Former India coach, Anshuman Gaekwad said that practice sessions shouldn’t be optional © Getty Images
Mar 4, 2014
After Sunil Gavaskar came down heavily on the beleaguered Indian players, questioning their “abysmal work ethic” following the side’s defeat to arch-rivals Pakistan in the ongoing Asia Cup 2014, former coaches Madan Lal and Anshuman Gaekwad too have lambasted the Indian team for it’s poor work ethics.
Madan Lal stressed the importance of having good work ethic for a team to succeed. “This chalta hai sort of attitude is hurting Team India badly. It is important to have a proper work ethic and discipline in the team”, he told the Mid Day.
“I don’t know whether we should blame the captain, coach or the team management. You either have a practice session or you don’t have it. Simple,” said Lal, who coached India from September 1996 to October 1997.
Gavaskar, talking to NDTV after India’s loss to Pakistan, said: “India’s work ethic has been pretty abysmal. It has let the team down. They have not practiced well and there can be nothing like optional practice. There was no excuse for anyone apart from Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli to miss practice.
“This business of optional practice has to be thrown out of the window. This is not the case only in this tournament, but throughout. You are not here to be in your hotel rooms or to be out in the shops. You are here to represent India, something which the team management has not been saying for the past two-three years.”
To add to Gavaskar’s sentiment, Lal said, “I don’t think the Indian team enjoy their training sessions like other teams. When you do half-hearted work, it will always harm you.”
Gaekwad said practice sessions shouldn’t be left to individuals in a team sport, “I agree that India is playing a lot of cricket and you have optional training so that your body gets enough rest and time to switch off.
“But when the team is performing inconsistently, it is the players who need to on their own go out there and practice harder. After all, practice makes you perfect. The practice sessions can be for one or two hours,” added the former India coach.
He also recalled an incident from his days as the India coach when Mohammad Azharuddin was the captain in 1998, “We landed around 12 noon and I told the boys we would go to the ground at around 4 pm for some light training. A senior player said he wasn’t feeling well and would not like to come.
“I insisted on his presence because it would help in building team cohesion. “Nowadays, players are left alone. They no more share rooms. So, the only time they get together is during a practice session and during matches,” Gaekwad concluded.