Tag Archive for 'Sachin Tendulkar'

Test Cricket in Australia – The impact of Mind Games

India lost the first test at Melbourne today by 122 runs with more than a day to spare . Many of our star batsmen fell during both our innings like the proverbial nine pins. While our new bowlers did well in their maiden appearance in Australia and bagged prize wickets at crucial stages , the new fast bowlers from the Australian side were devastating ,to say the least. Batsmen from both sides at best were average except for Tendulkar and a few others like Ponting and Marsh.

The preparation leading to this series was full of media comments about the Indian weakness in certain departments and how they will face the Australian music and lose out all their past glories achieved to attain the global ranking . To top it all , the Indian coach Fletcher himself also came under severe criticism for not agreeing to the new DRS rule . Some of the Australian media quoted some Australian player saying that they will not let Sachin Tendulkar score his 100 th test century in their soil.

Mind Games  fraught with danger in itself in view of the glorious uncertainties of the game of cricket itself !

England is Number One in Test Cricket from today .

England defeats India today with a 4-0 win and that too all Innings defeat to take over the baton of Number One in test cricket. They performed exceedingly well in both batting and bowling to humble the world champions comprehensively.

Throughout this series played in England , India never came anywhere near a win and the body language of the team said it all . They were not up to the mark ! . Harsha Bhogle , the commentator feels it was the wrong priorities that has done it for India. They were looking for profitability at the cost of performance during the last one year playing under tight schedules and neglecting the practice sessions.

Today , Sachin Tendulkar missed his chance to score the 100th century in test cricket by 9 runs when he was given run out to Bresnan’s bowling – Ironically that was the number of runs required by India to avoid an innings defeat !

But for Rahul Dravid , I do not feel any one else measured up to the challenge posed by the English bowlers and our own bowling fell quite short of making any dent in the English batting side.

A painful lesson for India . They may like to forget this series but to the rest of the world , it was cricket at its best as far as England is concerned .

God of Cricket at Lords , England

India has lost the first test at Lords today thanks to much superior bowling and batting by Strauss  and his team and a generally lack luster performance by the world champions .

This test match was for statisticians – 2000th test in test history , 100th between India and England and 100th century possibility by Sachin Tendulkar , the God of Cricket!. There were millions of Rupee or Pound Sterling bets on his test hundred before the match .

Rahul Dravid who topped the Indian performance in the first innings with an unbeaten 103 runs commented on Sachin being called a God before this test . He said ” there are many Gods in India and Sachin is one of them ! ” No one calls Rahul Dravid a God and he has already reached the second position in the world record on runs scored in test matches next only to Tendulkar . And no one put bets on him as well . Yes, he was not hitting his 100th test hundred but his performance brought some respectability to Indian side .

To be fair to Sachin Tendulkar , he does not promote or even like this cult status but we cricket fans have a habit of raising unreasonable demands on him all the time . In the instant case , a normal bad test for Sachin has now assumed scales of a national let down !

It is high time that we bring all such Gods to mother earth and treat them with sensitivity and sensibility !

Leadership Tips from The Indian Premier League [ IPL] 2011

IPL 2011 – Ten Teams , 70 business rounds to qualify and  four Play Off sessions to decide the winner . 45 days of cricket with great performances  and entertainment with new records being set .

Can we pick up   TEN useful tips on Leadership from this spectacular show of physical fitness and mind games played out in the vast expanse of day and night format  watched by millions of cricket lovers in the field in India and through live telecast off  the field through TV and Internet  globally ?

PEAK  PERFORMANCE AT THE RIGHT MOMENT – While Chennai Super Kings peaked at the right moment and clinched the trophy , Royal Challengers Bangalore  gave in meekly at the finals . Same thing happened with Mumbai Indians and Kings Eleven Punjab at crucial moments of the competition . Leaders need to train their teams to bring in their reserve energy and perform at their maximum potential when the situation demands.

