Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Tendulkar vs Chappell

Indian cricket is in turmoil - the debacle at the World Cup, a shameful premature exit, and now reports of a deep divide between the captain/coach (Dravid/Chappell) duo and the rest of the team that seems to have reached a point of no return. I personally believe that senior players like Tendulkar need to be let go - trust me, I enjoy watching Tendulkar just as much as anyone else, but this is getting to be too much. Now, when Chappell criticizes Tendulkar for not pulling his weight, Tendulkar reponds saying the coach is going to far. Some player went so far as to say,
"Does he understand the pressure Tendulkar is playing under before he
questions his fitness or attitude? .... Remember one thing, coaches come and go, but the boys are what is important. We have to play with each other through our careers."

Now I take exception to that - I agree that I cannot imagine how much pressure Tendulkar plays under - but then thats his job. He is not getting paid millions to just be a poster-boy for Airtel or whatever other brands he endorses. He is getting paid because he can get to the crease and score, and millions of Indians still believe he can. Thats no shield for not questioning his lack of performance. Either he is too old - in which case he should retire. If its not old age, and he is still not performing, its either his attitude or his fitness. And the idea that coaches come and go is ridiculous - it is the one of the biggest problems with Indian cricket - senior players permanently occupying spots in the team, despite a lack of performance. Lesser names would have long disappeared. The idea that boys are more important is ridiculous - you are professionals, be mature, grow up and perform!!

Compare that to professional athletes in sports like football in the US or even baseball - such statements will be looked upon as ridiculous. Non-performing athletes are cut as are non-performing coaches - as long as its clear who's non-performing. And in case of the Indian team, I don't think its the coach - its the players. So they are the ones who I hope will go, and give Mr. Chappell one more shot.

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