Inner Game of Cricket
Captaincy, Leadership, Politics of Indian Cricket
Success is about the choices we make, every moment. The Indian test team was leading 2–1 when they chose to leave for the sake of #IPL.
At the end of day 3, we were the clear favorites. It changed on day 4, when the Indian team did not bat to their potential, and thereafter the England team played to their full potential. Michael Vaughan, on Cricbuzz had predicted an Indian win, earlier and on day 3.
IPL is a money-making machine, sponsored by liquor, pan masala, online education, online gambling (not sport), and a few other brands. When money becomes the primary criterion of success, we end up making wrong choices. What could have been a 3–1 in favor of the Indian team, is now 2–2, and a lot of beating on the confidence. Hence, #innergame.
And, what has changed since then? The pic below summarises it all, metaphorically. It is never about individuals, but about the collective consciousness.
I am one of the biggest fans of Rahul Dravid. For everything, he stands for as a player, as an ambassador of the game, which used to be a ‘gentleman’s game’. As the team coach, I am waiting to extend my admiration. As a student of professional coaching, I will be more curious, analytical, and interested.
As of now, Dravid, with an occasional ‘Indira Nagar ka goonda hun mein’, comes with a traditional (fixed) mindset. Bumrah could have just avoided the temptation of the leader’s crown ( of thorns, always). The most difficult job in India, perhaps next only to the PM of India).
The combination of captain &coach of the England team was an extreme growth mindset.
For now, at least. All other teams will figure out how to handle that. For now, it is working. And that makes test cricket exciting too.
One of the ways they will handle will be the mind-games. The test cricket was always about mind games.
A lot of fans, and even ‘experts’, have been critical of Virat sledging Johny Bairstow. That is how Virat always played. All credit to him he continued despite his own poor run. That shows his passion to win. To credit that alone for Bairstow’s success is missing the larger point, ‘Bairstow is in the form of his lifetime’.
A growth mindset is about learning the lessons and moving on. Dravid is definitely capable of that. The captain also got to handle it.
In the spirit of inner game, it would have been interesting for Virat to ask Bairstow, ‘how well you are playing that particular shot’ or something of that type. To move him from Self2 to Self1? For that Indian cricket needs professional coaching of the ICF type.
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Coaching, Leadership, Inner Game: Check out Harsha Bhogle & Michael Vaughan's review of Day 5, on Cricbuzz Chatter: