It’s not time for a post mortem yet. India is 0-1 down in a country where they have won only 2 Tests in its 18 Test history. But Virat Kohli’s team has gone to a South Africa carrying the burden of being the No.1 ranked team in the world. And given the scrutiny that surrounds the Indian cricket team’s performance for the riches it’s cricketers enjoy, this was always going to be seen as a case study of — if their top billing built on series’ of dominant performances in familiar climes is worth its salt. BCCI mandarins have let rip the all too familiar ‘blame is not on us’ disclaimer, suggesting how it was the team management that did not act on the option to let part of the team train in South Africa early, comfortably overlooking if it was logistically possible.It’s true that a good part of the Indian Test squad was not playing the T20 series against Sri Lanka that began a week before the team left for African shores. An insider related to the development told India Today: “The idea of going to South Africa early or alternatively the option for some players to train in Dharamsala that dished out the lively surface in the first ODI vs Sri Lanka was considered by the team management.”WATCHBut the ideas were dropped due to the unavailability of the Indian team support staff that was attending to the Rohit Sharma-led team against Sri Lanka. It was concluded that batting coach Sanjay Bangar and throw-down expert Raghavendra, popular for his meticulous usage of side arm and others were all needed by the young Indian T20 team in action against Sri Lanka.advertisement”It wouldn’t have been ideal to get just a group of players training in a camp in Dharmshala or Cape town under back up coaches unfamiliar with specifics that a player needed to work upon for the big series,” added the source.Instead players were left to train and gear up on their own before departure with those like Ajinkya Rahane choosing to work with personal coach Pravin Amre and Cheteshwar Pujara with father and coach Arvind. The larger question is: If the yawn of a long home series (3 Tests, 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is) against Sri Lanka ate up into what could have been ideal preparatory time for the whole team in South Africa?It was head coach Ravi Shastri who had first flagged the issue about lack of rehearsal time ahead of the South Africa Test series with the BCCI. Following this, BCCI had expressed helplessness citing per-arranged scheduling but promised corrective measures for the next overseas assignment in England.Interestingly, the Sri Lanka tour of India was announced by the BCCI as late as early October and is learnt that it was mandated by the need to fulfill contractual broadcast obligations to make up for vacancy arising out of no India-Pakistan contests in the current home rights cycle that ends in March. 2018. While BCCI’s administrative priorities may have robbed the team of a couple of practice games, the jury is still out on the team management’s decision to reject the solitary two day practice game, alluding to possibility of poor competition and non-match like pitches on offer. Instead they had alternated it with match simulation sessions ahead of the first Test. The team had also opted not to train on per-match day in Cape Town.ALSO WATCH:
In recent weeks a package of the 2006 NTL Mens, Womens and Mixed Open was shown on Fox TV. This was a great step forward for Touch as we have been off the main-stream television screens for quite a number of years.TFA would like to thank all of the state offices, who contributed financially to assist TFA in producing the package and having it shown. To date, the feedback has been extremely positive, with Touch fans Australia-wide complimenting the footage that was shown, as well as the clips introducing the sport and basic elements of the game. The success of the package was a credit to all of the staff, team management and players, who worked hard to ensure the sport was shown in a professional light. There was certainly no shortage of highlights for the package, with the Sydney Mets Mixed side putting on a touchdown show, the Womens Open final between the Mets and Sharks proving a very tight affair and the Mens Open final giving us one of the best NTL finals to date.(The Garry Sonda through-the-legs special was definitely one for the highlights reel!)With FOX Sports being available in around 1.75 million homes and over 6,000 commercial venues, the potential of the showing to increase awareness and knowledge of the sport is huge.Following on from the success of the showing in Australia, the package was also picked up by ABC Asia Pacific, who will be showing the package in up to 50-60 Asia Pacific nations in coming weeks. The package has already been shown in Hong Kong and here is a list of countries that may view the NTL Touch Football package in the future:Cook IslandsFijiFrench PolynesiaGuamSamoaKiribatiSolomon IslandsNauruNew CaledoniaNiueMarianasPalauPapua New GuineaTahitiTokelauTongaTuvaluVanuatuWallis and FutunaAfghanistanArmeniaAzerbaijanBangladeshBhutanBruneiCambodiaPeoples Republic of ChinaEast TimorFederated States of MicronesiaHong KongIndia IndonesiaKazakhstanLaosNepalSri-LankaTibetTurkmenistanUzbekistanJapanMacauMalaysiaMongoliaMyanmar (Burma) North KoreaPakistanPhilippinesSingaporeSouth KoreaRepublic of China (Taiwan)ThailandVietnam.TFA will be selling copies of the 2006 NTL package on DVD in the coming weeks, so if you missed out on seeing the package or want to see it again, keep an eye on the TFA website for when they’re available and for how to place your order.