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Old 30th January 2018, 17:32   #9961
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I am probably in a minority these days, but I happen to believe that how you play the game is just as important as doing all one can to win and the two need not be counter to each other. Winning at all costs isn't a credo I subscribe to.

I also happen to believe the old saying - never wrestle with a pig on its terms. You get dirty, while the pig likes it. Ugly Australians can be defeated without becoming Ugly Indians.

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Old 30th January 2018, 17:52   #9962
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Aggression has helped Kohli personally. The current ascent to No 1 started with Ganguly winning tests abroad, continued under Dhoni's captaincy. Kohli is carrying forward the same legacy. The presence of great players in last 15 years has helped India. The decline of test playing caliber of countries like West Indies, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa also has helped.
Kohli had little role to play as captain in India being no 1 in tests. During the same time, Kohli has been captain for ODI, T20 & RCB in IPL. His personality hasn't helped these teams at all.
You went totally off tangent. Kohli has been a captain of many sides before being part of the senior India team. I said "if" India remains in top 3 then Kohli will have done a good job with his style of captaincy and aggression, behaviour etc.

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Old 30th January 2018, 17:57   #9963
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Ugly Australians can be defeated without becoming Ugly Indians.
In the past, there really was a definite superiority complex that the Aussies and Brits (and their press) maintained towards sub-continental teams. During Gavaskar's time, it certainly made sense to give it back to them in an aggressive, in-your-face manner.

These days, with the wealthiest and most influential managing board in world cricket, with the richest cricketers, and the widest and most loyal fan base, for us to be needlessly aggressive on the field is pretty silly. And to get aggressive with journalists at a press conference is like the tantrums of a spoiled child. Most of the 'ugliest Aussies' never lost it with the press and handled tough questions with humor or an honest admission of gaps and failures.

The thing with teams like the Aussies is that right from the start, they understood that aggression on the field is one thing, a tool that will work only against those who are susceptible to it. Our definition of aggression sadly means taking things personally and keeping that anger well past the end of a day's play.

The best (worst?) sledgers in the Australian team knew that it was pointless sledging players like Lara, Tendulkar, Dravid, and Kallis. With Kohli and this lot, the Aussie press and team are going to have a lot of fun!
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Old 30th January 2018, 18:22   #9964
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Someone that has played at at least University and preferably at State levels in India will have the answer to this: is sledging, in the sense of a on going stream of chatter directed towards the batsman, by the close in fielders as a tactic to distract and therefore get him out, a common practice in India?

If so, it would seem that what Kohli does is just a different, perhaps spicier flavour of the same dish.

And if so, I don't know many other game where this is practiced. There is no scope to do this in games like tennis and badminton. I know this happens in football all the time between markers and the marked. But football never claimed itself to be the gentlemen's game.

So if sledging is universal and something that players everywhere grow up doing, it seems impossible for it to go away. What one can do is to do it very smartly/cleverly, as a tactic without getting caught doing it, and as suggested above, not let it spill over beyond the field of play to press conferences and the like. Not that I like this approach either, but if it is endemic I don't see alternatives.
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Old 31st January 2018, 10:34   #9965
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The worst bit is normalising this behavior for kids, it's happening fast, and I'm not sure Kohli understands the enormity of the 'role model' expectation on his shoulders, even if he doesn't want it. Comes with the territory.
My 11 year old son plays cricket at his school (and some inter school matches). He is slightly taller than other kids in his age group. So when they sledge him, he finds it funny. However, at times due to his height he is sometimes asked to play against kids of a higher age group. He is neither prepared nor happy with the kind of sledging done by those kids. Maybe he is getting used already to life as a 14 year old. During his matches, I see completely over the top reactions from other kids when they take a wicket of a batsman who was playing well till then. This is probably the part that Dravid pointed out so well.

On the other hand, he is now losing interest in cricket and drawn towards other sports. This could be because he is basically a non confrontational (at least in terms of school fights) fellow. At this age, I would just be happy for him to enjoy and try out all possible sports. But as a cricket tragic and armchair expert, I feel a little sad every time he follows more of basketball or some sport outside of cricket.

To cut it short, I would still be ok if he opted out of playing cricket for sporting reasons but not due to sledging issues.

And for all those who think all the sledging helps Kohli; it doesn't. In fact he performs better when he is working at it by himself. whenever he gets into oneupmanship he usually plays outside of his comfort zone that induces more risk into his game.
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Old 31st January 2018, 10:40   #9966
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To cut it short, I would still be ok if he opted out of playing cricket for sporting reasons but not due to sledging issues.
My wife is a sports psychologist and works with boy/girls, men/women in sports: both indoor and outdoor.

You'll be surprised how frequently bullying/sledging comes up as something that is demotivating the players, to the extent that they'd rather just give up the sport altogether. What's even worse is, there are issues far graver than bullying. All this even at under-14 level.

Most in her profession find Kohli setting a terrible and self-destructing example; we need the tribe of Dravid to flourish.
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Old 31st January 2018, 10:46   #9967
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You'll be surprised how frequently bullying/sledging comes up as something that is demotivating the players, to the extent that they'd rather just give up the sport altogether. What's even worse is, there are issues far graver than bullying.
Is this in general for all games or does cricket stand out as a problem? It would be ironic if that was the case.

