Brisbane, Feb 4: Determined not to cut down on their aggression towards the Australians, the Indian one day team has devised a new theme to mirror their philosophy for the weeks ahead.
“Fire or retire” is the latest team Indian mantra for the one-day tri-series as the young team under the pump from supporters and former cricketers, find its back against the wall.
The young team was hopelessly outclassed in the Twenty20 clash in Melbourne and even in Sunday's abandoned game where the wickets of the young Indian batsmen came cheap to Australia.
The Indians got their heads together and in a team meeting devised the latest theme to motivate themselves for matches ahead.
The theme of “fire or retire” apparently exhorts the team members to come down hard on Australia, meet fire with fire, and in case they are not able to do it, fall back and support the other guy doing it.
That the Indians want to be aggressive was spelt out by Yuvraj Singh ahead of the triangular series.
“We want to be aggressive, though it doesn't have to be physically aggressive or glaring at the opponent. You can be aggressive with your body language,” he said.
This theme is in addition to the one they devised during the test series where the message was almost similar to the present one.
“Three Os” was the theme during the test series and when expanded to full, it meant “one on one”. The underlying message of that theme was that each Indian cricketer was to take care of one particular Australian player and if eleven in the team were to do so, the world champions could be managed.
India proceeded to do so exactly in the Test series and the lead was taken by master blaster Sachin Tendulkar who decoded Stuart Clark who at one stage had got the Indians worried because of his accuracy and late movement, either way.
After two excellent first Tests where Clark managed eight wickets at an average of just 20 per scalp, the accurate medium-fast bowler could grab only six in the last two matches, remaining wicket-less in the final game in Adelaide.
Tendulkar prepared himself for Clark by asking Subroto Banerjee, a former Indian fast bowler now living in Sydney, to keep bowling him on or around the off-stump with the intent to leave everything go by behind the stumps.
It's noticeable that during the tour to England last year, successful to the extent that India recorded their first Test series win in 21 years in old blighty, India had similarly adopted a theme. The theme was “three Ws” or “we will win” in full.