India’s ICC WorldT20 campaign
I captioned the image, “The Inner Game of Cricket”. Wondering if “The Future of Cricket” is more apt? I am concerned about the future of cricket!
As an amateur, I am detached-attached (it is not an oxymoron) from the game. I follow cricket not just for the game, but all the mind games (‘the inner game’ is the jargon) within the game, and all the game people (administrators to politicians) play in the name of the game.
- Fatigue: The team did not get enough rest between IPL & WC T20.
I resumed yoga after the Diwali break (a forced vacation for the dogs to escape from crackers). While there is so much fatigue and pain at different levels, I had a good class today. I think the break helped me to go for it with full enthusiasm. A good trainer (Anuj Agrawal) always helps.
2. Team: Dada said famously, ‘the captain is as good as the team’. But BCCI selection played safe by going by track record, not by form. They should have chosen some fearless youngsters, who were fit (Hardik was not fully fit?).
3. Schedule: They were unlucky to play the first match against Pakistan. There was a big pressure of statistics (unbeaten track record in ICC games), apart from all the political pressure - by politicians (who called for a ‘boycott), to all those politically inclined supporters. For the genuine lovers of the game, it was one more game between two good teams, period!
The team was not ready mentally to play at their peak in the opening game. What would have helped them to hit their peak from the word go?
In professional coaching, we attach importance to getting ready & grounded for the session. The coach got to take off from the word go, dancing with the client. We adopt different approaches to be prepared for a coaching conversation. Eg., A meditation practice can help us to get ready.
4. Captaincy: At least New Zealand captain out-captained India captain for the third time, in ICC games. Virat is one of the greatest players today, may become one of the best. But he is undoubtedly not a natural leader. He had the “team coach of his choice, and I am sure, the team of his choice. And as Sunil Gavaskar said, ‘the buck stops with the captain’ (also in cricket).
Captaincy is getting the best out of the team…
Manager to a leader in the corporate or founder to CEO in the business/startup is not easy: Virat played a manager’s role. He did not operate from the consciousness of a LEADER*, even partly. He did not inspire the players to operate at their full potential.
What would help a captain to get their players to operate at their full potential?
5. Team-Coach: India has a new cricket-’coach’, one of the best players, and a ‘coach’ with a good track record. The next step would be to give him a young T20 team, and captain. Neither Virat (who has stepped out voluntarily or otherwise) nor Rohit. KL Rahul may appear the obvious choice. But someone like MS Dhoni, when he made the T20 world cup debut? Someone fearless, takes risks, is a good people leader, and a good team person. Should not be the best player at all.
Remember Dravid declaring the innings before Sachin reached a personal milestone? The team is above the individual. Master calls it #I2We2He
PS: What does LEADER mean if it was an acronym? Watch out for this space.
More updates — Nov 10, 2021
“I would have liked more silverware for the cabinet for sure, but I was here less for the silverware and more for the steel. That’s what I have been able to accomplish, and this team will always be looked at as one of the great teams” #RaviShastri
Building the team was always more important than the ICC trophy. We all would have loved to have the trophies, incl Ravi Shastri, as he confirms. But a coach’s role is to build the foundation, a great team, a good pipeline, and win more matches overseas also. Ravi has done all that as a coach. He also supported his captain, to be fair to him (though I don’t appreciate the Kumble Vs Virat episode earlier, Indian cricket was the loser).
A coach’s role is to support creating that #culture and set it up for long-term successes. That is what a #teamcoach does. That is what the #TrillionDollarCoach Silicon Valley’s Bill Campbell did.
And that is Ravi Shastri’s legacy.