The next three months are going to be challenging for the Indian team as it leads up to the ODI World Cup. While there will be quite a few opportunities coming its way, Virender Sehwag believes that Rohit Sharma’s men should consider each and every fixture as a ‘knockout game’, going forward.
The 2011 World Cup-winning team, of which Sehwag was a member, too, had followed a similar approach and that eventually worked for the side. “When Gary Kirsten came in as our coach in 2008, we were three years away from the World Cup. But for those three years, we took every game like a knockout game and went on to win most of the tournaments and bilateral series, thinking that we will have to win each and every game,” Sehwag said at the event launch on Tuesday.
“I think from today if India takes every ODI like a knockout game, it will be easier for them when they actually reach the knockouts of the World Cup. That mindset will take the pressure off in the knockouts…”
Reminiscing the days of 2011 World Cup, Sehwag stated that Kirsten allowed each and every player to express themselves and practice in whatever way that suited them. “Similarly, Rahul Dravid knows how to manage his players and get the best out of them. Once the player hits the ground, if he performs well then the coach gets appreciated. But if he fails, then the coach gets slammed. We reached the WTC final, but nobody is talking about the fact that reaching the final twice in a row itself is a big deal. But we are all talking about the defeats and questioning Dravid,” Sehwag said.
“He’s been an outstanding player, but as a coach, he does not go out there and play, it’s up to the players. School kaa naam teachers nahi banate, bachhe banate hai jo wahan se padke jaate hai (A school is known for its students, not teachers) and achieve success,” Sehwag said, indicating that it’s a similar policy for cricketers as well.
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