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Javagal Srinath - Castled

It’s time Kohlis, Rainas and Jadejas deliver when biggies fail, feels Srinath

Thursday, November 05, 2021
Juniors should fire

The challenge for the team when you are ahead in the early part of a series is to sustain that effort. In these days of gruelling schedules, there is sometimes a tendency to allow negative thoughts to creep in, such as ‘we are up now, even if slip once, we can catch up’.

This, though, is usually touched upon during team meetings and everyone is asked to be guarded against such thoughts or allowing any sort of complacency to creep in. But then on the field, despite all the forewarning, things can turn out just as you didn’t want them to. That’s just the way the game goes. 

In Mohali, the Indian bowlers did a tremendous job to contain the Australians and so it is basically the batsmen who have to take the responsibility for the loss. In general too, in the Indian scheme of things, it is the batsmen who win the matches and they will have to be repeatedly made aware of it. 

The senior batsmen have done their bit but it is for the juniors to seize their chances. If it was Dhoni in Nagpur, it was Dhoni and Yuvraj in Delhi. Similarly, the Kohlis, Rainas and Jadejas should take over when the bigger guns fall. After all they are playing in Indian conditions, familiar conditions that is, and they must use that factor to its fullest. It will be different when they travel abroad but if they perform at home, they can take the confidence into matches abroad.

There is a tendency within the team to idolize people like Tendulkar and Yuvraj and that is not a bad thing, but the next step is to perform like them. Say if you score an 80-90 and take the team to victory, you can consider yourself equal to your heroes. That’s the way the youngsters must look at it and try and match the biggies rather than just keep admiring them. 

To continue with the youngsters, perhaps it would be a good idea to use Ishant Sharma in short bursts. Given that he seems to be a little short on confidence, the team must refrain from bowling him in the powerplays. The best bowlers at that time have to be the fast improving Praveen Kumar and the most inform bowler in the series Ashish Nehra. They were given the responsibility in the Mohali game and they delivered.

As for the series itself, winning it from hereon will mean a lot to the young men in the team. It will make a big difference to their careers as such wins take you away from the narrow confines of individual glory and instead turn the focus towards doing it for the team. A triumph in a hard-fought series and the subsequent joy and celebrations that follows never fail to motivate the players on to greater things.