Thursday, 18 February 2010
Dare-Devils were the latest sensation in Indian Cricket for the past 2 years. Group of talented cricketers combined very well and the team was winning all the seasons’ tournaments continuously. With their unstoppable wins they were topping the charts, week after week.
Intriguingly their scores began to drop slowly as their winning streak was snapped by a couple of defeats. Still they had the highest scoring batsman and largest wicket taker in the league in their team only. This began to worry the Captain.
Very disturbed by the turn of events, the Captain called for a meeting of all the players to find the reasons for the drop in standard of performance and to discuss the strategy for reversing this sudden debacle.
In the team there were 4 accomplished batsmen, 4 extraordinary bowlers and 3 able all rounders which, by any standards, was a formidable combination any team would aim for. Still the team was beginning to lose matches!
Deepak Chopra, the Captain, was a mature and brilliant player who knew his players individually and was quite happy with their talents per-se. He was also aware of the fact that his players held the top rank for best batsman as well as Bowler in the weekly rankings.
Eapen Mathew the star bowler of the team was asked how many wickets he had taken in the season. He replied that he took the maximum number of wickets, 35, during the season. Deepak asked him in the matches they lost what was the average runs conceded per wkt he took. He said 50.
Deepak pointed out that in the matches they won he had an average of just over 23 which meant that in his efforts to lure the batsmen to commit mistakes by bowling longhops and flighted deliveries, he had conceded invaluable runs. His haul of maximum wickets were for an exorbitant price!!
When the Team assembled Deepak started explaining his point of view. He called his senior batsmen, Ram and asked him how many centuries he had made in the matches that were won by them. He replied 2. Deepak pointed out that he made 4 more centuries in other matches which they lost. The problem was the time taken to carve out a century had resulted in low overall score which contributed to the defeat.
Erick, the wicket keeper, was having the record for maximum stumpings .Deepak asked him as to how many byes he had conceded in the matches that they won. They were just 10 runs. However in the matches which were lost he had conceded an enormous amount of 75 runs which turned the table in close matches. Deepak explained to him that in his eagerness to get more stumpings he stood so close to the stumps that he failed to collect the balls that were outside the line of stumps on several occasions.
Frederick the allrounder was the leading run getter for the team. Deepak asked him how many runs he had conceded while fielding. He replied that they were quite a few, especially in the matches which they lost. Deepak pointed out to him that while he was justified in aiming to improve his performance as a Batsman, he had lost sight of his responsibility to continue to be the best fielder that he was. He was called the Rock Wall for his fielding talents.
After all the team members were individually counseled by Deepak, they were asked to jointly discuss the strategy for the team and make a presentation.
Locked in their conference room, the players shared their misgivings uninhibitedly and could easily land upon the real cause for their malady. They were pleasantly surprised with the outcome because it was such an error which they could have easily avoided, if only they were aware of it!!
Leslie Thomas, the baby of the team, was given the honour of making the presentation of their findings to the Captain. Thomas started by saying that there was nothing wrong with the players on their performances per-se. However he submitted that the Batsmen were playing for higher scores, Bowlers for taking more wickets, All-Rounders for scoring all round points and the wicket keeper for making more stumpings. Alas! There was no one who played with an AIM for winning the match. Yes, we were good individually but failed as a Team Player. United we stand and Divided We Fall.
Labels: Short Story