When in 1991 Vishy Anand played his first Linares event he met a Spanish couple Maurice and Nieves. They were the reason Anand moved to Collado Mediano. They travelled with Vishy to many events over the years. Still when Vishy wins, Maurice is the first person he thinks of. He is by far Anand’s biggest fan. Nieves is no more and when Vishy won Linares in 2006, he dedicated it to her.
Maurice still remembers meeting Vishy in 1991. “ He has the way of walking you know . His hand in his pocket and talking fast . He played with Beliyavsky and had barely used 10 minutes on his clock .So I said ‘tomorrow Karpov – think a little more’ and he said ‘how about 11?’.”
Glenn McGrath, with a grand Test batting average of 7.36 (51 not outs) – a total of 641 Test runs, as opposed to 543 Test wickets. McGrath’s autobiography devotes to his batting an entire, typically earnest, chapter. “You see, the way I look at cricket is there are eleven batsmen in a cricket side,” he insisted. “We all have a job to do, and we’re expected to do it with a certain aplomb.”
Seldom has the doctrine of mental disintegration been so methodically enforced as at Brisbane in the November of 2004-05, when McGrath joined Jason Gillespie with their team 118 in the lead on first innings just after tea on the third day. The teams seemed close to parity as the New Zealanders contemplated their second dig in advance. But, with nothing other than orthodox strokeplay, the last Australian pair made increasingly merry. They had added 93 by the close, and a record 114 by their separation, their partnership lasting longer than the eventual response of the visitors – a demoralised 76.
The interlude, nonetheless, was not merely about Australian strength. The New Zealanders were complicit in their own downfall, slack bowling and outcricket allowing the partnership to establish itself. Advantages in cricket are not always taken; sometimes they are ceded.
As India and Australia jostle in this series, this Brijnath piece in the Hindu the other day. The idea of mental disintegration is not to sledge. It was not to coin a new term. It is (and must be) to get the best out of yourself. And cast doubt in the mind of the opposition. Anything else, is missing the point.
Lalchand Rajput says “We’re at home and we’ll give it to them strong. Just as we expect them to give it to us strong when we go over”. I am not so sure thats all correct either. Or maybe it is but only partly so because on the field, Australia don’t play it any different home or away. Off the field is where the difference lies. Mitch Johnson’s been familiarising himself with conditions at the MRF pace academy. Brett Lee’s recording songs and wooing girls (Asha Bhosale qualifies). Adam Gilchrist is mixing with street children between games and visiting charities that he’s associated with. Matthew Hayden’s taking his fishing buddy Andrew Symonds along in Cochin to the children’s home he’s a patron of and once he’s done with that he’s visiting places to learn cuisine as part of the Matthew Hayden cookbooks. Its part of their efforts at trying to “feel at home”.
After yesterday’s 9 wicket victory which ensures they can’t lose, Ricky Ponting said they came with the idea of winning every match, but now that they’d lost at Chandigarh, they’ll try and settle for next best.
What one must realise- and hopefully learn is that the Aussies want to beat you, hammer you and grind you to dust, even humiliate you – but its nothing personal.