15 October 2008

To go when people ask "Why?"

As a professional sportsman, one internalizes the fact that you can feed yourself only by getting the better of your opponents.

By outwitting defenders to create that scoring opporunity, by being part of that match-winning partnership that kept the scoreboard ticking, those frugal overs at the death that kept the marauder off strike, that impossible burst of speed in the last hundred metres of a marathon, that important tackle, that dive to propel the shuttle from inches off the ground- these are how a sportsman earns his roti-dal.

Day and night, in and out, he performs - and like any professional, he performs for that larger chunk of meat and more roti at the dinner table. A better car, a larger home, jewellery for his sister, whatever.

He learns that to get the things that money can buy, he needs to consistently get the better of opponents. And that cannot be done without the belief that you're indeed better. He believes until he knows. If he doubts it for a split second, its effects will show on his game, and hence on the quality of the roti. Which is why he will never admit to himself (forget anyone else) that he might be less than spectacular. A massive ego is essential to a succesful sportsman. I laugh whenever I hear someone say that Tendulkar is humble - oh, if only you could hear the disdainful voices in his head.

No sportsman worth his salt will voluntarily admit that he is not better than his opponent.
And that is why we have selectors.

If Anil Kumble is not to play at Mohali (for reasons of incompetence, not fitness), it is not Anil Kumble who will pull that trigger. It is not in the nature of a sportsman to do so. It requires someone who is much much more than a sportsman to go when people ask, "Why?".


Damith S. said...

I think the Indian selectors are being paid good money to do a tough job.

I think it is the right thing to drop Kumble and bring in Dhoni as captain.

I predicted that this might be Kumbles last series , it might even last the distance.

John said...

Damith, the right thing for what reasons? Form or fitness?

straight point said...

both john...you cant separate one from another...

coz with current form and waning body he doesn't deserve to be the spinner of our team...

Gaurav Sethi said...

Cracker John.
Tomorrow can't come soon enough.

Soulberry said...

Well said John...you summed it up well.