BELIEVE IN YOURSELF AND YOUR TEAM – A leader should believe in the capabilities and initiative of his team members and empower them to seize fleeting opportunities in the field and capitalize on them . A good example is Murali Vijay’s performance in the finals after repeated failures with the bat in earlier sessions . The leader in Dhoni had a lot to contribute in this feat as he still believed in his team mate and his potential and gave him the opening batting slot – Besides , the leader should believe in himself and own up the process instead of passing on the pressure to his team mates . Again , Dhoni and to some extent Gilchrist showed up well in this aspect.

DO NOT FOLLOW A PRE-DETERMINED GAME PLAN –  Business like cricket is full of glorious uncertainties and one needs to work equipped with a number of contingency plans and exploit success with mental mobility . Change of bowlers and batting order by Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne frequently to meet the situation on the ground is a good example here.

FOLLOW UP ON RISK TAKEN WITH AUDACITY AND AGGRESSIVE SPIRIT –  In IPL , the first mover advantage can be at times with the team which wins the toss and decides to field  , even though batting first has its own advantages . It is your decision and you need to follow up the risk taken with audacious strategy once the opponent has revealed his game plan . This holds good greatly in the business scenario as well and the ” laid back ” strategy to watch the opponent reveal his hand first and then strike with full power to beat him in his game brings in great results .

PLAY MIND GAMES TO SUBVERT YOUR OPPONENT”S STRENGTH – Dhoni deciphered the strength quotient of Chris Gayle and used Aswin to bowl to him in the opening over and got him out with a duck !. A great winning strategy indeed !!. On more than two occasions , Tendulkar got out to the bowling of new unknown bowlers . In a business setting , we need to resort to mind games quite often to unravel the moves of our competitors and draw them in to battles of our own choosing for favorable outcomes .

THINK THROUGH THE WHOLE GAME  – A game of cricket especially the limited over editions is never over till the last ball is bowled . Look at how Mumbai Indians snatched the qualifier from under the nose of Kolkata Knight Riders during the last over from a seemingly impossible situation . A leader needs to react to each stage of the game and bring in fresh thought process to retain control . A well thought out run rate through out the game definitely helps in cricket and in real life business it translates into completed staff work and follow through on excellent execution .

ECONOMY OF EFFORTS – In IPL matches , missed catches , fielding lapses and extra runs from wides or no balls can cause enormous harm to your chances of victory . In real life , business leaders should make conscious efforts to eliminate waste and rework  and train their staff  to achieve SIX SIGMA like performance standards of quality and process maturity .

PROVIDE FEED BACK OFF THE GAME –  Do not admonish or constrain your team member while playing . Do post mortem after the act and let them watch their performance on recorded discs , mentor them . Compliment them for their achievements on the spot . Team members should also be encouraged to watch their potential opponents playing to learn useful strategies to deal with them later . Good leaders in business  simulate competitive scenarios and sensitize their team to meet various contingencies before the act .

PLAY TO WIN AND NOT TO SHOW OFF – In IPL , there is always a tendency or urge to show off  because you are playing to the large crowd in a limited over match – the urge to hit a sixer or try to bowl a bouncer is great when prudence demands otherwise  . Many good batsmen get out caught at mid field prematurely or bowlers get hit to the fence when they forget this lesson . Every one cannot be a Chris Gayle or Malinga . The same rule applies in business when you try to show off to your boss or team instead of working on tangible and enduring results .

MAKE YOURSELF REDUNDANT – Let the team survive even if  you get out early even if you are the star batsman . Have sufficient second string batsmen to continue the scoring . Also , develop the youngsters by assigning audacious tasks for them . Cricket and Business are team efforts  in harmony and there is no room for solo players.

And above all , ” LOVE THE PLAYERS , OR LOSE THE GAME “

The HE Man – Hritik Roshan – The Pursuit of Excellence

During his childhood  , my son used to play with HE -man toys . The award to Hritik Roshan on last Sunday by The Times as the ” most desirable man of 2010 ” through an on line poll reminded me of my son’s childhood . I liked Hritik’s comment on this crown ” I believe I am the reflection of the potential in all of us ” . This statement means much more than what he intended  – much more than REEL LIFE . Hritik is our HE-Man.

