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India should guard against complacency

Bishan Singh Bedi

This bunch of Dravid's hopefuls are yet to make winning a habit like in the Australian mould, writes, Bishen Singh Bedi.

NEW DELHI: After the stunning win in Lahore, Indians have moved into the lazy milieu of Multan. There is no reason why Indians shouldn't return home with a 4-1 result in their favour. But this bunch of Dravid's hopefuls are yet to make winning a habit like in the Australian mould. Yes, one of the most glaring stumbles Indians have faced lie within their own system. The familiar disease of complacency in Indian sport raises its ugly head every now and then to mock at the professionalism, which our officials are so fond of flaunting.

Indians would do well to emulate the high fitness level of Ponting and his team. Plus the relentless commitment of the Aussies, which would seal any critic's mouth. The age-old reply to the critics has been pretty simple — let the bat and the ball do the talking for you. The fielding element has to be a collective joy to be seen and relished.

Multan is Inzamam's hometown. The burly Pakistan captain may have a trick up his sleeve. But I doubt it. Inzamam, like tennis star Ivan Lendl, may feel grass is for the cows! So it is. But seam bowlers can use it to their advantage to pick up more wickets. Inzamam is already short of some dry gunpowder in his bowling department. I suspect Pakistan's strategy would be to add a little more strength to batting to frustrate Indian bowlers. I am not too sure how that sort of negative planning would help Pakistan level the series today. Inzamam's captaincy has not been very attractive on many counts, but the man's batting is awesome as figures might suggest.

Noble deed

Inzamam has added a lovely feather to his cap by going ahead and opening a full fledged hospital in Multan — what a noble deed. No doubt, Inzy must have been inspired by his former captain Imran Khan.

Medical facilities in Pakistan are not quite up to international standards. That is why we have seen many patients coming to India for treatment.

If cricket can help bring the two nations closer to each other, so can the caring for the ailing and the needy. Indian team's gesture to be there in full strength at the inauguration of Inzamam's hospital would go down exceptionally well in the process of bringing the two peoples closer to each other.

Here's wishing more power to cricketers of India and Pakistan to keep working for peace and humane understanding. Cricket indeed is the greatest medium to promote international understanding. — UNI

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