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Consistency has no value?

Why does it often happens that the most consistent team fizzles out when it matters the most?

IPL is gone, dismal campaign of India in T-20 World Cup is still hard to forget. But at last there is something to cheer for the Country which gave birth to the game of Cricket. I now eagerly await the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. I really prefer the World Cup over the EPL and I am sure my kinds of species are very hard to find. People swear by the name of Manchester United or Chelsea, but you would rarely see them doing the same when it comes to the Country game.

One thing I really wonder is whether India in Cricket is going the way of England in Soccer? Would Indian players in near future face the problem of choosing one between the Country and the Club? England's soccer team is very much similar to the India's Cricket team - Everyone is a star. But still, the last time England won the FIFA World Cup was way back in 1966. If you see the England's squad, there is no reason why they should not win the each edition of World Cup.

Well, let me stick to the game of Cricket. There is lot of Cricket related news coming in this week. The major ones are that the IPL- 3 star, Kierron Pollard was ridiculed by Michael Holding by saying that he is not a cricketer. It certainly makes sense because until a player plays Test Cricket, his mettle is not tested. Match Fixing ghosts are there to haunt this game again, and no wonder, it is Pakistan again!

But coming back to my topic, the question I have in my mind is that why the most consistent performer often fails the litmus test? Let me recall two most recent events: Mumbai Indians in IPL-3 played like the indisputable champions, but when the most important opportunity came knocking in, they closed the door themselves. Australia by no way deserved to be on the losing side in ICC T20 World Cup-2010.

Is it because that the most consistent team usually becomes complacent by the time they reach fag end of the tournament? Or is it because that they were never really tested to the core and hence they fail, Or is it because the most consistent team fails to handle the baggage of consistency itself?

According to me, what really differentiate the top performing team from a good performing team are mostly intangible things. The frame of mind, ability to remain focused even in extreme situations, the ability to keep your cool are equally important. As they say, Life is not all success, and hence failures are bound to happen. But what can be more bad than failing at the most crucial juncture? Having seen rosy pictures all the time, a human mind is bound to think if today is your worst day. And the moment such kind of feeling creeps in, you have lost half your battle. The other problem may be that of over-confidence or becoming complacent. A team might think, when you have won almost all the matches, is it difficult to win one more match?

Whatever be the reason, 'Consistency' of the consistent team remains of no value. You may very well remember the first man to be on the moon, but are you confident about the second one? As a fan of the game and not just the team, one is bound to feel bad if the most consistent team does not win, but such is life!

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Very good article
Avakash on 20 Apr 2011, 09:49 PM