Saturday, September 15, 2007

Management Lessons for Life – from a Twenty-Twenty Cricket Match.

It’s amazing how valuable a Management Guru a cricket match can be! It drives home cases that may actually be over-looked in a B-School. I would suggest last night’s India-Pakistan Match be recorded and analysed for insights into life and management. A sample analysis is presented here.

1. Settle down before you wield your willow.

Or, you would get caught by the bowler, as was Gautam Gambhir. Even if it was a 20 over match with no time to spare, leaving odd balls out to study the turf always pays off before you train your guns for the big blows.

2. Be flashy and stylish, but never forget the old school basics.

You could be as fast and furious as Virender Sehwag would like to be, but if you leave a mile’s gap between the bat and your pad and forget to move your feet an inch, you end up slashing the leather ball through the thick edges of your own bat and dragging it on to your stumps.

3. You don’t always have to be extra-ordinary; just being consistently good pays off in style.

Pakistan’s Mohd. Asif knew this only too well. His steady pace, impeccable line and length and intelligent variations took the sting out of the Indian batting line and had them wishing his spell was over before he zapped a couple of more wickets, exposing the Indian tail by the 8th over of the match!

4. Despite yourself, do just what the situation dictates.

That was precisely what Robin Uthappa and Mahender Singh Dhoni did when they tried to anchor the wobbling ship being rocked by the Pakistani waves. Remember, tides are never always too high to tide over; just wait till you find your kind of wave.

5. In any situation, use your brain.

Harbhajan Singh forgot to apply this simple principle of life. To play off a couple of dot balls towards the end of a twenty-over match and to steal a single and the strike at the last ball of the over, with a king-hitter like Dhoni at the other end of the pitch underlines a lack of application of the thinking apparatus. And to try to hoist the ball out of the packed stadium and not trying to restore strike with another single to the man-in-form (and getting out and wasting another ball in the process) is a violation of the principle in bold, red and big font.

6. Believe in yourself, play your part and get lost for your team, if needed.

Irfan Pathan had mastered this rule. Two sixes in a row after a brief study of the conditions and back to the pavilion immediately after that made a lot of sense. You either perform or create space for others to work.

7. Kill complacence before it kills you!

The worst ball ever bowled in the history of cricket was the one by Harbhajan singh immediately after Shahid Afridi was dismissed. It was a slow, sweet, flighted half-volley with no scope to swing or turn at all, that could have been the best gift to offer to any batsman, with “SIX” written all over the ball. The relief in pressure after Afridi departed was understandable, but to have absolutely no force and to look weak, meak and tamed down would enliven even the flagging eleventh batsman in the opponent’s team. And that ball flagged off the fight-back that resulted in the assault the next over from Agarkar.

8. The environment is always unpredictable; the match is never lost till won – and is never won till it is actually won!

India had almost snatched defeat successfully from the jaws of victory. From a virtually unassailable position, they had forced themselves into a desperate situation. However, the team took its time in the losing final over, built up pressure with time and field changes and finally succeeded in running the scrambling batsman out through the well-executed run-out. You just have to keep your cool in a losing match to end it on a winning note.

9. Talk less, stick to the basics and emerge victorious. Your action can always do the talking for you.

The Pakistani opener Salman Butt was shooting his mouth out at the interview, while the match was still on, as if his team had already paid for its victory and was awaiting its home delivery. And then came the tie like thunder; and all that the teams had to do was to hit stumps with no one to block them.

What followed was a simple display of the ability to bowl straight by India; and to the horror of the opponents, three bowlers missed hitting the stumps in a row, one after the other missing the mark by a good foot or more! The rest is history.

10. The Bottom-line:
Decisions and events in life are as good as strategies in management; and all it takes is a clear sight, strong head over shoulders and a positive attitude to do the job as demanded by the situation. You get carried away and the whole world would come to know that you get the opponent batsmen bowled only by chance.

1 comment:

Tashi said...

This is tatva. Spread it.