Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Compulsive Obsessive Nation

When I read Harsha Bhogle's article on espnstar.com, I felt as if he had read my mind. Before people start interpolating, let me say two things. Firstly, it seems almost unfair that we should talk about this in the context of another blunder by Steve Bucknor that sent Tendulkar packing even as he was scripting a gem. Luckily for the team, there were other heroes. In the process, Bucknor ruined his milestone appearance and also the day, for expectant Tendulkar fans who would will him to his record-breaking hundred if they could. But then, Bucknor is not the only official who has erred, so endemic has bad umpiring been. Secondly, 'the' hundred will eventually come. The brouhaha is unwarranted, even though the expectations are understandable. The master batsman has been in good form and has only been overshadowed by spectacular performances from Sehwag and Dravid batting wise. It seems somewhat silly to be obsessing over individual records, and in a way, we look like willing conspirators in proving Matthew Hayden, who made known his thoughts on the matter, right. Not that the Aussie has a final word on these matters, but there is some truth. Kapil Dev's record-chasing in the early 1990's stands out as an example of pursuit of individual interests over team objectives, but then that was quite noble compared to some of the inglorious chapters of our cricket. I have felt distinctly uncomfortable whenever Sunil Gavaskar, such a titan in our sporting history, advocated the importance of reaching the 'three-figures'. Nothing should come in the way of team objectives, and I'm proud of the current squad where everyone has contributed to whatever success we have had in recent times. Surely, a winning team will mean more records for the players as well. More power to the team concept. - NK

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