And in a larger perspective, this, like road rage, is only a symptom of a disease that is hollowing out our core today. The children are seeing how their fathers - usually - behave driving a car and that is enough endorsement for bad behaviour in the classrooms and playing fields.
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Old 31st January 2018, 10:58   #9968
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Is this in general for all games or does cricket stand out as a problem? It would be ironic if that was the case.
Most of her observations have been in sports other than cricket, actually. With cricket, it is mostly politics that is a silent killer.

What you see in movies: of coaches' interests often not being aligned with those of their players' happens as well.
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Old 31st January 2018, 11:15   #9969
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ABD has been ruled out for the first 3 ODI's due to a finger injury!
Now there is a lack of fire power in the middle order of SA. Hope the Indians cash in on this weakness.
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Old 31st January 2018, 12:58   #9970
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Originally Posted by Sawyer View Post
Someone that has played at at least University and preferably at State levels in India will have the answer to this: is sledging, in the sense of a on going stream of chatter directed towards the batsman, by the close in fielders as a tactic to distract and therefore get him out, a common practice in India?

If so, it would seem that what Kohli does is just a different, perhaps spicier flavour of the same dish.

And if so, I don't know many other game where this is practiced. There is no scope to do this in games like tennis and badminton. I know this happens in football all the time between markers and the marked. But football never claimed itself to be the gentlemen's game.

So if sledging is universal and something that players everywhere grow up doing, it seems impossible for it to go away. What one can do is to do it very smartly/cleverly, as a tactic without getting caught doing it, and as suggested above, not let it spill over beyond the field of play to press conferences and the like. Not that I like this approach either, but if it is endemic I don't see alternatives.
There has always been banter, especially from behind the wickets and some fielders within the circle, as a tool to distract batsmen. But to a major extent this was and continues to be funny and healthy without indulging in personal insults. For example I even now play leagues in Hyderabad as well as corporate matches. Most of the times the banter is to incite the batsmen into playing a wrong shot. Typically the banter would be (Of course in local language and Hindi) "Boys batsman is unable to touch the ball, keep it coming" or " Oh god, you haven't placed fielders on the leg side etc, the batsman would surely hit you" or "Seems like we are in a test match". I haven't come across sledging that is personal to the batsmen, at least till now.

Situation in north might be quite different, because I have friends from there along with work colleagues, whose first reaction to anything would be, even if they are very relaxed and funny, words starting with 'B' or 'M' . However, the sledging at international level is very rude and personal. The conversation between Clark and Anderson about breaking hands etc is something that should be weeded out of the game.

As far as dropping out of cricket is concerned it has got more to do with politics than anything else. The amount of corruption in selections is quite unfathomable to any decent person.
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Old 31st January 2018, 14:40   #9971
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Interesting. I wonder if it is the human mob mentality that encourages a bunch of fielders to gang up on the solitary batsman at the business end. There is no such thing in golf, for example, where there is the scope for such distraction, but I suppose it is hard for a single person to do this to another.

As to selection politics: take the example of the India u 19 squad that is undeniably talented. Is that the players in it are talented and lucky in being selected as opposed to other equally or perhaps more talented ones that were not so lucky? What exactly is the politics that may have been at play there?
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Old 31st January 2018, 15:51   #9972
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Kohli had little role to play as captain in India being no 1 in tests. During the same time, Kohli has been captain for ODI, T20 & RCB in IPL. His personality hasn't helped these teams at all.
Err... Being captain at even first class level is not about showing aggression in a match. The biggest responsibility is being accountable for everything on and off the field by your players. And trust me what you see on field is a tip of the iceberg when it comes to being captain of your team.

To manage player expectations and politics is a huge huge job. Guess why a Tendulkar does not make a good captain.

The Kohli guy is a complete professional. Inside out. He has molded himself in a complete cricket player. Nothing else counts - his flings, cars, his aggression, his language, what a armchair critic sitting and tying on a forum, etc.

To want to win every game is seen in the eyes, every thing else outside of it is only what you want to display. All that counts is the hunger to win. See it in any top player in any sport. The best example of it is Mr Phelps when he got back from retirement and won at the Olympics. That resolve is similar in Kohli's eyes.

That is what Dravid said, it works for him. And not the other way round. i.e. Being aggressive like Kohli will not make you a better player. Dravid himself has no issues with Kohli's behavior.

To all those saying the calm nature of Dravid rubbed off on the U-19 boys. Hell no. They were swearing and yelling expletives too. It's a game, if you are concentrating on what the player is saying instead of doing your best then its your problem not the player's. Dravid did not do it, Kohli did. So what? Both are equally awesome and incomparable.

PS: Played 1st Class cricket for 3 years.

Last edited by Spitfire : 31st January 2018 at 15:53.
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Old 31st January 2018, 16:14   #9973
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What exactly is the politics that may have been at play there?
Long post. Perhaps a rant. Possibly OT. But I think this may give insight into how things go in cricket as well. (Mods, please delete if not relevant.)

