A week before I was watching the WC match between Aus & NZ. It was such a fantastic contest between the leather and willow! Despite Aussies losing it, Starc won my heart. The precision and the consistent pace were worth watching. As a cricket player myself, I understand the hard work that goes behind every performance at the highest level. And whenever we talk about hard work, I can't think of anybody else than the Master himself. There have been a lot of talks about his talent, of he being a child prodigy, of his passion about the game but for me what stands out is the "discipline". Incredible!
Let's take some examples:
- Sachin practiced 12 hours a day at the age of 12-13 and used to doze off at the dinner table.
- Sachin doesn't smoke nor drinks.
- He ensures he gets good sleep before a cricket match. However before the match against Pakistan in the 2003 WC, he had a lot of sleepless nights. He was preparing how to handle each bowler to such an extent that he would have played an entire innings - in his head!
- He would have a lot of discussions with the bowlers to understand their thought process when it comes to challenging a batsman. He would set imaginary fields and tries to see how he can work through them.
- In English tours, there would be a lot of rainy day situations during matches. The rest of the players would be having a day out but Sachin would be the only person practicing with a tennis ball to face the bounce.
- Sachin and Kambli started at the same level. Both were equally talented and gifted in their own ways however when it comes to discipline, this is a solid case study of discipline in contrast. Kambli's performance took off in style and he bettered Sachin in the international stage. Success got to Kambli's head and his focus shifted to off-the-field or non-cricketing activities while on the other hand, Sachin was meticulously working on his batting. We all know what happened in the end
I can keep on writing on this topic however my main intention was to pen on how Sachin can contribute to the future of Indian Cricket?
India is a country gifted with the passion for cricket. While one indulges in cricket at a very young age, we have decent academies to ‘teach’ them on the technicalities. The difference is taking it to the next level and this is where Sachin’s contribution would be invaluable.
For e.g. What if Sachin can be the ‘coach’ of the Under-16 or Under-19 National side? Sachin understands cricket like no other keeping aside his experience on the field. It’s obvious that he is a demi god and the youngsters emulating him are like “grass is green”. He can provide such strong perspectives on the technical aspects of the game and at the same time provide thoughts on how to approach a problem. He can teach the young players how to read the bowlers, how to adjust according to the conditions and so on. I feel he should be kept away from cricket administration and should mainly be given the job of laying a strong foundation to the future of Indian cricket by coaching the U-19/U-16 national teams. What say? :)