India groans in anguish and grunts in anger following the infamous thrashing we got from Bangladesh in the very first match of the Cricket World Cup.
You don’t have to be a major sports psychologist to see what was wrong with the Indian cricket team in their match against “minnows” Bangladesh. They were complacent, over-confident and self-indulgent. They believed that their opponents would quake with fear on seeing their records on paper. Tendulkar alone perhaps has played more matches and scored more runs than the full Bangladesh team put together – if not in addition to Scotland, Bermuda and Netherlands as well.
The Bangladeshis had one thing our guys didn’t have. The hunger to win. Our guys have enjoyed adulation for so long and have everything there is to have – for theirs and future 5 generations- that perhaps nothing motivates them any more. Where is the thrill of scoring a 100 if you have done it so many times before? Where is the thrill of rewards, if you have enough and more? We talk of playing for the country but aren’t we playing for money and endorsement opportunities that come with being a player for India?
The fact that a team with several aged 17-19 could bowl us out easily, losing 5 wickets for 2 runs, hammer our bowling and field like tigers is a story in itself.
A TV ad shows Dravid, Sehwag, Yuvraj, Sachin & Dhoni as tigers. Tigers they are but the picture, perhaps unintentionally,depicts them as being overly fat, contented and lethargic. They are no longer lean and mean.
To win the games ahead, we cannot wallow in the past. We have the experience, we have the talent, we must only bring back….the hunger to win.