Olympic gold bigger than World Cup glory: Sandeep Patil

    I felt goose pimples for the first time after 1983 when we won the World Cup at Lord's. Like millions of my countrymen, I watched Abhinav Bindra make history at Beijing and felt proud of the young man. His gold will change the way we look at sports. It is a great day for India and I say from the core of my heart that Abhinav Bindra's gold medal at the Beijing Olympics is a greater feat than India winning the World Cup in 1983.

    Having said that, I think we need to also change the way we look at our cricket. Are we going to allow non-performers to continue or we would like to change or mindset and look ahead? The 1-2 Tests series loss to Sri Lanka is a lesson that can not be ignored and I firmly believe now is the time to decide. If I praise the cricketers when they do well then I also have the right to criticize them when they falter.

    I am talking of the Fabulous Five of Indian cricket_Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Anil Kumble; three ex-captains and one current, all capable of taking good or bad decisions about the rest, but what about themselves? Why do they not apply the same yardstick to themselves and take a decision that will benefit Indian cricket. We are an emotional people but then at some point we have to take a step that should help the team and not just an individual.

    The seniors presented a pitiable sight in Sri Lanka. I have seen them grow and conquer the cricket world. I have been associated with some of them from their under-19 days but it pains me to see them struggle, use their pad and not bat. I have supported their cause when they needed and I am sure they too understand the tough situation they find themselves in now. It is time for some serious introspection now.

    Manoj Tiwary, S. Badrinath and Suresh Raina have been waiting for some time now. Would these youngsters be given the same platform to succeed as the seniors. I am not questioning the credentials of the seniors or their magnificent contribution to Indian cricket but is it not important to perform and perform consistently when you are saddled with the responsibility to guide the youngsters.