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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Would controversies boost their sales - Fierce Focus and I was there

Sportsmen like others are keen on making money – and one way of doing that after the end of their sporting careers is to write books – alright – but mere writing would take them nowhere – so, write something controversial and try to shoot from the hips on some famous personalities proclaiming their failures – expecting that this would ensure sale of more copies !!
Sachin has seen it all – 99 centuries and 33000 runs – does not need any certification from anybody.  Interestingly, there is an Insurance connection – his mother worked for LIC.  The diminutive Sachin stands tall and is the centre of attraction, even when he is not playing.  India had an eclipse when Greg Chappen was their Coach – he tormented players and the phase was not good for many Indian cricketers.
Before that “I was there” -  Memoirs of a Cricket Administrator is a book written  by J Y Lele published by The Marine Sports. Lele was former BCCI secretary.  In his book he reportedly has dwelt at length on the controversial India vs NZ Ahmedabad Test where coach Kapil Dev reportedly  forced skipper Sachin Tendulkar to reverse his follow-on decision.  In that Test at Ahmedabad against Kiwis,  India had put on a mammoth total of 583 runs in the first innings, against which the visitors could post only 308.  all was set for enforcing follow on.  Sachin reportedly asked Stephen Fleming so and had asked the Umpires to show balls for selection – then he tamely obeyed to Kapil’s suggestion that bowlers Srinath and Venkatesh Prasad were tired and that India would bat again (so claims Lele); the match petered to a draw !  - it was criticized as a bad and extra-cautious decision at that time.  
Greg Chappel was stylish at the crease but uncouth in his rein between 2005-07 as Coach, tried to deride everything Indian when paid heftily by the land.  There are reports that in his new book ‘Fierce Focus’ he has claimed that the icon Sachin was mentally fragile at a certain stage of his illustrious career and was beset with “self-doubt”.  The reports states him as writing  “At one point early in my time with the (Indian) team … he came and talked to me for about two hours,” “He was frustrated with his form and racked with self-doubt. Since he’d come back in Malaysia ;  Sachin’s mental state had been surprisingly fragile and he came to me for help,” Chappell wrote, apparently referring to a period when Tendulkar was struggling for form, besides also having surgery for tennis elbow.
Assuming that Sachin was indeed worried about the lack of form and the niggling injuries, is there anything wrong in a player seeking the advise of an expert batsmen who was the coach ? was it not the duty of the coach to talk and sort out the troubles of any batsman – what was he paid for ?
Remember that Chappell was sacked as Australia’s national selectors only a few months ago after a fall out with senior cricketers…  Chappell is trying to sell his views months before the Indian tour to Australia which could well be a swansong for the maestro considering his age and the recent injuries.  Greg Chappell has also  accused Australia's top cricketers of being too conservative and defensive as they try to cling on to seven-figure contracts.  He is quoted as saying - "Australian cricket's success was always built on risk-takers. But the higher up the chain you go now, the more conservative and defensive cricket becomes.
On the cricketing ground at Kolkata, a confident and dominant India takes on England in the final one dayer and there are heavy expectations on Dhoni to make a clean sweep.  Parthiv Patel has not been making runs but still might get another chance – it is an excellent opportunity for players like  Ajinkya Rahane,  Varun Aaron – whether the effervescent Manoj Tiwary would bat and  Rahul Sharma would have a chance to bowl at international level is also the Q !   Confidence and cool are the traits often attributed to Mahendra Singh Dhoni and he has everything at this disposal to press for another victory today……

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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