The ride to top began with all charged up and tanks filled with fuel but during their climb they refused to rest, recharge and refuel when it required. As a consequence, once the peak is reached, they are forced to jump down fast instead of partying at the top.
Four months ago, Indians were on the top of the world from where everything looked small for them. Nothing felt greater to the feeling of winning the world cup at home with a six that ended 28 years of dream for the land of cricket. For next few days, from school kids to president of India, talk is all about cricket, world cup final, Sachin Tendulkar and Indian team. But very soon omen breached into them in the form of IPL and the rest is full of pain that followed.
Winning world cup is the pinnacle to Indian team for their consistent good performance in the last 4 years starting from Eng tour in 2007. Ironically, from where India started their raise is where they are pushed down to earth now. After the world cup win, India’s authority to No.1 is firmly placed on the current England tour. Even when India played against WI, talk is all about England series. It is built up like a massive war that the prize of win is crown of king to world. But what happened on the series is a nightmare from Indian side.
There is phrase called “winners visualize the rewards of success, losers visualize the penalties of failures”. Indian players actually played like they done the imposition of writing later half of the phrase 1000 times that got struck in their minds for the entire series. Every time when you see English bowlers bowled, Indian batsmens were finding ways of protecting their wickets rather than to score runs but the exact reversal happened when England batsmen played Indian bowlers. Yes! There were injuries on the Indian side but their fear of losing mind forced them to play players who were half fit and past hit (like RP Singh and Harbhajan who got good past record).
Had India lost only the matches, there won’t be any acrimony surrounding the Indian team but they lost every day and almost every session in the test series. Australians had the habit of pasting a chart not inside but outside the dressing room; a graph with days on X-axis and session on Y-axis is drawn, then sessions won are marked with “tick”, lost with “cross” and drawn with “line” inside the box. It is used to show the opposition that how much they got beaten amid losing. It won’t be surprising to know that India actually drawn a graph similar to this inside their dressing room to know they are losing every 2 hours of a day since they barely showed any fight in any of their each loses.
What this done to India now? It pushed them back to the starting line of the race. All the confidence, reputation and joy they had is gone now. India is back to the drawing board to start afresh but hope they remember this time, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act but habit”. Champions are measured not only on the basis of winning but how they manage themselves and their body language counts for lot.
Champion teams passes awe in the opposition minds not only on the field but also to the dressing room meetings that makes them win matches before it begins. England certainly did that to India even though the opposite was expected initially.