Lack of discipline mars team India

The men in blue attired in battle fatigues is a rare sight in Indian cricket.

updated: October 18, 2007 09:17 IST
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The men in blue attired in battle fatigues is a rare sight in Indian cricket.

This attempt to make cricketers into battle-ready warriors was initiated by someone who knew the Aussie way by heart. That being none other than Greg Chappell himself.

But the rock-climbing and difficult treks did not work and Chappell failed. The Indian team was knocked out cold in the first round of the World Cup.

The post-mortem that followed exposed deep faultiness within the team. The Chappell way was questioned.

Chappell and others managing Indian cricket faced two major problems, managing the heavyweights like Sourav Ganguly, whose training schedules and attitude was questioned.

And other heavyweights like Powar who despite lots of effort refused to shed those extra kilos on his tummy.

For a while now the Indian team has been widely regarded as the most unfit among all cricket-playing nations. In fact, a key support staff official once joked that with the number of players breaking down, India should add a breakdown van to the team kit.

For every fit player like Suresh Raina, Mohammad Kaif and Yuvraj Singh, we have a Munaf Patel, Ramesh Powar or Ajit Agarkar.

Because the Indian way is tasty but not necessarily healthy!

All of this is fuelled by a perception of a team that spends more energy off the field than on it. But it's catches on the field and not in ad breaks that win matches. And for that we are just not sweating out enough, either before or after matches.

"They are better than us in every respect. We have a lot of catching up to do," said Lalchand Rajput, Cricket Manager, Indian Team

According to people who travel with team India, while the Aussies have post-match rehab sessions, we have parties.

"When the Australians lost they were so shattered that they had to come and win here. The Indians are happy even if they lose a match they feel like they have achieved something," said Debasish Datta, Senior Cricket Journalist.

India may have learnt the art of aggression from the Aussies but as the men from Down Under have proved, that in this series team India has missed the real lessons of the Australian Way.