CHENNAI: Australian legend Greg Chappell during his stint as India coach pointed out that however great a player may be, the learning process never stops. He also revealed that a coach can help a player only to a certain extent. The rest of the effort must come from the player.
In other words, he stressed that a player needs to prepare on his own, keeping in mind his strength and weakness. For example, Sachin Tendulkar in 1998, took the help of Laxman Sivaramakrishnan to counter Shane Warne’s threat.
According to WV Raman, South Africa’s poor show in the Test series was due to poor mindset and lack of preparation. Despite spending time in India for the T20Is and ODIs, they failed to get used to the conditions. Their preparation for Test series was so horrible that for all their batsman, be it skipper Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers, spin was a pressing issue.
Former India cricketer Raman says that at the highest level, it is the mindset that helps you perform at your peak level. “When the mindset is not right and when you are not in a positive frame of mind, your game suffers. When you are not confident, the preparation too suffers and one tends to continue to make the same mistakes. Had the South Africans played a lot more positively and lot more confidently, they could have fought better,’’ said Raman, the first Indian to score a ODI ton against South Africa.
The flak on pitches is sometimes unwarranted. “When you play in a foreign country you cannot control or change the conditions. The only way is to adapt and South Africans failed to do it. When you lack confidence, your preparation too suffers,’’ explained the former Indian opener.
Some former cricketers have suggested that the South Africa batsman need to step out and counter Indian spinners. “I am not too sure whether that will be productive. When you are low in confidence, it will not be the right strategy to step out and play. By stepping out you will be giving room for the Indian spinners to attack further. The best way is to play to the merit of the ball, with loads of patience,’’ opined Raman.