Travelling the world certainly has its pleasures, but also disadvantages. Despite gyms and health clubs being available round the clock, it is never easy to get used to the time difference, and that can make one skip the gym session and once a session is missed then it does take its toll on the body especially when like me you are in the slog overs of your life.
It definitely is showing in the midriff area as my badminton sessions have gone out of the window with all the travel. Not that it would be easy to play the game even if one was in one place all the time especially now since my shoulder has gone sore from all the firing done from it at 'the master'.
My observation was that it was worrying and disturbing that a batsman of THAT calibre got out bowled and with footage from the dismissals we analyzed what could possibly be the problem. To me it looked like the front foot was not going to the pitch of the ball as it used to and that can happen if one is out of practice at the international level.
But after all the observations of those who have played more cricket than me and those who have played less and those who have played nothing at all, that the master would be back smashing the bowlers, I revisited those dismissals and lo and behold, what I found was that they were right and it was my eyes that had gone slow.
As a person gets older he has to be playing constantly to stay in the competitive mould needed to do well. We have seen what an extended break has done to the careers of Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe and now Tiger Woods. It is never easy to come back from such breaks for while the mind's elasticity can come back to the competitive edge needed to succeed, the body’s elasticity takes a lot longer.
Then when you start playing regularly, the body gets in sync with the mind and that is what has been seen last year too when the master took a break and did not go to West Indies. So relax everybody the tons are not too far away.
With the T20 World Cup round the corner, so to speak, most team scheduled their international calendar so as to play the T20 format. India had a two match series while Pakistan-Australia and South Africa-England played a three match series to tune up for the ultra short format of the game.
India and New Zealand played in Chennai where the weather is exactly like in Lanka and Pakistan and Australia played in even hotter climes in the Arab Emirates. So they won’t take time acclimatizing to the weather. Most teams are also playing warm up games before the main tourney starts so they will be prepared, but there is no doubt that the weather could play a big role in the outcome.
India will be heartened by the return of Yuvraj and the Kiwis will be pleased with their win. The Australians too came back strongly and England and South Africa shared the series so it does look as if it is going to be too close to call as to who are the favourites.
Brendon McCullum for his brilliant innings of 91 is the CEAT International Cricketer of the Week. Professional Management Group