In every cricket world cup, you see Indians wishing for our team to be the champion team. So do the people of Bangladesh, Srilanka, Australia or any other country whose team plays the game. However, its obvious that it is an achieving cricket team that wins the cup. Team, which is a set of individuals, becomes achieving only when it overcomes obstacles and challenges. World cup tournament is a series of challenges where everyone does their best. The popularity of a person or team has little to do with winning the world cup.
Stop emphasizing on statistics
A fifty, century or 5 wicket haul are important. But it is more important to recognize and reward those who focus on the challenges that are required to overcome and to win the many matches (obstacles). Statistics are deceptive and show wrong symbols. They are like wrongly pointing direction boards (especially for Indian teams).
We need to stop rewarding/recognizing those who score statistics inefficiently or ineffectively. When someone scores slowly at 40’s or 80’s and 90’s to reach a personal milestone, then they are compromising on team results. They are keeping their team’s milestone below their individual goals. That is selfish play; does not matter how senior the player is.
Recognize and encourage variety
Some people are aggressive and some are not. Some bowl accurately, some bowl to get wickets. As long as the member is playing to win the match for the team, we need to recognize and encourage variety.
Plans are already made for predictable play by opposition. In order to win, team has to be proactive and do some things differently. This needs strong cricketing mind and innovative thinking.
Recognize those who don’t run away from challenges and play for the team victory
Cricket is a team game where victory is possible only by positive contribution of every team member. Playing as per the directions of school level or district level coaches does not win matches. Playing less risky shots, settling down, bowling line and length are helpful at low level cricket that has too many unaccomplished cricketers. It does not work at international level where the bowlers bowl well, the batsmen bat well and fielders field well. There is a genuine need to take the game to the next level to be a champion team. Unless the senior cricketers are willing to risk their reputation on challenges and deliver a contributing performance, it will be difficult to win.
More importantly, when senior cricketers run away from the challenges, the other junior cricketers will know when they are tasked to do an unfair challenge.
The biggest challenge needs to be taken by the most competent and the smallest by least competent. A warplane takes on a warplane. You cannot expect a foot soldier with an INSAS rifle to win over a F16 warplane. The Sukhois have to do that job.
Some performances inspire others; some performances build resentment and demoralize others. The middle overs are bowled by 4th and 5th bowlers. When the best batsman plays at slow rate against such bowlers and expects his last 2 batsmen to hit at 8 runs/over against the top 2 bowlers, something is wrong with such team. They can never win against a good team.
Refuse to count statistics in crucial times. Hitting 10 runs of 5 balls is better than hitting 22 runs of 18 balls. This needs to be publicly acknowledged.
Recognize the regular players who have done the 100 basic things well in the match. Wars are not won by generals, but by the foot soldiers. As much as it needs champion performances from a few, it needs that everyone performs. No team that neglects its foot soldiers will win the world cup. From 5th change bowler to last specialist batsmen to the weakest fielder, the 12th man, the practice bowlers, the physio, doc, manager and BCCI, everybody needs to do their job well.