The Sports Psychology Blog
This Sports Psychology blog comes as India suspend their cricket tour of Australia.
Cricket: India - Mind Games
It's the day after India's defeat to Australia in the Second Test. Indian spinner Harbajhan Singh is handed a three game ban by the games governing body, the ICC. Apparently Harbajhan called Australia's Andrew Symonds a 'monkey'.
Losing the first two tests to Australia was bad enough. Having big umpiring decisions go against them provoked a sense of injustice. Seeing Andrew Symonds compile a match turning century after being 'caught behind' on 30 rubbed their noses in it. Now Harbhajan Singh is banned for three games.
India are on the verge of 'mental disintegration'. Just as Australia planned. If things carry on like this, they could return to India drubbed 4-0. A whitewash. So the idea of suspending the tour serves a purpose.
It allows the team to build a powerful sense of grievance. It brings the players together. Suspending the tour empowers them. It enables India to feel that matters are not completely out of their hands. We have been wronged. And we are doing something about it.
It allows them to create a clear enemy. It helps them build a strong US in the presence of an unjust THEM. The Indians may not be able to beat the Australians. But taking on and beating the weak-willed ICC will be a victory that will help them rebuild some of their battered self-esteem.