Follow Your Heart. Lead Your Mind. You'll find a window everywhere.

Friday, December 19, 2014

So many short balls show India is short on cricketing sense.

3rd day's play of the Brisbane Test began with a slight advantage towards India. 

The early departure of Mitchell Marsh being bamboozled by Ishant Sharma also helped the cause of India. The incoming delivery from Ishant though looked ominous but it was actually Mitchell's wrong judgement he paid the price for.

When a fast bowler goes a bit wide of the crease to bowl and keeps the shine of the ball outside, it's commonsense that the ball would come in, more so, as the old Kookaburra ball doesn't reverse much and, early in the morning, any chance of such happenings remains almost zero - even considering miracles.

Brad Haddin came out to bat, and never looked comfortable during his short stint in the middle. His footwork seemed all over the place, as if his nervous system refused to work. Before getting skittled by Varun Aaron's rising delivery at the forward short-leg, offering a chocolate catch to Pujara, Haddin actually kept hopping on the pitch, doing little justice to his reputation as a batsman. In fact, before his dismissal the way he left his all three stumps exposed to nudge the ball to the deep fine-leg fence for a boundary showed his confidence level was wobbly and dwindling. 

However, with his uncharacteristic dismissal, he rather unknowingly laid out a trap for Indians to walk into, so as to squander the advantage to Australia, foolishly, by bowling short and haywire.

The ill-directed and purposeless barrage of 28 short-balls not only helped Mitchell Johnson settle down and score a no time half-century but also did a world of good to Aussies who amassed 130 runs off just 23 overs, losing only 2 wickets in the first session of play.

While Dhoni was clueless, so were Indian pacers, Steven Smith demonstrated why he is considered as one of the most mature cricketers in the world in spite of his age - that's only 25+. 

The moment Johnson pulled twice to the fence with authority, intelligent Smith understood there was nothing to worry. So, he allowed Johnson to take the maximum strike and thereby make Indian bowlers tired and dejected by taking them on with lusty hits all over the ground, as well as playing within the V.

It's ironical that Indian think-tank failed to understand any left-hander naturally plays horizontal shots better, and Johnson was no exception. Whereas, at the start, when feet don't move straightway, it's always wise to pitch the ball up, bowling over the wicket. For that creates two angles for a southpaw thus weaves doubts on his mind while he is forced to come forward and play the ball early. This always increases the chance of getting a new batsman out, especially if he is a lefty. 

If Indians think they can win a Test match by hurting or intimidating batsmen instead of getting them out then they can jolly well keep bowling short, predictably, but to no avail. Because while bowling short Indian bowlers are pitching it almost on their toes, and from that length it's easier for any batsman to pick the ball quite early. 

Even after lunch, when batsmen remain rusty for a short-while, bringing Rohit Sharma in tandem with Ashwin was another mindless move by Dhoni to finish the overs quickly before taking the new ball. 

After a break, it's prudent to let pacers bowl an over or two with the old ball, for that actually warms them up to go for the kill with the new cherry in hand. 

Dhoni's field placing was no strange either. The way he spreads fielders, it is a psychological submission to the fact that tail-enders from an opponent side can hit Indian bowlers anywhere they want, so protections everywhere. 

From 398 for 8, as Australia sailed through to 505, practically, it underlines the ineptness of Indian bowling to wrap things up. Plus, they are also unable to check the run flow to make batsmen impatient to commit mistakes. No logic can justify a fielding side's bowling that concedes a run-rate of 4.60 in a Test match. 

Nevertheless, words are inadequate to laud the knock of Steven Smith under pressure on his debut as a captain. The poise and calmness he showed throughout the innings was of a different class and, if he keeps playing like this, more sedate tons from him are on the cards for sure. 6 Test hundreds in 24 Tests speak volumes of his ability with the bat but with no ado about anything. 

Dhoni & Co. got to realise aggression minus patience and discipline - particularly in bowling - is outrage and anarchy, and neither outrage nor anarchy helps a side win a Test match let alone a Test series. 

Not to forget, everyone does make mistakes, so does a batsman. Therefore, in a Test match, relying on a batsman's weakness is as important as trusting a bowler's strength. So, sticking to the basics is crucial, for without that, variations are nothing but worthless application. 

Finally, one question remains as it is: "What's the role of Indian cricket team's think-tank in Tests overseas?"   

Monday, December 1, 2014

The cricket ball and the T20 killed Phil Hughes.

