Bangalore: There's a blackboard outside the National Cricket Academy's offices in Bangalore that every cricketer has to walk past on his way to the B ground, where most practice sessions are held. Some kind soul is entrusted with the task of writing a thought of the day on this board. On Wednesday (September 18), the academy was buzzing with activity and the board read: Don't waste your life trying to impress other people.
For the Under-16 academy boys who were practicing at one end of the ground, this was sound advice. For the India Under-19 team, led by Vijay Zol, who had their last training session before departing for Visakhapatnam where they will feature in a quadrangular tournament, the words of wisdom have probably come too late. But, for the centre of all attention at the NCA, the India A and West Indies A teams, the thought of the day is possibly the exact opposite of what was on the mind.
After all, while the three-match one-day series is tied at 1-1, with Thursday's game being the decider, the whole point of the exercise for the cricketers in the A teams was to catch the eye. While it is never fun to lose, and Yuvraj Singh, who is leading India A, would love to end on a winning note, the bigger purpose the series serves is to give individuals a chance to stake their claims.