All India Need Is A Sam Curran
Eng Vs Ind, First Test, Edgbaston, Eng 2nd Innings
Over 30.2, Ishant to Bairstow, Out caught by Dhawan,
Over 30.4, Ishant to Stokes, Out caught by Kohli,
In walks a young kid with blonde hair aged 20, though looked 15, facing a rejuvenated Ishant Sharma who was wreaking havoc with the ball. Even Ishant was benevolent enough seeing this young lad that he offered an easy tuck off the hip single to him and hunting the senior pro on the other end, the very next ball and England were in tatters, 86-6.
Everyone was over the moon back home, even to the extent where they might have thought it to be a 5-0 India win. What followed next will always feature in modern cricket's folklore for some time.
This young lad at 20 was smashing World's best Test spinner to all parts of the ground and to be honest, at will. Ishant Sharma at his lethal best was being smashed over extra cover for a six to bring up his maiden fifty and probably one of the finest you can hope to see.
This lad didn't just play an admirable knock for his team and set a tricky target of 194 for India but what this little chap did was that he made the whole team believe that these Indians are not invincible, you just put on an effort and they crash, which they quite easily did. You could see the difference in body language between the two teams by the time England's 2nd inning came to an end. The match was done and dusted there itself and the series when this lad put on a show once again in the 4th test.
The reason to mention this knock was not to rub salt on wounds of some already hurt fans but rather to learn something from this. The young man came, fought and conquered such a difficult situation in just his 2nd test when the likes of Rahane, Rahul, Vijay couldn't with so much of experience behind them. What did he do right ? or What did we do wrong?
The answer is simple: ATTITUDE
That young lad came to crease and saw an opportunity to be a hero for his nation whereas when Indian Batsmen were batting, they were not even sure of their places in the team. Then how could you be in a mental state as such when your mind is so cluttered with negativity.
This is exactly what is happening with this team. They are talented, skilful and have a bit of swagger too. Then what is the issue? why can't they win a series overseas with such a good team and out of this world kind of leader?
The issue is quite easy to resolve, be in a good mental state and everything will fall in place. How can they be in a good state of mind? Well, first of all, the captain needs to be consistent with his team, let Dhawan, Rahul play to achieve the target rather than to save their careers each time they go onto the bat. Second, boost them with confidence in their game, play the practice matches before the tour even if opposition isn't good enough as Virat Kohli mentioned in an interview because those aren't good enough for him, he is high quality but everyone else is not, they need practice and he as a captain needs to understand that. The third measure that the team needs to take is to Talk less, Do more. Let the media and critics do what they know the best and you do what you know the best.
This team has a lot of world-class players and it can be the best team in the world but like every great team in the past, be it West Indies of the 70s and 80s or the Aussie team of late 90s and early 2000s. All these teams have one thing in common and that is their mental attitude.
Like in the last test Rahul and Rishabh played freely with a positive attitude, you could see the difference in their body language and in England's. It came too late though but hopefully, they take a cue from this and play better in Australia.
Published 13 Sep 2018, 14:11 IST