Champion performers vs. performing to the gallery
The vast majority are not smart enough to identify a good knock (performance) from a good score after a long wait.
Matches are won not just by batting and bowling, but by dismissing scoring or champion batsmen through some great catches (ex: Kapil Dev’s catch to dismiss Vivian Richards) and difficult run outs.
Kapil Dev’s 175 not out performance in 1983 WC, when team was 17/5 against Zimbabwe; Sandeep Patil’s semi-final performance against England; and great team performance in bowling and fielding in the finals (Kapil’s catch of Vivian Richards, B S Sandhu’s in-swinger to Greenidge, Amarnath and Madan lal’s performance and great fielding by everyone), are few such champion performances.
Champion performers doesn’t necessarily hit a century or take number of wickets, in every match. They just need to match up to challenges and help the team win the match, every time. This could be getting 8 runs of 3 balls against a champion bowler or conceding 2 runs in an over against a batsman who is aggressively scoring runs. Such performances inspire others to higher standards.
The need to come through in losing situations builds self-confidence. Better if have difficult matches upfront than big victories, which tend to build over confidence (WI lost 1983 with over confidence – needed only 184 runs to win in 60 overs).
Each and every individual in the team, must have the same levels of depth, commitment and character to come out and survive dire situations.
It is a long campaign and the best performances need to increase as we go into the quarters/semifinals and finals. The team needs to peak at the right time.
The match is not over till the last ball is bowled; and so is the tournament, till the last match is won. Till then, the team needs to respect the opposition’s strengths and perform on each ball/match; and out-think and outperform every other competitor.