The first four games that Edmonton Royals played in this year’s GT20, they lost.
The first was a defeat on two wickets. The second, they were missing by 27 runs. The third lost her with four wickets, two balls remained. Fourth, they were overpowered by six wickets. Today, in their fifth game, they have tasted victory. And they stay in the competition for the play-offs. Just.
The Royals have taken the bottom of the table, but were not necessarily the worst team in the tournament. Some players have produced exciting innings, some tight spells. They came closer in three of the first four games. And as Mohammad Hafeez said after the win, if some players did well, others did not help them cross the finish line. Ben Cutting had something similar to say after his fourth defeat last night, but added, “We’re still playing good cricket.”
The grammar of cricket contains a lot of clichés. And players often throw them away when talking about victory and defeat. But dig a little deeper and clichés can give an insight into the mindsets of the players.
Take the case of Shadab Khan. Last night, he dropped Gayle early in his inning – from his own bowling – and ended up losing 66 runs in his four overs, including 32 in a Overpower slaughter. Today he was thrown when Chris Lynn and Shaiman Anwar had blown up in the first five overs 63 – and wanted to build a superstructure.
Shadab’s first lap cost 6 points. In his next round, he took 2 points and picked up the glowing Anwar’s wicket. In the third game he dismissed both the dangerous Lynn and Dwayne Smith. And in his final he gave 14. This meant that he ended with numbers of 4-0-23-3 – the opponents slow down and increase the chances of his team.
What did Shadab think about the very different returns over two days?
“As a professional cricketer, you have a bad day,” he said today. “Yesterday was a bad day for me and I knew I would not be doing so badly every day, so I try to maintain my confidence and perform well the next day.”
Cricketers use the word “trust” so often that sometimes it seems like a filler. Cutting used it at the press conference. Hafeez used it. And today’s man of the game, Anshuman Rath, has also used it.
What exactly do you mean?
“I often tell people that cricket is the worst sport to become a pro,” says a smiling Anshuman, the 21-year-old batsman who is the captain of Hong Kong. “It’s a sport where you fail more than you can.”
At the beginning of the tournament, I did not hit the ball very well and knocked it down in the sequence, giving you plenty of time to think and people starting to take it Self-doubt can have a huge impact on your performance, so it’s just about trust, that’s why Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo have been doing it for so long, because they are very confident, rather than doubts about themselves, it’s about themselves Turn it off and on again at the right time, it’s a game where you can not handle yourself too hard. “
Anshuman, who was asked to open his batting for the first time in this tournament, led the pursuit of the Royals with his 50-ball 87. He also had a nice day behind the stumps, took two sharp catches and pulled off a stump. After a challenging start to the tournament, he seemed to get his money’s worth. And he attributes the highest priority to Royals coach Stephen Fleming.
“If you’ve lost four games in a row, it’s very easy for a coach to get frustrated and turn to the players, Fleming was unbelievable, he’s very relaxed and keeps saying, ‘They’re all here for a reason We support you. “
“The international stars are brilliant. They are very relaxed, very focused. They know when to be serious on the field, but they know when to laugh on the field. Neesham had such a good World Cup but recently he had a bad last. He just forgets it.
And the next day his mind is back. It is very reassuring that these players are going through difficult times too. For those of us from associated teams we always have demons in mind – if it’s our next game, we need to take this opportunity. but in tournaments like this we understand how the best in the world do their routines. “
The GT20 has given players like Anshuman the chance to benefit from proximity to the stars. But, as Hafeez quite perceptively noticed, it worked the other way round as well.
“Today we sent Anshuman to open. We gave him a chance. And he showed us how to win. It is not necessary that you only learn from older people. You can also learn from younger people. “