(Only )Results Matter
As I wrote recently in my post on Sight Screen also(in the post ironically titled It hardly matters), it seems that we, as fans of Indian cricket, care only about one thing. Results. In today's world of crammed schedules, it seems that we don't have much patience for following the methods that lead to those results.
Consider this, GC had been saying for quite some time now that the team is working hard on improvement, and its only a matter of time before they start showing. And as I noted in my earlier posts, the signs of those hard-work were visible in the field. In the batting(as in application and willingness to stay at the crease), bowling(which had mostly been good from the start of the season) and fielding(which looked considerably improved in this tour).
But, had India lost this Zimbabwe game(mainly because we experimented our bench strength, and Zim is playing a much improved game, not only against us but also against Nz whom they gave a scare last time around) how many of us would have cared for what we saw on the field ? As Yuvraj said here
Yuvraj Singh says his century against Zimbabwe is all thanks to the hard work he has put in recently, under the watchful eye of India's coach Greg Chappell and his assistant Ian Frazer
and I saw this application even in the game where he scored a laboured 50 runs(against Zim, first time around). The difference in that and today's game could have been one good ball that he got then, or one chip that fell short of a fielder now. But now that we have good results from him, we're happy.
Look at Kaif, had he got the good delivery that accounted for him today in his last game also(which means he hadn't scored that century) we would still be calling for his head! But now we have the good 'result' and we're happy for a while.
My point is, sure we all want good results. But when the team is down, it would take a while to come back up. Look for the right signs of revival in their performance, but be patient for good results. They should be there in the long run, but for the time, just count those small steps forward.
And, IMO, the best way to do this is to watch the game. Closely. There are answers for most of our anxieties there. What's wrong with Sehwag, why is Dravid slumping, why is Rao struggling, why does Ganguly keep getting out to short ball, is Yuvraj playing for himself, why is India struggling against Zimbabwe, why are we treating bowlers like Ireland and Mahwire with respect etc etc. I found the answers to all these out there in the middle. Watching the game.
And one more thing that I find helpful is to follow the game not involving the Indian team, but the game itself being relevant in Indian context. For example if we are playing a tri-series against Nz and Zim, then follow the game of Nz vs Zim also (for example check how the Nz team also struggled in their game against same Zim in their second match? So, isn't it to our credit that we played better, Nz got allout, we didn't etc. then why are we still complaining about the early 'wobble' we had, that we lost a few early wickets ? Do we expect to win with 10 wkts each time?).
Or if we are playing SL next, follow the game that SL is playing, check which player is in exceptional form recently (ok they are playing b'desh, but still). It helps to look at the whole picture. For example, check how Murali is going for few runs but hardly any wickets in their games against bangladesh, and that too at home ! But we deride Bhajji, and ask questions like 'why is he needed at all, if he's not taking enough wickets' ! (btw, I remember even in the Indian Oil cup Murali didn't exactly run through the WI side also, but was economical)
Anyway, this seems to have been a long rant :) Maybe I was in this kind of mood since the last Ind-Zim game.