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What makes a Cup-winning team?

March 6, 2007
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I have to rewind a little bit - the vision of the Board was the World Cup, as it is for most countries. This is the premier event of world cricket, because you don't have a Test cricket World Cup. So this is our premier event, this is our Olympics.

So every four years, there comes a time when each country's cricket is focussed on the World Cup.

Building a team for the World Cup is not incompatible with building a team for Test cricket, a team for anything. So the vision there was the commitment to excellence, that was the title of the thing.

It basically boils down to the fact that through my 50 or so years of experience of watching, playing, commentating, selecting, talking, living cricket, I have learnt that there are certain things that work, and certain things that don't work, and so we better focus on the things that do work.

So then that was the focus: we said if we wanted to build a team that had a chance at the World Cup, there were certain things that we had to do well - batting bowling and fielding being the basic components of the game.

But there also had to be belief - belief is very important. I mean, we talked about the mind; that is the key to it, and I think as John (Wright, Greg Chappell's predecessor) said way back then, Indian teams have a greater belief in India than they do outside of India.

One of the things that the support staff and the coaching staff and the team management was very much focussed on over the last 20-odd months was that we had to build that belief.

And the only way you can build that belief, well, one of the things that you have to do is you have to train to have belief in yourself; you have to train for the components of the game that are important, the basics of the game that are important, and that can change day to day, it can change team to team, it can change conditions to conditions

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Photographs: AFP/Getty Images
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