Young Indian players lack grace, says Arthur

Johannesburg: The youngsters in the Indian cricket team lack “grace and humility” when they celebrate victory, feels former South African coach Mickey Arthur.

In his book ‘Taking the Mickey’, released here yesterday, Arthur has recalled a 2008 series against the Indians and criticised their celebrations after notching up a series-levelling win.

“The behaviour of the (Indian) younger players in the aftermath of victory was absolutely extraordinary,” Arthur wrote as he reminisced about the third and final Test in Kanpur in 2008 in which the home side tied the series.

“They ran around screaming, shouting and cheering as though they had just won the World Cup. Perhaps what made me cringe was the shock of seeing a celebration style so different from our own, but I found the practice of spraying each other with Coke and Fanta very hard to understand. But, then again, why should that be so different to our custom of using champagne?”

Arthur said “it was the lack of grace and humility that I found most galling.”

“It’s hard to control your emotions at the moment of triumph and in the immediate aftermath of a Test victory because so much emotional and physical effort goes into it. But four or five minutes later it’s important to acknowledge that your vanquished opponents have also expended a lot of effort, and that it takes two teams to produce a contest.”

However, the former Proteas coach praised the senior players in the Indian team, saying, “It was notable that Sachin (Tendulkar), along with other senior players like Rahul Dravid, MS Dhoni and (Sourav) Ganguly, were not involved in the cacophony.”

“But the youngsters simply couldn’t calm down, and seemed to work themselves up into an ever-greater state of delirium the more they tried to rub our noses in defeat,” he said.

Arthur said he asked the South Africa team to take a lesson out of the exercise.

“I asked as many players as I could to watch the commotion, rather than to avert their eyes and to remember it the next time we played,” Arthur said.


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