For the past 3 years, I've been actively involved in a sport that has a minuscule following in India. (I'd rather not identify it on a public forum.) While I'm just an amateur practitioner with absolutely no illusions or talent to be able to compete at any level, the relative obscurity and the very small community has afforded me access to and insight into how things work with the top-level athletes and officials of this sport in India. And the massive, MASSIVE differences with the way we handle sport and how world-class sportspeople do.

With what I've seen in the past 3 years, I'm no longer surprised about why "we as a country with 1 billion people, can't produce medal winners, etc. etc, blah, blah". I have the greatest admiration for ANY sportsperson who makes it to even the State-level of ANY sport in this country. Make no mistake, EACH of them has had a REALLY hard time and must have a true and abiding passion for the sport. Most of us would have quit the sport in disgust.

1. Senior athletes never help or guide junior ones. They're too insecure to give out tips or training advice.

2. Even a microscopic community of practitioners will find ways to divide themselves into smaller groups and let ego get in the way of helping other groups. Senior members carry grudges over some trivial incident in the past and those grudges are passed on to juniors who were in no way involved with the original incident.

3. Coaches are usually ex-athletes who refuse to learn the new developments in the sport (and in this particular sport, there have been really revolutionary changes in gear and techniques over the years) and as a result, their trainees who can quite easily read about these new techniques online, lose respect for their coaches.

4. The administrators are the worst. The choice is between political appointees who look for any opportunity to misappropriate funds and hoary ex-practitioners of the sport who probably last practiced the sport in the 80s (I kid you not!) and have no idea what the sport has become.

5. There is NO shortage of funds for the sport. There is also no shortage of ways in which funds are wasted. A very good facility in a metro city is refurbished at great cost every year before the zonal competition. And allowed to rot till the next one so it can be refurbished again. Ironically, there does not seem to be enough money to host the athletes who come from outside the city to participate and they have to make do in truly pathetic conditions if they can't afford to finance themselves. They have to sleep in cramped dorms, have to wait hours for a simple meal and often have to clean and sweep out their rooms.

6. The media and advertising is outsourced at great cost to agencies who don't seem to have a clue about the sport, as is obvious in the glaring bloopers in the final output visuals. The websites designed for events belong in an Internet museum for Web design from the early 2000s.

7. Competitions are scheduled at the whims and fancies of the officials. Often, the dates for a Zonal competition are made public a couple of weeks before the competition. But some athletes always seem to know in advance. As a result, several poorer but talented athletes living far away are unable to make it. And this slap-dash scheduling and lack of publicity ensures a poor turnout of spectators.

8. Planned nutrition is a myth. Cross-training is unheard of. Injury management is hilarious. It's keep repeating the same moves day-in-and-out till you get injured or 'become strong.'

9. The gear needed for this sport wears out fast and none of the gear needed for this sport is manufactured in India. Nor will it ever be. The volumes (small even worldwide) do not justify a manufacturing setup. Import duties go up to 40% for this already expensive gear. Poorer athletes have performed truly stunning feats in this sport using borrowed gear. The state government of course does not seem to have the money to provide gear.

10. There is NO shortage of talent. I've been to the outskirts of cities and seen athletes do some amazing things. However, there is absolutely no attempt made to cast the net wider and bring such talent in for training. Each competition for the past 3 years has seen exactly the same faces trading 1-2-3 places. There is really no need to compete, just show up and win!

Last edited by Eddy : 4th February 2018 at 21:03. Reason: Spacing the points for better readability.
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Old 31st January 2018, 16:27   #9974
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Long post. Perhaps a rant. Possibly OT. But I think this may give insight into how things go in cricket as well. (Mods, please delete if not relevant.)

With what I've seen in the past 3 years, I'm no longer surprised about why "we as a country with 1 billion people, can't produce medal winners, etc. etc, blah, blah".
Yes, this is off topic to an extent, but it does allow me to point out that cricket is an exception to this state of affairs in India, being much better managed. BCCI could/should do a lot more for sure, but that should not blind us to all that has been achieved by it, compared to every other sport - except badminton in recent years.

And you make very good points about other sports, but I am not completely convinced that they provide the reason why we don't get a single gold medal except in "non" sports like shooting and chess. African and other third world athletes manage very well on their own even today. The reasons you give are certainly ones that support why we can't get dozens of medals as China does, for example, but do not fully explain the lack of even one in decades, let alone at least one every four years. This second paragraph is off topic, I agree!
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Old 1st February 2018, 09:54   #9975
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And you make very good points about other sports, but I am not completely convinced that they provide the reason why we don't get a single gold medal except in "non" sports like shooting and chess. African and other third world athletes manage very well on their own even today. The reasons you give are certainly ones that support why we can't get dozens of medals as China does, for example, but do not fully explain the lack of even one in decades, let alone at least one every four years. This second paragraph is off topic, I agree!
The other sport that is gaining popularity slowly is roller skating. Trust me it helps in improving the stamina and immunity of the kids. My first son is into it. Yes, there is politics here too but this being an individual sport, it all boils down to the effort each kid puts in. There are parents who are equally passionate about their kids taking part in roller skating events and camps as well
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