Tag: Cricket

IPL: Where the fearless dare

Rana
Nitish Rana, Mumbai Indian (IPL 2017)

A team does well whenever its members perform well. That is why a Team is referred to as a group of people [individuals] who interact with each other to accomplish shared objectives [Carron& Hausenblaus 1998]. Whenever individuals jell together there is cohesion [togetherness] and good team spirit follows: this reflects on the team’s performance. But it is often the case that one or more individual performances are highlighted in the team’s victory- leaving you with a feeling that these performances were solely responsible for the wins. You are helplessly forced to accept this fact.

The IPL– Indian premier league [cricket] is one such tournament that has produced sterling individual performances since its inception a decade ago. Over the years the IPL has witnessed consistent performances from the likes of M.S Dhoni, Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli, Gautham Gambhir, Ab De Villiers, David Warner, Shikar Dhawan, Suresh Raina, R.Uthappa, B McCullam, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Dwyne Bravo, R Ashwin, Malinga, Bumrah, K.Pollard, Rohit Sharma, Sandeep Sharma and a few others.

But, this edition of IPL has showcased brilliant stand out performances from others – the unsung and the unfamiliar, I can easily recall the names of Sanju Sampson, Shreyas Iyer, Rishab Pant, Hashim Amla, Chris Lynn, Sunil Naraine, The Pandyas- Hardik & Krunal, Manoj Tiwary, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Ben Stokes, Andrew Tye, Nathan Coulter Nile, Umesh Yadav, Jayadev Unadkat, Rashid Khan, Karn Sharma, Dan Christian, Imran Tahir and Mitchell McClenaghan. Most of these players didn’t come up with a big reputation, but with this IPL they threw their weight around and delivered when it mattered. To hear from Stephen Fleming the chief coach of the Pune Rising Pune Super Giant- ‘We are not a skilled side in the IPL, but we have had some players stand up from nowhere. We take pride in that.’ 

In a T-20 game, it requires, apart from skill and execution, some special qualities to stand up and deliver when the odds are stacked against you. When you are a batsman you need to go for big shots even when the required run rate is going up, use common sense, be selective with your shots and defend your wicket in the process. As a bowler you need to vary your- pace, line and length all the time. At times you end up bowling juicy full tosses trying some toe breaking Yorkers and are taken to the cleaners. But, Yorkers are effective in the death overs and you have no other option but to try them. Though, there are champion bowlers who shine against challenges, when it is a hard life for the others out there in a batsman’s world.

Whether it is a bowler or a batsman- these are exceptional players who take the courage to come out of the comfort zone and the risks while others don’t. Winners are those who simply do things what others won’t.

These are set of players who are known for their bravery, courage, daring and fearlessness. They are confident enough to take the risks without being fearful of the negative consequences. A person normally doesn’t step out of his comfort zone because he is afraid to take chances-fearing failure. Bravery is overcoming fear. For, Bravery never goes out of fashion. Bravery is the Buzz word for success in IPL.  IPL is for the brave and not the weak hearted. May this tribe of the fearless thrive to provide unlimited entertainment to all its fans.

M N Viswanath, author of Success Mantra In Sports and sports performance coach, he can be reached at viswanath.author@gmail.com

The book Success Mantra In Sports is available on Amazon and flipkart. To book your copy you can click here, amazon

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RCB needs Psychological Reconditioning

RCB Disappointment in IPLGame after game I watch with disbelief, RCB lose its matches in the present edition of the IPL – that has pushed the side to the last spot. I wonder – ` Is there an end to this royal team’ misery?  

RCB on paper always looked like winning the IPL title hands down- but that was not to be- it has never won the cup. The closest they have come was the 3 finals they made in 2009, 2011, & 2016.

Why have the RCB not able to live up to their reputation? Let’s analyse:

  • Batting has always been RCB’s strength with stalwarts like Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle & AB De Villiers in its wings. The latest addition being Shane Watson. RCB’s fortunes have always been dependant on the success of this quartet and whenever one or two of them clicked RCB has done well. This makes the team top heavy without the wanted balance in its batting composition.

 

  • The RCB selection committee has invested a large chunk of their budget on the likes of Gayle, Kohli et al and with the remaining meagre budget available they compromise and end up buying mediocre players [especially bowlers]. So the fine balance is lost.RCB Images 2
  • Bowling has never been RCB’s forte – time and again they have failed to restrict the onslaught of the opposition batsman and at times when they were given respectable totals they have not been able to defend it.

 

  • Players have been known to perform well after they were bought from RCB – and why they didn’t perform well with their earlier franchisee [especially the bowlers] is one question that the chief mentor and the bowling coach should answer.

 

  • The aura of some of the players in the RCB ranks is so great that it over shadow’s the performances of other players making it difficult to bask in their own glory. It is the duty of the support staff to make them more comfortable.

There is a dire need for a sports psychologist in the RCB team for these simple reasons:

1.This IPL X season the famous quartet of Kohli, Gayle, AB De and Shane Watson has not delivered. Injuries or otherwise they have been dubbed to be out of form. Remember it can happen to the best in this world and they are all humans. A psychologist in its ranks would have lent them the psychological support to tide over the situation.

