Dubai: It was a masterclass of sorts for the newly formed Danube Lions cricket team players. They got a pep talk from Sunil Gavaskar, one of the greatest legends of the game on the temperament needed for a player and team to excel in the game.
“In cricket, champion teams also lose sometimes but the most important factor is to lift yourselves from such defeats,” he said.
The brand ambassador for Danube Group, Gavaskar interacted with the players of the team culled from some of the best performers in the domestic scene. “While batting, never think of the past but always focus on the next ball. Don’t ever think of the final result too. In an earlier match, you may have scored 300 runs and reduced the opponents to 100 runs but it can be your turn in another match to be at the receiving end. Even if you have scored a century and taken four wickets in the last match, look towards improving. Always aim forward,” he said.
Gavaskar stressed the importance of backing each other in a match. “It is important for the players to talk to each other. The team that talks to each other are the best teams. Even while batting, point out if you partner is going wrong. It is two batsmen against the eleven on the field and sometimes even the crowd.”
The man they called the original Little Master also stressed the importance of batting full 50 overs. “The team should always try and bat full 50 overs. If you get out in 49.3 overs, you have wasted three deliveries and you could have scored one run each in those three balls. Very often the difference in limited over cricket between winning and losing is two runs.”
Never give up
Answering to a query from Anis Sajan, the Managing Director of Danube and owner of the team on temperament, Gavaskar said: “Mental state is called temperament. With experience temperament improves, but always remember to never give up.”
When Gulf News asked him about his “temperament” when he went out of to bat against the West Indies in his debut Test against the fearsome West Indies pacers in 1971, Gavaskar said: “I never played that kind of fast bowling so I did not know whether I will have the ability to play that kind of pace and bounce because in India the bounce was just around my knee. When I took guard in that Test match (Port of Spain, Trinidad) and looked for the bowler Vanburn Holder I saw him somewhere near the sightscreen.
“I have never faced anyone from such a long run-up. I had no physical fear but my only fear was will I be able to have my bat speed coming in time. My first run in Test cricket was leg byes. The first ball I played went off my pads to deep fine leg and when I saw umpire not signally leg bye I told myself well in my Test debut I have scored atleast one run.” Gavaskar went on to top score for India with 65 runs.