In pursuit of excellence…

 

There is a very thin line that separates the greats from the good.

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Mahendra Singh Dhoni would do well to realise this fact. He has had a lot of success, he is going to take India to the world no. 1 spot in Test Rankings and I think this is the time to reflect upon.

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I for once cannot fathom why would you bat on after you have already had a lead of 250 runs, you have had the opposition team fielding for over 5 sessions !!!! The Sri Lankan batsmen were tired as hell and thats when you want to bowl 10-20 overs at them !!!! But we batted till MS got his century !

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I am very sorry but I thought Dhoni sent out a very wrong signal not only to the opposition but to his team as well… ! He should have declared early and made Sri Lanka face atleast 15 overs, why wouldnt you make things easy for your bowlers ?? the fast bowlers could have gone flat out for 5 overs each and come back refreshed again tomorrow morning !!!

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As a guy who has played 3 day cricket I tell you its the worst thing to be made to bat in the last 10 overs after spending the whole day in the heat in the field !!! Dhoni obviously should know better !!!! Sri Lanka were in the field for over 5 sessions, if in any case he wanted to get the hundred he should have gone about faster… !!! Now in the next match when some other batsman will be at 80 and Dhoni will want to declare will he be able to do that ???

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Also it would have sent a clear signal to the Lankan’s that we are out to get you and that we dont care about milestones but we will make it most difficult for you to bat out this game. Why would you bowl just 3 overs and let them take a full nights rest ???? and let them come again fresh to bat the next day morning ?? Inexplicable.. and while we are winning no one will complaint but I was mighty disappointed !

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Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble have done the job that Alan Border did for the Australian Team. While Border galvanised the Aussies, it was Taylor and Waugh who took them to a golden era !!!! Now its upto Dhoni to decide whether he wants to take the team higher and do what Mark Taylor and Steve Waugh did or even better them, which is what he should be ideally aiming for !! 

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Steve Waugh reveals in his book “Out of my comfort zone” that they made a conscious decision to raise the bar, they would attack at all times in the field, they would look to score at faster than 3 runs an over and they would try their best to annihilate the opposition !!!!

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The problem with sport is you cant stay at the same level for long… so if Dhoni doesnt keep going up… he will go down… !! Excellence must be pursued at all times. Dhoni and his team together have to raise their bar, be more focussed, be more ruthless, be more and more intent on winning games.

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India still has 2 days to win this match and in all likelihood they will win this match at a canter but the thin line that stands between us being the best and also ran is still to be crossed.

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A skipper in cricket means a lot more than in any other sport. A cricket captain’s personality straight away reflects on the team. When he is looking to win you will suddenly find the whole team’s intensity goes up, at the same time when you see that the skipper is laid back, the team will also seem the same.

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Steve Waugh was a very aggressive captain and in his quest of annihilating the opposition he would leave a door of oppurtunity for the opposition team. I can bet my bottom dollar that if in the 2001 Eden Test Match if Nasseer Hussain would have been captain of the Australian team instead of Steve Waugh, Laxman would never score 281 !!!! Simply coz after 3 boundaries Nasir Hussain would have had a sweeper cover and would not have allowed Laxman to hit those boundaries !!!!!

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Aggressive cricket, apart from raising the bar will also make for interesting cricket to watch. India is at the threshold of becoming the best team in the world but it should be more than just about the rankings. Dhoni must set his sight at achieving feats that Tugga’s team did, actually he must better them… he has the arsenal… does he have the will ??

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38 thoughts on “In pursuit of excellence…

  1. Rakesh says:

    C’mmon Dhiren, you’re being too hard on him. With two full days to come, we are surely going to win this one – No question about it. If this was the fourth day, I’m sure he wouldn’t have cared about his 100. He had ample ample time to get it.

    • hitchwriter says:

      I wrote that Rakesh.. we will win it… but seriously… no batsman wants to bat after fielding for two days… you have to make them bat at that time… and this is where we, I mean our team is not able to shed our laid backness and go higher… !!

      I infact would love it if Sri Lanka bat it out and carve out a draw ! That would be a lesson for Dhoni !

        • Rakesh says:

          Dhiren? What? In that test, India was batting first. We had to get them out twice. So three days and a few overs were supposed to be required. This time, we only have to take 10 wickets.

          • hitchwriter says:

            Thats not the point Rakesh… point is Dhoni missed a trick… like I said we won n comfortably… but we need to be ruthless… it wont be Sri Lanka always and it wont be this comfortable always…

            you have to always keep taking the initiative… and I felt he missed the trick !

            to be the greatest ever it is these fine nuances that they will have to look out for !

            We want to stay No.1 for another decade atleast !!!

  2. Disha says:

    Hey good one though I tend to disagree on that ‘dhoni bit’ Like you mentioned a lead of 250 would have been done away with, but thats pretty gettable with the likes of Dilshan, Jayawardhane, Sangakkara… in the line up. The declaration was well timed i felt. (albeit just 3 overs to go for stumps)

    • hitchwriter says:

      Hey Disha,

      You ask an opening batsman what he most hates… !! I have opened and I tell you after fielding for 130 odd overs to go and pad up for batting 10 overs… is the most difficult thing and the only time when a batsman doesnt want to bat.. !!

      Secondly it was an oppurtunity to send a message to his own team that he doesnt care about personal milestones !!!

      We might still win.. but like I said there is a thin line that separates the greats from the good… !

      If India wants to be No.1 for long period of time it will have to be ruthless !!! You dont want to allow the batsman to settle relax and come back fresh for the challenge.. !! you should be challenging them when they are most tired !!!!