2. The team’s think tank on many occasions has admitted that- they have worked very hard in the nets and tried everything. Trying too hard, over thinking and analysing will only lead to – paralysis by analysis. The resultant effect is pressure, stress and decrement in performance. The presence of a sports psychologist would have helped

3. Most teams of the IPL comprise of senior and junior players. Often the junior players are left cooling their heels not sure whether they will have a role to play. The team management has to take them in to their confidence and prepare them mentally to contribute big time when the situation arose. They need to be assured that their contribution is important to the success of the team. Paddy Upton, Rahul Dravid, Shane Warne, and Shane Watson did it successfully with the Rajasthan Royals. The well-known sports psychologist Dr Rudi Webster did it for the KKR in 2012. Who will forget the cameo effort of Manvinder Bisla against the CSk that helped win the tournament?

4. The support staffs of the RCB headed by chief mentor Daniel Vettori does not seem effective enough to fill this role. A sports psychologist in the ranks of the RCB would have done wonders to its fortunes.

M N Viswanath, author of Success Mantra In Sports and sports performance coach, he can be reached at viswanath.author@gmail.com

The book Success Mantra In Sports is available on Amazon and flipkart. To book your copy you can click here, amazon

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Reputation can play havoc on opponents

 

AB De Villers
AB de Villiers at IPL 2017 – Photo – Hindustan Times

AB de Villiers had to miss the first two games for RCB since he was not fully fit.

On April 10, 2017 he staged a sensational comeback from injury, with a spectacular 89 [46 balls, 9×6, 3×4] but his effort was not just good enough to ensure a huge total for the RCB [148 in 20 overs] that could take them victory.

Ultimately, Kings 11 Punjab got the better of RCB [150 in 14.3 overs] with more than 5 overs to spare. This match would have been a low-key affair but for the heroics of AB De Villiers towards the end on the RCB’S innings. From the beginning the King’s X1 bowlers-bowled a tight line and did not allow RCB to do some quick scoring –runs had started to dry up for RCB even with AB de at the crease, it appeared at one stage that RCB would not even reach 150. Then AB De let his strings loose and runs started to flow for RCB. The Kings X1 bowling that looked effective and economical suddenly started to look mediocre in AB DE’s hands: he was at his destructive best as he threatened to hit every ball out of the stadium [9×6].

At this stage I was left wondering- how do batsmen of the likes of AB DE, Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Chris Gayle, Brendon Mc Cullum, Glen Maxwell, Virat Kohli, Carlos Braithwaite and David Warner make mince- meat of good bowling attacks? Bowlers who have looked menacing till then look like novices bowling against these destructive batsmen at their best. These hapless bowlers end up bowling to the batsman’s strength, offer a lot loose deliveries and freebies. As I searched for the answer my intuitive mind told me it was the REPUTATION & EXPERIENCE of these batsmen that does the trick. Against any other batsman the same bowlers would be at their best, executing their various skills while dominating the batsman in the process: but, not against these marauders. Why?

  1. The bowler’s- when they are bowling against a batsman with a reputation of explosive batting- are under pressure and feel threatened [especially so in T-20 cricket].
  2. Instead of thinking of what they need to do under the circumstances they fear what may happen to them [fours and sixes]
  3. They think negatively of what they should not do in order to escape being whacked- in the end do the thing they should not have done.
  4. Sometimes this fearsome reputation puts so much pressure on the bowlers that their brain goes in to a freeze: the resultant effect is that, they are unable to think properly and end up doing something foolish.

5.They are afraid of their own reputation and think of the sense of shame they have to bear with –if things went against them. Who would like to be another Stuart Broad in the hands of Yuvraj Singh [6×6]?

What would be the best possible thing for a bowler to do under these circumstances?

Bowlers when faced against batsman in destructive mood must first, get their brains working by taking some deep breaths. Talk to themselves and change their thoughts to positive. Bring the pressure bearing thoughts to control. Forget that they are bowling to a batsman A or B of repute: think the opposite batsman is like any other batsman. Think of what they need to do. Think of their strengths and visualize executing successfully in line with their plan of action.

M N Viswanath, author of Success Mantra In Sports and sports performance coach, he can be reached at viswanath.author@gmail.com

The book Success Mantra In Sports is available on Amazon and flipkart. To book your copy you can click here, amazon

You can also follow at

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Sports Injuries! At What Cost?

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli with his injured shoulder ( Pic : Deccan Herald)

India’s cricket captain Virat Kohli reportedly earns a whopping Rs 5 crores per day from all earnings-playing cricket, endorsing various products and as a brand ambassador. He is the highest paid cricketer in the IPL -10 edition with a contract of Rs 15 crores with his franchise-RCB. But now, he has to miss the early part of the IPL-10 edition beginning April 5th 2017 as a result of an injury to his shoulder.

 

Rohit Sharma has returned to active cricket after a 5 month lay- off due to thigh injury. K.L.Rahul, R.Ashwin, Murali Vijay are set to miss the IPL- 10 edition- all due to injury. Ravindra jadeja and Umesh yadav will also miss the early part of IPL-10 for the same reason. Injury to his wrist has bothered Rafael Nadal for the last three years – Roger Federer & Saina Nehwal have returned to their playing days after going under the knife. Yuki Bhambri and Denis Istomin have been ruled out of the Davis cup tie between India and Uzbekistan due to injuries. Injuries are an inevitable part of an athlete’s career with sport being intensely professional these days. Injuries have nipped many a promising career in the bud or brought more than one career in to a grinding halt with their re-occurrence.

Though physical factors may be the main cause of injuries-psychological factors may also play a role leading to injuries:- Continue reading “Sports Injuries! At What Cost?”