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Q: ďWhat should be done to improve the performance of the Indian cricket team?Ē
(This is the first instalment of readersí response)

Believe in the team

The Indian teamís performance over the past few months has shown a drastic decline. The BCCI should appoint a new coach and captain. The Indians have had enough of John Wrightís ideas. Replace Sourav Ganguly because he has not been able to perform well both as a captain and a batsman. If a senior player is not doing well, there should be no hesitation in replacing him. No one should take his place in the team for granted. Newcomers like Dinesh Kaarthick, Parthiv Patel, S. S. Paul, Gautam Gambhir etc. should be given more chances. Dinesh Kaarthick can make a permanent place for himself in the team as wicketkeeper, if he does well against South Africa. It is high time that the players focus less on endorsements and more on the game because neither colas give them energy during the game, nor do the cars and bikes help them accelerate the run rate. Even Sehwagís mother does not call him on the cell phone when India is in trouble. Let cricket be like any other sport. We have made heroes out of cricketers because of the media hype. The game has been commercialized, but thatís no reason to start behaving like a bubble. When a player does well, we make him a hero, but when he fails, we throw stones at his house. Our team is good and is sure to bounce back.

ANIKET SINGH, Army School,
Ambala Cantonment

Tell seniors to come back after a season of Ranji

The Indian cricket team seems to be in a big trouble. There is no doubt that the players have got enough talent, but they are unable to exhibit it because of a lack of confidence. They should go through the rigours of domestic cricket for one or two months before returning to the Test team. It will help them regain confidence and form. Giving opportunities to new comers will create a healthy competition for a place in the final eleven and even this will make the players perform better. The Indian batsmen should keep their nerve under pressure. Runs will come.


Lift the morale of Team India

The recent humiliating defeats at the hand of the Australians at home prove that our players lack confidence. After the openers fail to give us a decent start, the middle order gets bogged down, and if the middle order collapses, tail-enders also fail to deliver. The need of the hour is to restore the teamís aggressiveness. The BCCI should restrict the number of endorsements for each player. It should strictly keep a vigil and have agreement with players in this regard. The players should adopt latest scientific techniques to analyse their game. If a player doesnít perform in the first two matches, his slot should be given to some new player. He may be given another chance only after regaining form. To lift the morale of the team after defeats, senior players and the board should refrain from levelling charges and counter-charges. The selection process should be fair and transparent.

Jalandhar City

Players should not appear in ads

After wining the Test and ODI series in Pakistan, the Indian team has lost all major tournamentsóthe Videocon Cup, TVS Cup in Holland, Asia Cup in Sri Lanka and home series against Australia. The Indian cricket team is at the crossroads, with most of the key players, including Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly, sitting out due to injuries. All players should do regular training to raise fitness. Any player with three consecutive failures should be dropped for the next three matches. There should be no political interference in the selection of players. Our focus should be on creating a strong bench. The young guns need opportunity to flower. The players should be refrained from taking part in commercials. There should be separate coaches for batting, bowling and fielding.

M. L. GARG, Chandigarh


The recent poor show by the team has annoyed every cricket fan in India. Everybody feels humiliated after the Australian team has won the last Test series convincingly on the Indian soil after 35 years or so. We can rate the current Indian team as the weakest ever in the past 35 years. Anyone not clicking in spite of getting a lot of chances should be shown the door. All players should be banned from taking part in TV commercials, which has resulted in commercialisation of this gentlemanís game. Let them be sport stars rather than advertising stars.

RAJESH SHARMA, Jalandhar Cantt

Tap the raw talent

Our passion for cricket is now known worldwide. Technology has turned the competition in the game to white hot. Consistency is a vital cog, especially in sport. India has excelled in many tournaments in the past. The problem with the Indian team is that after matches where it excels, players find themselves on cloud nine, but in the very next match, their performance touches the nadir. The board should regularly monitor the performance of each player. If anybodyís performance starts falling, the appropriate action should be swift. The board should also tap the raw talent, which is abundant in our country.



Give a chance to the India-A players now, for two reasons. First, some of these players have to represent India eventually. Their timely exposure to Test cricket will help them handle the pressure. Second, no senor player is playing reasonably well. So fresh faces should be given a fair chance, and the selection criteria should be made tougher.


Make all players accountable

All team members should be made accountable for their performance. No one should take his place for granted. Even though Virender Sehwag has scored a few centuries and even a triple ton, he is not fit for the opening slot. Either he should bat down the order or learn to bat according to the situation. Saying "he can bat like this only" is rubbish. Parthiv Patel should be kept out of the team. Donít include even Ajit Agarkar, unless the pitch is green and the weather favourable. Team India is supposed to be much above the club standard. If senior members are not performing, including the captain, they should be made to sit out.


Play like professionals

Cricket runs in our blood. The whole nation is deeply affected by the performance of the Men in Blue. The game is suffering due to political interference, flexible rules and lack of professionalism. It is shameful that in a country of over 100 crore, we are unable to find a regular wicketkeeper. On the other hand, Australia with a population of 2 crore has a great wicketkeeper in Adam Gilchrist, who can keep wicket and open the batting. He has shown his class as a captain, too, by beating India on its soil after 35 years or so. Itís true that this Indian team has beaten the best, but then why canít it continue to perform well just like the Aussies? There is a huge difference between the BCCI and ACB rules for players. In Australia, even senior players like Shane Warne have to prove their fitness by playing domestic matches, but in India, players prove their fitness only on paper. To improve the performance of the Men in Blue, we should keep cricket away from politics, make rules tougher and compel the seniors to play like professional cricketers and not like professional models.