      • hitchwriter says:

        and even if they would have overhauled 250 there was no way we could have lost !!!

        so i still think they should have gone for the kill last night ! as it stands its 124/2 right now..

        it could easily have been 20/2 last night and it would have been much easier for our bowlers today !!!

    • hitchwriter says:

      No Sraboney.. I dont agree at all… !!

      He played on coz he thought he had enough time ! I think its a trick he missed… !! Its a fine line.. he treaded with laid backness knowing he had time… !!! Thats where India needs to change… whether Dhoni will do it or not, time will tell !!!! Its a tactical error… I never ever doubt their intent !

      He would never do so if he thought he didnt have enough time !!!

  3. Deeps says:

    726 is a mammoth score whatever said! I dont think I’m qualified to say anything beyond that statement. Thanks to my limited knowledge and interest in this format 😀

  4. vimmuuu says:

    “There is a very thin line that separates the greats from the good.” ——- this is the only sentence that was in English. The rest were Greek, Latin and Arabic to me 😀 😀 😀 😀

    • Solilo says:

      I don’t like agreeing to Vimmy but here I have no choice.

      Out of touch with the game. I think if I watch it again then may be the interest will be back. For now..nothing.

    • Crafty Shines says:

      vimmuuu!!!! am here, fellow non-sports enthusiast!!!! 😀 and this time we have Don along with us too!!

      is the wall ready? shift a bit!!!! *the routine of sitting and throwing roasted channa at passerby public follows*

      😀

      sheeeeeeesh! i can’t tell u how i missed blogginggggggggggggggggggggg!

      i feel like i have rusted! 🙄

  5. calvy says:

    The state that the match rests in as of now doesn’t questions Dhoni’s decision but had it reversed ,the captain cool would definitely have faced the heat!

    #1 is awesome:)

  6. Prats says:

    I would say it was okay he did that, and I think he would have done the same for Tendulkar’s century or Harchajan’s fifty…. After all it was just the 3rd day and he still had 6 sessions of play laid out for them which I think is fair enough for him to assume that his bowlers would bowl them out in that time. So I tend to disagree about seeing Dhoni’s decision in negative light.

    However totally agree to the fact that Dada and Kumble set up the stage, And its Dhoni to take it forward.

    • hitchwriter says:

      No Prats… I dont mean he wouldnt do it for other players.. !! I mean he should be setting an example.. but even more than that… take the game by the scruff of the neck and send a clear message to the Lankans that they cannot breathe easy.. !

      Why would you allow their openers to get a nights sleep and come refreshed the next day to open ??

      When the going will go wrong these finer things will hurt !

      DAda and Kumble’s contributions are IMMEASURABLE !!!!

  7. Indian Homemaker says:

    There is a very thin line that separates the greats from the good.
    I disagree. I think anybody who plays for personal milestones in a team game should not even dream of being called great, no matter how good they are.

    LOL… did that make sense Dhiren? !! Ha ha 🙂

    • hitchwriter says:

      Nope it doesnt

      But I didnt mean he played for personal milestone… I thought he missed a trick and an oppurtunity to set an example for the rest of the team !

      Not for an iota of a second do I doubt their dedication to the team or the country!

  8. sands says:

    Cricket is not new found love, I never cared much for it while being in India, now I keep refreshing the text commentary on my phone 😦 Thats all I can say, I wish I had my brother by my side who could have written a post in response to your post. he is a die hard cricket lover, infact he postponed his engagement to watch the match!!

  9. Crafty Shines says:

    Attendance dance –

    Mujhe neeend na aaye…..mujhe chain na aaye….
    mujhe neend na aaye…mujhe chain na aaye…
    koi jaaye zara dhoond ke laye…
    na jaane kahan dancing shoes kho gaye….. na jaane kahan dancing shoes kho gaye!!!

    hugs hobbes! it sure was a good read, but i have nothing to contribute! 😐

    lemme go join vimmuuu on our wall for non-sports enthusiasts! 😆

  10. Pins N Ashes says:

    I agree n disagree Hitch.

    There is that thin line between greats n being good n Dhoni did miss a trick.

    But I feel Dhoni is getting it easy because he has never played the great bowlers n fielders of all time unlike the other Indian greats. Not his fault that he was born a little late, still I feel that the media n the BCCI, n the audience are over reacting when it comes to him. He does not deserve all this praise. Too much hype.

    We are number 1 or close to it, because the top teams are not performing well…
    How the Aussies took over their ODI spot back is example in point

    Good Day 🙂

    • hitchwriter says:

      He definitely missed a trick !!!

      having said that … he is doing what is asked of him.. so you can not take credit away from him.. he is facing all the bowlers and fielders that are here… its not fair to compare different era’s

      he scores runs and he catches everything… thats the best he can do.. also its not Dhoni alone… its the whole team… !!

      We always had great middle orders, but Dhoni is blessed with two world class openers above the middle order. Secondly he has almost 5-7 pace bowlers to choose from !!! he has bhajji, mishra, chawla & ojha !

      plus he himself at no.7 is as good as a top 6 batsman !!!

      this is complete team !!!

      Like he most sensibly said today… we have reached no.1 with hardwork…

      BUT

      the real challenge now begins !! Like Pete Sampras, Like Steve Waugh’s Team… Dhoni and his men must maintain this… lets see how he goes… he has all the ingredients… thats why i though he missed the trick… great teams dont miss many !!!

      I am hoping it was a very small error… and it will be rectified soon !!! Dhoni is too smart a leader to miss out often !

      p.s. I must tell you I hate the BCCI for giving India so few test matches ! 😦

  11. Yogesh Gandhi says:

    Well said bro! It is when you are at top that the biggest of struggles start, the struggle to stay at the top. Dhoni, as you said rightly, has to lead by example. On the field. In celebration. In sacrifice.

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