|SPORTS & WELLNESS|
Though India won Asia
Cup convincingly, defeating Sri Lanka, the need of the hour is to
appoint a bowling coach with proven credentials, writes Gopal
HOSTS Sri Lanka looked firm favourites. They were gunning for a rare hat-trick of titles, having emerged champions in the 2004 and the 2008 editions of Asia Cup. Kumar Sangakkara-led lads were playing in the familiar environs in front of the home crowd. Their batsmen, like Sangakkara himself, Mahela Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan were in sparkling form, and they had all-rounders like Angelo Mathews, Chamara Kapugedara and Farveez Maharoof.
They had outwitted India in the previous game, when seamer Farveez Maharoof decimated India with a five-wicket haul, which included a hat-trick. Before that they had Pakistan on the mat, courtesy a fiery spell by Lasith Malinga.
As for India, they were hamstrung in the absence of the explosive batsmen Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh. While the former was out after suffering a hamstring injury during India’s win over Pakistan, the latter had been axed from the squad for the Asia Cup. But June 24 turned out to be India’s day. Aided by decent batting from Dinesh Karthik, who opened the innings in the absence of Sehwag, and lethal bowling by left-armer Nehra, who found the Rangiri Dambulla track to his liking and ran through the Sri Lankan batting line-up with a match-winning haul of four for 40, India pulled the rug from under the feet of the islanders to put their hands on the coveted trophy. India had finally overcome a 15-year jinx. Outplaying their rivals comprehensively by 81 runs, India had notched up their fifth Asia Cup title triumph.
The victory was sweet as it came after a forgettable outing the India A team had in Zimbabwe just before Asia Cup. It proved that if India, who last won Asia Cup in 1994, played to their potential, they were world beaters.
A perusal of the performance chart of the players, however, showed that the role played by the seniors like Gautam Gambhir, M S Dhoni, Zaheer Khan and Nehra was decisive. Gambhir, who scored 203 runs in the tournament, was the most successful India batsman, behind only Shahid Afridi, who was the highest scorer (265 runs) in the tournament.
The Asia Cup triumph in Sri Lanka and the team performance in Zimbabwe earlier underlined the fact that there were certain grey areas which needed to be taken care of if India had to be a force to reckon with in the 2011 World Cup, slated to be staged in the Asian subcontinent early next year.
The talented batting trio of Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli reinforced the opinion that it needed much more than just talent to succeed at the highest level of the game. Though they did not exactly disappoint, they were not successful either. They need to dish out some meaningful performances and find their feet at this level soon to relieve seniors of the immense pressure they face every time they are out there in the middle.
More than batting, it is the pace bowling resources that India needs to shore up quickly. Ever since the unceremonious sack of Venkatesh Prasad as Indian bowling coach in October 2009, the Indian bowling unit seems to be falling apart. Proven performer like Ishant Sharma and temperamental but talented S. Sreesanth are far from being automatic choices for the India squad. Munaf Patel and R. P. Singh, who once were part of the core group of seam bowlers, are not even in the frame. Nehra’s fitness and the amount of load he can take has been as suspect as it earlier was. Surprisingly, rookie quickies like Abhimanyu Mithun and Umesh Yadav donned India colours recently largely because they clocked 140 kmph or a little more, playing in domestic cricket. Exposed to the rigours of international cricket, they were found out of depth.
The need of the hour is appointment of a bowling coach with proven credentials to guide the upcoming pacers. With batting always being a strong point of the Indian team and bowling its Achilles heel, those at the helm of affairs should spare a serious thought and address the problem.
Pakistan has always been
blessed as far as availability of quality fast bowlers is concerned.
They have in their ranks express quick bowlers, who can make batsmen
hurry even on the most placid surface. Even then Pakistan has someone
like Waqar Younis as a coach. India, at times, has been found struggling
to string together a decent pace bowling attack. Induction of raw seam
bowlers like Yadav and Mithun into the squad is good enough proof of the
fact. Inexplicably, the Indian team still does not have someone of Waqar’s
stature as the Indian bowling coach to guide upcoming seamers.
The first step is to realise the emotion and feeling that can cause stress. Stepping back and open your mind and body to moments in your life when you felt amazing and happy ... then use the following postures to help release stress.
From parvatasana, bring the body forward into a straight line above the floor.
Firm the legs and abdominal muscles to keep the spine supported.
Keep the shoulder blades moving down the back with the palms pressed down.
(Chaturanga) Exhale, and lower your body down in a straight line. Keep the elbows in tight to your side.
This is a great posture to strengthen the whole body and to relieve stress.
To energize the body and get the blood flowing, you can join these postures together in a flowing sequence.
Lie face down on your yoga mat, with your legs together and the hands on either side of the chest (fingertips in line with the top of the shoulders). Make sure to keep the elbows in tight to your side.
On inhaling, lift the upper body off the floor and straighten the arms. Let the shoulders slide down the back and keep the neck long.
If you are able to, lift the hips and legs off the floor (so that only the hands and the tops of the feet have floor contact).
Lift through the sternum and allow the shoulders to slide down the back. Stay lifted through the abdomen to support the spine.
This amazing backward bend will help to strengthen the spine and open the heart. The deep opening through the front of the body helps to relieve stress and energise the body.
Keep practising these postures and be happy!
From Downward Facing Dog, bring the right leg up into a Down Dog split.
Bend the right knee and swing the leg forward, bringing the right knee outside the right hand while releasing the top of the left leg to the floor.
Square the hips towards the floor.
Take padding under the right side of the butt as necessary to bring the hips square.
Bring the torso down into a forward bend over the right leg.
Let the weight of your body rest on the right leg. Continue squaring the hips and breathing into the tightness.
Make sure the top of the left foot keeps pressing down into the mat.
Come back up, bringing the hands in line with the hips. Bend the left knee and reach back for the left foot with your left hand.
Draw the foot towards your butt, stretching the left thigh. Square your shoulders to the front of the room.
Release the left foot, curl the left toes under and step back to Downward Facing Dog.
Kapotasana opens the pelvic region and releases the sacrum. This is stimulating for the first and second chakra, which rule the earth element and the water element in the body, respectively. Depending on the variation, the pigeon pose deeply stretches the hip, lower back, knee, hip flexor, and quadriceps.
From tadasana, shift you weight on to the right leg.
Bend the left knee and grasp the inside of the left foot with the left hand.
Start to bring the left foot and the right arm up toward the ceiling as you bring your torso forward.
Hold 5-10 breaths.
Repeat on the other side.
This asana will strengthen your legs. And improve your body balance and stretch the shoulders.