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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

learning PPT - the ways of Mickey Arthur - shocking exclusion of Watto, Pattinson and 2


There reportedly is long winding Queues in front of local brands offering computer education and that line consists of parents anxious to make their wards champions in Sports……. Intriguing !!!

Originally designed for the Macintosh computer, the initial release was called "Presenter", developed by Dennis Austin  and the World has changed a lot since the invention of slide analogy.  When people are interviewed for jobs ~ computer literacy is the basic expectation.. one is expected to know MS Excel well, and if one knows Powerpoint well, that presentation skill will brighten one’s chances……. Is it the time for Cricketers to hone their PPT skills rather than their cricketing skills ???? – the slide analogy here is that of MS Powerpoint…. Microsoft PowerPoint the proprietary commercial presentation program developed by Microsoft, which was officially launched on May 22, 1990 as a part of the Microsoft Office suite.

In Cricket and other games as well, there is increasing dependence on strategy, Coaches, their using various tools from PPT to complex video analyses… Foreign Coaches are the luxury ….. one Coach after the other in India comes, ruins, non-performs but gets paid very high….. Greg Chappell played with the team composition, with the careers of individuals and then left.. the present coach Duncan Fletcher has taken India to its nadir and there was a time when India had 8 running losses in Tests ……. He is still at the helm amidst reports of revision in pay terms………  on the other side, a brave man has robbed the team of its best players – that too at a time when the team is reeling after the 2 losses.  The 0-2 position has shaken and stirred the Australians badly and they have come out with a novel response.. sack good performers.. at least 2 of them..

Australia are trying to cope up with the retirements of  Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey and now they’ll be without their second most experienced batsman, Shane Watson, and best bowler, James Pattinson, because they didn’t submit a presentation on time. The defeat in the first Test was bad, the thrashing in the second Test would have crushed morale as well but the third might be the disaster that Australia couldn’t even imagine.  Their coach wanted them to submit a presentation, some players did not and have been sacked as per reports.  Often, it is stated that a good Manager is who gets out the best of his team and not the one who openly quarrels with them…….  Arthur is known to be a disciplinarian …. This is no school either…  Coaching isn’t just about being the school master and waving the cane around.  Coaching is more about relation management and team building we are told. 

Australia have brazenly adopted their ‘winning is the only thing’ approach – have tried to tame opponents by bullying them, sledging them and whatever is possible … but this is stretching things too far, one feels.  And this comes from a person who was eventually forced to resign in South Africa  after his relationship with SA skipper Graeme Smith “deteriorated irreparably”.  So on whom the pressure got on – on the players, on the coach, on the management – on the Australian Nation as a whole. 


The present coach - John Michael "Mickey" Arthur is a South African cricketer who played South African domestic cricket from 1986 to 2001. He coached the South African national team from 2005 to 2010.  In 2008 Mickey Arthur became the first South African coach to guide his team to a test win in Australia. The team backed up this performance by winning the resulting One-Day International series against the odds. This unexpected 4-1 win meant that they regained the No.1 ranking in the One-Day International rankings.  During the 2005/06 tour to Australia, Arthur  questioned the umpiring standards, claiming that the officials were biased due to overappealing by the Australian cricket team. He was cleared of the charges. He was to resign later because of differences with Cricket SA. 

Yesterday his controversial move hit the headlines - Shane Watson, James Pattinson, Mitchell Johnson and Usman Khawaja have all been axed for failing to give a presentation on how they could improve following their embarrassing innings defeat in the second Test last week. Captain Michael Clarke however defended this stating that this was the straw that broke the camel's back, writing in his column in the Sydney Daily Telegraph.  The reports have it that Australia coach Mickey Arthur asked each of his players to submit a three-point presentation.  The Captain also felt that 'It's not good enough for players not to have complied with those wishes and, quite frankly, it's disrespectful toward the coach.' Vice-captain Watson has flown back to Australia to be with his pregnant wife Lee, who is due to give birth this month. In another twist, Watson will consider his future in international cricket after what he described as a 'harsh' punishment; yes contemplating retiring from the Test scene. 

There appears to be plenty of sub-text behind the presentation incident, though, with Arthur describing it as 'a line-in-the-sand' moment for the squad. All the other members of the group are understood to have completed the exercise, which required three points to be given on the current state of affairs by email or in person.  In the words of the coach, 'That's a line-in-the-sand moment. We have given these guys absolute clarity. We have given this team a huge amount of time to buy in with what we want to do for the Australian cricket team. 'We have given a vision to these guys that is spelled out. We've given an expectation that is spelled out and although this incident might seem very small in isolation this is a line-in-the-sand moment for us as a unit in our quest to become the best in the world. 'Myself and Pup (Clarke) came to the conclusion that we have been so focused on winning cricket games that maybe some people have been cutting corners. Perhaps there have been some soft options taken. 'We decided that we needed to really get that in line.'

So, those aspirants of Indian Cricket might as well join some roadside computer teaching classes at least,  to hone their PPT skills, lest they might face a serious problem, if and if at all when India also takes some serious action after sting of failures. For the moment, it makes life easier for Michael Clarke to select the Aussie squad for Mohali Test as he will have 13 players  and if wicketkeeper Matthew Wade's ankle does not heal, they will have to pick a team from 12. For Clarke, accepting mediocrity is simply out of question. “We can’t accept mediocrity here. This is the Australian cricket team. Maybe I am biased (but) there is a big difference between this team and other cricket teams. If you play for Australia, there is a lot that comes with that and standards, discipline, culture that is all a big part of what we are talking about here.

One thought that players would go out and perform while it was the duty of strategists including Coaches to analyse and plan…..  You expect Michael Holding to bowl fast, Murali to spin and Sachin to score runs….. not present beautiful powerpoint presentations……….  Mickey has other ideas though which prevailed..

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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