Process and Belief

Posted this as a comment to a post titled How to win the 2007 world cup by Devangshu Datta on Cricinfo's wicket-to-wicket blog.

Dominance, luck, strategy and heart... interesting points.

To have a team with "heart", you need a team of "believers", a team which believes that it can win as a team, a team in which every member believes in not only his self ability but also in his fellow team-mate's ability. The only way you can get this "belief" thing going is by identifying the core group early and making them win as many matches as a team as possible in different scenarios under different conditions. An atmosphere needs to be created where the words "team" and "process" always take precedence over the word "individual". And this is what the current Indian squad is focussing on.

You can't really say that the teams of the past (Ganguly-wright combine included) did not have heart. The team showed great heart to get to the world cup final in South Africa. They just lacked the belief to win against Australia. They choked. "Choke" is a harsh word, but it has been argued time and again that the teams which stick to the "process" at all times are the ones which don't choke. And that is why I think the current Indian squad is on the right track. The last seven wins have given the team enough reason to believe that they can win against the best in different conditions. Even in the two matches that they lost, they did not choke. They came back strongly (the Hyd ODI against SAF is a good example) when they were pushed against the wall and all these defeats do add to the learning process. The batting order has never been this flexible (much to do with not having players who needed to play at fixed positions) and the team now has the luxury of playing with five regular bowlers (for me, not playing five regular bowlers has been the prime reason for the debacles in recent times).

Much depends on how the team fares from now on till their first world cup game in Trinidad, but the early signs really do look very very promising.

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