April 13, 2011

Yes, it is one man who won us the Cup! And it is worth 25 Olympic gold medals!

Yes, it’s just one man who has won us the Cup! And it’s not Sachin Tendulkar or Yuvraj Singh... The man is Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who won us the World Cup despite everyone else putting in their bit! Just before the India-Pakistan match, I was called by IBN7 for a discussion on India's chances. There, I had said that I personally believed that the 2003 team that reached the final was more talented than the current team. But I also said that it is this team that will win the Cup, and just due to one factor – not Sachin or anyone else; but for the great leadership of Dhoni! That's the kind of importance I attach to leadership – be it in a country, or in a game; especially like cricket.

The 2003 Indian cricket team had a better bowling lineup. And an equally good, if not better, batting lineup due to the sheer presence of one of the best one-day batsmen of the world and the captain who started the great Indian march forward – Sourav Ganguly! But then, Sourav failed to win us the Cup while Dhoni did. And why? The reason is that on the day of the finals of something like a World Cup, what matters more than individual talent is leadership. Every great leader has got their country a Cup, while talented teams minus a good leader have remained at best runners up. While Ganguly was a great captain, yet under him, there was a lot of politics happening in the team all the time; and the team was never playing as a unit the way Dhoni has made them play. In 1983, we won the Cup defeating West Indies and come back home elated. Immediately after that, the West Indies toured India, and whitewashed us 5 to nil! We were surely an inferior team when compared to the then West Indies, even when we won the World Cup. But the Cup then too came to the country which had a team with a better, larger-than-life, lionhearted leadership and team spirit. And it came to Kapil Dev simply because he was able to create a camaraderie that lifted the spirits up; up enough to win the Cup on that crucial day! In league matches, leadership is as important as the team. But as you near the final of a Cup of a massively team-game like cricket, leadership becomes far more important than how good your team is. A below-par India of ‘83 did the magic. And a team today in 2011 with a certainly below-par bowling lineup did the magic again! In both the cases, the full credit goes to leadership.

As a management teacher, I know that what Dhoni did was straight out of a leadership book! When Sachin and Sehwag got out, I didn't think of anyone else like Yuvraj; for me, the result depended on just one man. That man was Dhoni. Just as I was hoping, he entered at the fall of the next wicket. Rest, as they say, is history. Without leading from the front – in terms of personal performance as well as creating a team spirit – you can't have a winning team. And Dhoni led from the front, and like how! Hats off to him! Hats off to the great leadership! After winning the cup, it was beautiful the way he was hardly seen anywhere in the limelight. He had done his job and allowed his team to take the limelight! What was better was how everyone in the team spoke post the victory. They all kept mentioning the same point: “We won it for Sachin!” That's what great leaders like Dhoni do. They give the team a bigger purpose to fight for. And Dhoni had given Team India a much greater purpose to fight for. Not the Cup, not personal glory, but a tribute to the nation’s greatest cricketer and an equally great human being – Sachin Tendulkar. And did it work? You bet it did! Hats off once more. Before I end, I must write that yes, I feel very angry when as a nation we fail to win enough medals at the Olympics. It’s poor leadership at the top in the country. The few medals we win are due to individual brilliance and not because of a national scheme or plan. And it’s very disappointing to have not even won 5 Olympic gold medals in the last 25 years... But having played cricket a lot, I can say one thing – if there is one game that requires the most varied amount of skills in the world, its cricket. There is no other game which has so many dimensions – from batting to bowling to fielding to wicket keeping. And so many further variations in each of those areas, not to mention the further variations at the international level. It is one hell of a tough game of very high skills and extremely high team spirit. And a World Cup in this game of cricket, to me, is equivalent to 25 gold medals in the Olympics at the least. Hats off to Dhoni, and of course, to Team India for getting it to us!

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17 comments:

ojasjuneja said...

thats an example of a unit or the team called india...well said sir

Guru Prasad said...

Arindam Sir, I am also a big fan of Dhoni's leadership...this is what I had felt on Dhoni: http://guruprasadpr.blogspot.com/2011/04/dhoni-is-super-lucky-rite.html

Muzammil said...

Absolutely awesome, thanks for your findings Sir, you are right!!! Dhoni is the magic man behind our World Cup victory. I love the way he maintains his cool under extreme pressures.

garima singh said...

very good example of everyday affair leadership,..........................

Ankit Dangi said...

Kya baat kar rahe ho sir, kabhi Football ko bhi dhyaan se dekho. It is infact the most challenging sport.

Mrityunjay said...

Very true sir. You said about the olympics. But what about football? Our nation is still on one of the last positions of the game. What should be done?

rupesh said...

rupesh its a great dafination of leadership

Arjun Singh said...

sir i think you should use .com domain instead of .blogspot.com which sounds really wired !


If you will not do so than i think you are withering your blog.. :)

Kirtimaan said...

While I am not a fan of cricket, I appreciate the management part, which is team spirit & leadership quality. So, at least on that part I agree!

Edufriend said...

True, Sir, leadership does matter a lot and a true leader always leads from the front.But Sir,not only the game of Cricket, it is true in every team game. Kudos for such an article.

RYAN VACHAS#9895389045 said...

pls stop ue self promotion in de hindu....i hate 2 c its back page wasted week after week.....

gatoratanu said...

I beg to disagree.
http://bhulbhal-nonsense.blogspot.com/2011/04/ganguly-or-dhoni-whos-better-captain-so.html

thanooj said...

before a wrote a BUZZ as :-
I think 'ricky ponting' had violated one of the ICC rules.

rule : "a team captain should NOT play. he just have to do monitor the team play".

by violating the main rule, 'ricky ponting' got 100 runs in last match he played.
that is why Australia removed him from the team.
---------------------------------------
Guys!.,
I hope now you understood why 'M.S. Dhoni' play cricket at TV screens. NOT in the field.

and now i want to tell that 'ricky ponting' led a team to get couple of WC consecutively.but, why they were out of WC now! is because of 'ricky ponting'! or team member's performance??
if that is ok, why we lost a game with SA in the same WC series?
i know Dhoni's batting he do play like a galli small kid do play.

Dipankar said...

I personally don't buy that..becoz of Dhoni we had won the world cup..its team india who has won..
& as far as Ganguly..he was much a better leader than dhoni..Ganguly's man lost the world to Australian team...which was much better side than the team of 2011..& that also in Johenasburg...so it is not appropriate to compare..just enjoy for our victory..we r world champion...cheers.

Manish said...

sorry to say but i dont agree with compaision of one wrold cup to 25 olympic golds. Crciket is played only by 12 countries while olympic many contries take part. Biggest thing with crciket is that media promtes it. I donit understand why people stops working with cricket . ITs game whch is affecting prodvutivity of nation. for alomst 8 hrs peopple does not works. funny thing in this world. Moreover this world cup is not the india's.It;s BCCI world cup. BCCI already claimed so in the Court. They were not able tp send the circket team to Asian games also,Because their was only medal no money. Also why did the govt need to give money when they play for BCCI not the country.

Unknown said...

i think leadership does matter a lot and a true leader always leads from the front

Manu said...

Arindam chaudhuri is a great philosopher

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