These days a captain is confronted with many responsibilities; one among the many, is his role as the spokesperson of the team. Press conferences are the order of the day, mediapersons are present at every nook and corner, columns and interviews too form a part of the agenda.
In short, opinions are aired every other day.
By placing his views across the media and indirectly getting through to the public, the captain, invariably, puts his neck on the line - he is either lauded or mocked given the turn of events.
I agree it is not easy to always be talking the right things and a captain's job is a thankless job. However, what's voiced to the media is critical and the captain's handling of issues does have a bearing and counts for more than just a fringe subject.
These days everybody seems to be shooting their mouth off in the guise of being positive and end up with their foot firmly in their mouth.
One of our browsers mentioned facts to this effect and I do nod his line of thinking.
I agree nobody can enter a tournament or a match thinking that they are not going to make it.
They have to be positive to the core and I believe every mental fibre of the team's setup should be strung with these.
However, it is vital that the captain does not go over board and purchase himself and the team added pressure by sounding overly optimistic.
It's a thin line that he toes and a captain's steps need to be measured.
I believe he needs to be overly optimistic when it comes to the thought process within the team. He could even afford himself the latitude of being brashly arrogant at times with regards to self-assessment.
However, when it comes to the public, I feel, he needs to give it a different fix.
The picture should be slightly altered and be made to border on realism, so that the expectations do not rise too high and end up riding on his back.
Expectations can wear a team down and by striking a realistic note you can take the issue of expectation out of the equation, which means that much more less to deal with.
Having said that, you cannot crticise any body for being positive and overly optimistic but it is a psychological battle out there and, I feel, one loses vital ground by gathering added baggage (pressure) to tag along.
Anyhow, it remains to be seen who will rise and who will fall by what they have said. Come March 23 there will be one hero and many wounded soldiers.