The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Gordon tips and Wright spirit

Pietermaritzburg: It’s at hot shot sport psychologist Sandy Gordon’s suggestion that the Indian cricketers have chosen a theme (Now or Never) for the World Cup. Again, it’s at his prompting that coach John Wright has given a greater role to youngsters in team meetings.

“It’s not that the youngsters had no contribution but, after Gordon’s sessions in Paarl, Wright decided to involve them in a more significant manner,” informed a well-placed source.

Talking to The Telegraph Sunday morning, the source added: “Towards that end, Wright has been assigning briefing tasks to the youngsters. At team meetings, then, even they have to speak about either the batting or bowling or fielding strategy.”

Apparently, Saturday evening’s team meeting (ahead of the Namibia match) was ‘addressed’, among others, by Zaheer Khan (bowling) and Yuvraj Singh and Mohammed Kaif (fielding). The batting, of course, was taken care of by senior pros Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, while captain Sourav Ganguly did the “summing up.”

Clearly, there are pluses in greater participation and Wright (whose contract is up for renewal after the World Cup) has chosen to encourage the Yuvrajs even more.

Incidentally, the huddling of the XI after every wicket has also been at Gordon’s suggestion. That reinforces the unity bit, besides reminding the players that wickets remain to be taken.

Going by the acceptance of his ideas, it won’t surprise if Gordon now has a larger role in Indian cricket.

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