In a Sheffield Shield match at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), Sean Abbott bowled a bouncer. The ball rose off the deck and hit Phillip (aka Phil) Hughes on the back of his head, while he wanted to play a hook shot. Immediately after, Phil lost consciousness and fell on the ground on his face. With a thud. He was rushed to St. Vincent's Hospital where he succumbed to the injury and passed away. Two days shy of his 26th birthday to remain on 63* forever.

The incident was quoted as "freaky accident" by almost all that include medical experts, ex and current cricketers, editors, sports journalists, fans, and the people at large.

The media, especially TV channels, and the social media have gone berserk demanding more safety for batsmen on a cricket pitch. And, according to them, that is only possible if protective gears, precisely helmets, are redesigned and bouncers are relinquished. 

Noble thoughts indeed! For such ideas always create more opportunities to debate or argue, and the more the debate or argument, the better the TRP / GRP / Circulation / Readership / Trending. Good business ploys. no doubt.

But the question is, and will ever be, "Do, or can, such gimmicks in news benefit cricket and its stake holders, anyway?" 

To understand that, why not don a thinking hat, instead of a reactive one, and try to analyse what exactly happened to Phillip and what might continue to happen to other cricketers, as well as umpires, on a cricket field? 

Let's begin the analysis with a pecking question: "Did Sean Abbott bowl a bouncer at all in the first place to intimidate or hurt Phil Hughes?" 

From the video analysis, it was clear that the delivery was not a bouncer. It was definitely on the shorter side, but not too short of a length. However, the ball rose off the surface rather stiffly, so, for that, if the bowler needs to be mentioned of, he should rather be credited, not discredited or maligned, for producing such a gem of a delivery.

On the contrary, from batting skills point of view, it was Phil's wrong technique, precisely his flawed footwork and judgement, which put him in a false position to get struck by the cherry and leave the world so early, unfortunately, bringing tears to all of us. Well, to me at least. 

While, just swaying away a little backward could have helped Hughes see the ball flying off safely into the keeper's gloves, his erroneously judged aggression to hit the ball made all the damage, irreversibly. 

In fact, if playing a shot and scoring off the said delivery was so crucial then an upper cut over the slip would have been ideal. But noway a hook, or even a pull-shot, was apt, given the position Phillip got himself into. 

In short, it was not the failure of a cricket helmet but it was the failure of a batsman who, despite being a test player and having loads of talent, failed miserably in 'shot selection' before 'shot execution' owing to his 'aggression'.

Such aggression is actually inevitable thanks to T20, and a tournament like IPL. That turns batting into banging the ball by hook or by crook. Because that's entertainment, often cheap and crazy, which people pay for to help marketeers, and a cricket board like BCCI - out there to sell TV rights even at the cost of a cricketer's life or the game itself.  

Money matters, and as long as it flows in, it hardly matters what young cricketers are learning from the grassroots level.

Besides, it's to be noted with due attention that Phillip was not hit by the ball on the back of his head - media hype notwithstanding. He was rather struck on the neck just above the left collarbone, a vulnerable area, where no helmet in the world can provide a protection to any batsman. 

Given the weight, hardness, seam and speed of a cricket ball, it would be surprising, if a batsman or, for that matter, any cricketer or an umpire, doesn't suffer from or die of VAD: Vertebral Artery Dissection unlike Hughes had to.

Let alone protecting or saving a cricketer from VAD, as the Masuri 'Vision Series' helmets with 'Active Peak Technology' might not even keep one's face secure and intact, if a cricket ball travels at a speed of over 67-mph from front and enters through the gap between the peak and the grille.

This boils down to the consideration - which ICC or any cricket board hardly cares for - that a cricket ball, from time immemorial, has unnecessarily been hard, intimidating and life-threatening - that is of course, and should never be, acknowledged and appreciated in the name of bravado and machismo.

Frankly, equating one's bruises, broken anatomy, blood or death in a sport with guts or gusto is not normal. It's kind of a psychological disorder like sadism. Quite primitive and predatory, totally devoid of human sense, sensibility and sensitivity, and the spirit of sports. Thus neither ethical nor civilised, and doesn't complement the philosophy and essence of cricket called: The Gentleman's Game.

To be precise, the cricket ball not only harms a batsman but also murders a bowler, a fielder, an umpire (even in the square-leg) - practically anyone, everyone, physically or mentally; literally or laterally.

As a result, it affects the mind of children and parents, psychologically, creating an environment of fear, which cannot help any sport to flourish or get developed, as a global sport, due to the negative emotion that is generated and spread in such situations, automatically. 

