by other smaller states, most of which seem to have no self-belief, no conviction. In fact why just the smaller states, even bigger states such as Mumbai, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, West Bengal can do well to take a leaf of out of the Rajasthan method.

The Rajasthan team is not one that evokes fear in the opponent's minds. It has some former players, ageing certainly, like Hrishikesh Kanitkar and Aakash Chopra, and several rookie players that no one has heard of. But they play to their strengths and they play hard. The way they started off against Tamil Nadu on the first day, in Tamil Nadu's homeground, was itself the kind of a start that would have sent alarm bells ringing for the sheer display of will, of desire to win. For all of the first day, the two openers, Vineet Saxena and Aakash Chopra, batted resolutely,  giving a glimpse of the purpose, grit and resilience the team was made up of. The start itself would have made the opponent's wonder at how seriously the Raasthan players took this campaign, the pride that went into it, and that would have won more than half the battle. Compare that kind of resolute batting with the across the line shots that the TN batsmen played and you know the mental framework of both sides.

Kanitkar and Chopra did their job, the professionals from Maharashtra and Delhi, but the local lads Vineet Saxena, Bisht, Rituraj, Pankaj Singh and every other player came up with heart warming performances. It has been a show where there are no stars - everyone played for the team. Surely everyone must have backed one another, stoked the desire in one another to wrap their hands once again on the Trophy, followed the basics well and helped one another out. I do wish  Aakash Chopra, a writer of considerable talent himself, writes about his experiences with the Rajasthan cricket team, which could be an eye opener for many team related activities.

Congrats Rajasthan and well done!


Prasanna Kumar said...

Hi Hari Sir,

Good read as always.

Keeping the current Indian Cricket teams performance in mind, I think the entire Ranji level setup itself is wrong. For example in this years Ranji final (or any Ranji match as such) all you need is a first innings lead. I am not sure if the lead itself got any limit like a minimum of 100 runs lead in the first innings etc., but I am not sure if this shows the team real strength.

I think this setup may not produce good pitches or good players. Why cant we have all purpose pitches like speed bounce and also turn instead of dead batting tracks?

How hard is that to get 15 brilliant cricketers out of 1.2 billion population? I mean New Zealand with 4.4 Million population is producing pretty decent 15 (may be 5 in them are really good)

I know its my frustration to see our boys performance but really? How hard is it? Few cricket gurus spoke tons when IPL was introduced, like Indian bench strength is going to grow bigger and better etc etc., Only Aswin and Ajinka Rhaney is in the 15 as of now.

Anyways., times are not good for our team.

Your thoughts on this please...


Harimohan said...

Hi Prasanna,
I agree with you. The domestic tournaments need to have a lot more focus and intensity. Few teams are able to bring the kind of pride and intensity to the domestic tournaments as Rajasthan has done. What happened to the big guns? The talent and the performances are mediocre overall. The bench strength is thin. This is a tough transition period when young cricketers already have more than enough to live by comfortably and do not feel the need to push themselves to play beyond the few seasons in IPLs.
The wicket for the final has already come under the scanner. Its a bad wicket for a final. Whoever won the toss would have taken the match it appears with such wickets.
There is a piece from Bedi about what you mentioned - about domestic cricket needing a boost. Its time teams got more pride into it than just using it as a stepping stone to get some short term fame and glory. The key is in achieving long term fame and glory.