Every one either reaches his level of incompetence [ borrowing from Peter’s principle ] at some stage or reach his/her  full potential . Vinod Kambli versus Sachin Tendulkar in cricket  is a good example in this context . Both started off well ,had a record partnership in first class cricket  but where is Kambli today and where Sachin has reached!! . Such comparisons can be found in all walks of life .

In life’s journey , you move up from one record to another in a never ending pursuit of excellence – Remember Excellence  is a Habit and not one milestone in the journey we call LIFE.

Sachin Tendulkar – The Grand Master of Cricket!

A great day for all Indian Cricket Lovers  –  a world record in one day internationals made on Indian soil and dedicated to the nation. 200 runs and not out after 50 overs by the Grand Master of cricket at Gwalior against South Africa. Sachin started his career 22 years ago and this record came after 442 match appearances in 50 over matches. A performance and a record which will take a great effort to break in the future. Do we compare this record with the achievements of Muhammad Ali, Roger Bannister, Martina Navaratilova, Tiger Woods?

I remember in the sixties, 1000 runs and 100 wickets in test cricket were great milestones. With the advent of limited over matches and more cricketing all around, the record for batting went up to 10,000 runs and bowling to 500 wickets. Sachin is on his way to soon score may be 20,000 runs in test cricket and around 50 centuries in the near future. The “Run Machine” is on and more action is on the way!!

What makes this little man tick? The hallmark of his stellar performance are perseverance, mental mobility and an ability to superbly time his shots using the pace of the ball coming on to him. A 31 Gun salute to Sachin!

A Poignant Cricket Moment: A personal note

Photo copyright naa.gov.au

Photo copyright naa.gov.au

Today I am back in my blog after a gap of one year. No excuses, only a sincere apology. I know I need to make it up now.

A photograph in the Deccan Chronicle today showing a 9 year old boy Rick Sheeren asking the legendary Don Bradman  for his autograph during the Prime Minister’s XI vs MCC match in 1963 with a note”A poignant cricket moment” caught my attention. This took me back to a similar moment in my life  in 1989 at the Indore cricket ground during a Ranji Trophy match when my 6 year old son Raghu approached Sachin Tendulkar during the lunch break for his autograph. Sachin readily obliged. Raghu, who is now working as a software professional proudly keeps this autograph and many times we both talk about this incident. I wish I had taken a photograph of that moment. We both are Sachin’s fans and we are so happy to have followed Sachin Tendulkar’s career  graph for the last 20 years.

Sachin Tendulkar met the great Don Bradman during his Australian trip a few years back. Sachin was already a celebrity when he met Don. But I am tempted to ask Sachin, did he feel the same way as Rick in the photo I referred or like Raghu,my son? After all, the child in you always surface in such poignant moments.

Leading from the front

Today, 4th march 2008, will go down in the history of Indian cricket as a day of great achievement, heroism and excellence.

India won the tri-series cricket tournament in Australian soil at Brisbane, the first ever win in that country in such a competition. Beyond the team performance and captaincy of Dhoni, what was evident in sharp focus is the great performance of the little master Sachin Tendulkar scoring 91 runs in spite of a groin injury suffered in the first finals match on 2nd march where again he was unbeaten with a sterling 117 runs. He, through his consistently great performance, has shown the way for all the new junior players, some of whom only infants when he started his cricketing career, the way to play the game in the spirit of the game. Sachin is widely accepted by all team members as a mentor, wise counsel, friend, guide and a great motivator. His very presence in the team along with his ever willing and helping attitude has gone a long way in helping Dhoni discharge his onerous duties of the team captain. A great Leader who led the players in his un-official capacity of a patriarch for the team, leading always from the front. Indian Cricket salutes the Leader in Sachin Tendulkar.