When Dinesh Karthik, the wicket keeper batsman was recalled in to the Indian test team to play against Afghanistan after a lapse of 87 test matches, he had created a record of sorts: that was to surpass a similar unpleasant experience by Parthiv Patel who saw 83 test matches go by him before being picked again to play against England in a test match in 2017.
Though Dinesh Kartik made his test debut in 2004 he did not enjoy a long stint as a wicket keeper as consistency was not his forte then, his place was taken by M S Dhoni in 2005 and it was only in 2010 that he got another opportunity to keep wickets for India. After a long wait, he is keeping wickets again during the ongoing one- off test versus Afghanistan, June 14-19 2018.
Dinesh Karthik admitted during a recent press conference – it’s not that I lost my place to some normal cricketer, he is a special person [MS Dhoni] and I respect him for that. Just the facts that I couldn’t at that stage produce enough performances to hold on to my place. I need to be honest with myself. I think I was not good enough then. I have another opportunity now and I guess I will try to do my best.’
I would like to say Parthiv Patel and Dinesh Karthik are both cricketers with high degree of perseverance. Both of them in spite of difficulties [maintaining their motivation] failures [their own wicket keeping and batting] obstacle and discouragement [M S Dhoni’s progress] they have managed to be steadfastly persistent, coming up with a string of good performances, and to be able to regain the selectors confidence for the call of national duty.
Sports is famous for throwing up examples of great characters who have been dogged, resilient, hardworking and tenacious to make spirited comebacks despite many setbacks. They have shown the never say die attitude and persisted without giving up hope. These are the ones who can stand up and say- `perseverance pays, never, never, never give up.’
The first one to come to our mind would be Marvan Atapattu who on his test cricket debut was out to pair- duck in both the innings and was dropped from the side. He went back to domestic grind scored heavily and was back on test duty after 21 months. He was out to 0 and 1 in both innings, dropped again. He stages a comeback after 17 months only to score 0, 0 – left out. Finally returns after 36 months and comes good. He ended up scoring more than 5000 runs, 16 centuries and 6 double hundred’s. He also went on to captain his country for many years. But the irony is- he took 6 years to score his second run in test cricket. There is no better example for sustaining motivation, handling failure, resilience, hope and optimism- than Marvan Atapattu.
Anil Kumble lacked the variety or the flamboyance that a Shane Warne possessed nor was he in the classic mould of a Muralidharan, Bedi Venkataraghavan, Hirwani, Gibbs or Underwood, nor was he freakish like Abdul Quadir or B S Chandrasekhar: he was a league of his own: what he lacked in other areas he made up with his accuracy, persistence, technicality, fierce competitiveness, mental strength and never-say-die spirit- to claim 619 test wickets bowling over 40000 deliveries in career spanning 18 years.
Steve Waugh was not as swash buckling as Vivian Richards or Sachin Tendulkar, stylish as his own brother Mark Waugh or perfect or graceful as many successful batsmen but he was tenacious, dogged, hardworking, patient mentally strong and persistent. He went on to score 10927 test and 7569 one-day runs in his career.
Famous spinners like Padmakar Shivalkar and Rajinder Goel [0 tests] Rakesh Shukla [one test], and V. V Kumar [2 tests] could not represent India at all or a played only a few, were always under the shadows of the famous spin quartet led by BS Bedi: but undeterred they went about their task in domestic cricket for number of years with determination, passion and persistence even when they knew chances of playing for India were slim and remote.
Likewise tennis players Leander Paes who is in his 40’s and Sania Mirza have played number of years of International tennis despite not winning any grand slams as single players though they have both won grand slams in the doubles category.
Golf is another sport where winning majors is not child’s play or to say the least winning even the PGA’s is not assured: but golfers compete in the circuit and spend major part of their lives despite not winning one those tournaments.
Great achievements are fulfilled after years of toil, setbacks, disappointments, injuries, and adversities and even the late bloomers and achievers didn’t throw in the towel but battled with hope that one day they will come good.
But more often players want to give up too quickly for not having fulfilled their expectations and this is when perseverance comes in- to remind them not to worry about the results but to perform to their satisfaction, with intrinsic motivation determination and sincerity, enjoying their game in the process and always hoping for the best.