Launch nationwide talent hunt

Indians should follow the Australian mantraóstop worrying when you lose a game and never become complacent when you win. Both batsmen and bowlers should display a better body language and poise during tight games so that their commitment could not be questioned. Former Australian captain Steve Waugh, with his mediocre talent, became the most successful player only due to his unflinching commitment to the game. Fielding should be vastly improved, as we miss too many run-out opportunities and give too many extras. A national talent hunt should be launched by the BCCI to find quality seam bowlers. There should be no lazy running while batting. Tail-enders should give some importance to their wickets. Never ever say die when the game is on.


Non-cricketers should not run the board

As you sow, so shall you reap. Parthiv Patel is the man who has helped prove this proverb. It is not his fault but that of the selectors, who should have studied his past performances before including him in the squad. Instead of learning, Patel keeps repeating his mistakes. He should know that catches win matches. The selectors should be careful while picking the team because wicketkeeping is specialistís job. There should be no politics in selection. Only former cricketers should be allowed to govern the cricket board, because there are lot of selectors out there who have never seen the cricket field, but are deciding the future of Team India.


Media should go easy on players

The Indian cricket team is one of the best in the world. The players have talent, experience, the will to perform and good institutional support. The reason they look like being in a mess right now is lack of planning. They should plan their sport, personal lives and economic priorities in a way that does not affect their concentration. If a player has worries playing on his mind, his performance will take a nosedive. Setting up a committee that will give its recommendations after a deep study can solve these problems. This will surely help the next generation of players. The media should not put too much pressure on players; instead they view them as normal sportsmen. When the so-called "experts" sitting in the TV studios with technology at the press of a button comment on the teamís performance, it increases the pressure on players. Thatís unfair.


Team needs permanent psychologist

The players should learn from their mistakes, which they keep repeating. The team should have a solid opening pair to defy the oppositionís pace bowling attack. Our wicketkeeper should be up to the international standard. No doubt Parthiv Patel has talent, but at the moment his basics are not in place. There should be solid bench strength. Top performers should be supported. The team should have a permanent psychologist.



We see Indian cricketers often buckling under pressure. Poise, that brings consistency and saves you from the jaws of defeat, is a virtue. For players to adopt this virtue, the BCCI should appoint a permanent team psychologist just like it has hired a physiotherapist.

H. S. SARKARIA, Amritsar


Indian players suffer on two counts. One is physical fitness and the other is mental toughness. Virender Sehwag proved that mental strength could help you be on top when he made a century at Chennai. He had a goal in his mind. To set priorities right, a team psychologist is urgently required. It takes time for any effort to show results.


Delink cricket from betting

Delink cricket from betting. Match fixing has tarnished the reputation of Indian cricket. The mafia can go even beyond match fixing. Indian cricket establishment is the richest in the world and capable of achieving any goal it sets for Team India. If we all put our minds and resources together, victory is not far.

Hornsby, NSW, Australia

Regroup as quicklyas possible

Maybe, the pressure has dented the confidence of Souravís men, but surely thereís a good lesson even in losing the Test series against the determined Australians. The team will have to sit together and regroup before the next series. It is frustrating for fans sitting at home and office to bear the teamís loss. If affects a whole nationís morale. The Indians may have lost more than they have gained from this series, but our hopes are still high. The next victory will come as soon as the players learn to move away from corruption, match fixing and unsporting behaviour. Weíll have to take the task of winning as a challenge and play for the pride of the nation.

ARSHEEN KAUR, Kapurthala

Down with experiments

Our system is forever experimenting and never implementing anything. Sacking players will defy the sportsmanís spirit. Let no single man be blamed for the teamís collapse. A captain jots strategies on the drawing board, but itís for the players to implement those. Our medical team, selectors and coaches need to confiscate the phobias plaguing the mind of our players. We should not chop and change the whole team, because a new player is usually unaware of the adjustments heíll have to make at the Test level. Youngsters should be tested against softer opponents first. The pitch is not a medical college for experimentation; rather itís an operating theatre where team has to complete the mission.


Play more against top teams

The following techniques are evergreen and will help to improve the performance of all sportsmen, including cricketers:

Sportsmen should meditate and exercise as per the requirements.

Scientific planning, international exposure and continuous practice contributes tremendously to the performance of sportsmen.

Innovative methods of learning and practicing must be championed to win the game.

Sportsmen should have the services of right consultants, physiotherapists, coaches and experienced sportspersons to work upon their weaknesses and to improve their efficiency.

Maximum number of matches should be arranged with top class teams of the world and the success factor against those teams should be maintained and weaknesses should be improved, consistently.

Sportsmen should consume proper vegetarian products and build up their mental, physical and spiritual health.

Aman Jain, Ambala City

Next Monday: More letters on this issue


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