More so, given the dubious role of the media that fans the fire, as there is hardly any difference between 'Sports Journalism' and 'Page 3 Reporting' at present. 

Therefore, the need of the hour is to look into the cricket ball and use science and technology the best possible way to innovate a new cricket ball that won't frighten anyone but, at the same time, will keep the competitiveness in the game alive without compromising or favouring a batsman at the cost of bouncer, swing, reverse swing, seam, cut or spin. 

In a nutshell, the core of the cricket ball i.e. the cork has to be gotten rid of, which is not at all conducive but dangerous and harmful to the greater interest of the game. 

Last but the least, batsmen should always remember T20 is good; aggression is better; protective gears could be the best, but above all else, it's only the right technique that can save a batsman and help him live longer on the turf and off it.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

How PMG can develop India's sports economy for youth leadership

In one of his recent interviews (published on the website of Wisden India on April 28, 2014... bearing the headline: Gavaskar proposes more open BCCI), Mr. Sunil Manohar Gavaskar said to Mr. Shamya Dasgupta, Senior Editor, Wisden India that he wanted BCCI to be more open where everyone could speak freely and fearlessly and thus be involved in the decision making process. Plus, Sunny also wanted the four major stakeholders (fans, players, administrators and sponsors) of the game to work together and BCCI to have a proper PR person cum authorised spokesperson for better public and media relations.

For that, on July 10, 2014, I sent an email to Sunny, firstly to wish him a 'very happy birthday' and secondly to ask him whether he was game to accept a presentation from me, which would give him a comprehensive idea on how his company PMG (Professional Management Group) can take sports management & marketing to a different level, helping education, employment and economy through sports - exploiting cricket, predominantly. 

On July 14, 2014, from England, he himself responded to my mail and gave me the go ahead. 

So I made the presentation and emailed to him on July 26, 2014, in which I proposed a system that, if built and made to work under the canopy of PMG (in association with BCCI, ideally), might help the youth of India grow and develop, differently, and in a much better way in fact, emancipating themselves and, in the process, others, on the basis of a sporting culture that has been either missing or amiss across the nation. And, to a great extent, among the Indian diaspora as well.

In short, I wanted to present the big picture of the sports economy rather clearly to Mr. Gavaskar for the development and evolution of youth leadership complementing the Government of India's plan.

Here is what I presented:


Saturday, April 19, 2014

How to include people for Inclusive Growth in an economy.

Myth: Economics is a dull subject.

Reality: Economics is as spicy and hot as sex is.

Most people in general don’t take any interest in economics because the subject is presented with a lot of boring theories and equations – often incomprehensible and more than enough to drive even the mad out of asylums.

However the problem is, without understanding economics, precisely the macro economics, it’s impossible to understand the micro economics, on which, one’s individual growth depends. That, in the process, ensures collective growth for an overall socio-economic development to make society, a nation and the world a better place to live in.

But text book economics, as I said already, won’t and can’t really make anyone excited to take any interest whatsoever in this fabulous subject.

So, what to do?

The solution is pretty simple but very tough to execute – shedding off the straight-collared dogma and puritan principles in order to make things as titillating as possible.

And for that, business publications and channels have to adapt to and adopt a different approach altogether – to redefine their marketing communications and content.

The first challenge is to hold people’s attention to unfathomable economic terms as a matter of fact, but uncanny, way, so they become keen to know and thereby understand things rather voluntarily.

Say for instance, every political party talks about ‘Inclusive Growth’ in almost every polity and economy. But what that means exactly, well, none bothers to explain, lucidly.

Therefore, the Inclusive Growth is inclusive of what remains as elusive as ever.

But, if some excitement – even if bizarre and weird, but unavoidable – is tried out in marketing communications, it might so happen people rather willingly try to dig deeper.

Frankly, Inclusive Growth is not possible unless people are included in the process from the word go. 

How to do that, here’s an indication through a piece of marketing communications, which a publication like 'The Economist' might risk... to think and do beyond the obvious... so as to attract people towards the otherwise bland – but very useful – business and economic content to help them know how an economy works and how they can contribute to it to benefit from the same.

After all, “it’s economy, stupid” won’t do anymore. Because, for a sustainable economy, worldwide, the stupidity of everyone – irrespective of class, gender, age, etc. – got to be replaced with intelligence for sure. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Is India Narendra Modi?

As per the Opinion Poll for the Lok Sabha Election 2014 in India, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) - sorry, Mr. Narendra Modi, being the Superman of Indian Politics, to beat Congress all alone.

Looking at BJP's Electoral Campaign, which is synonymous to Political Campaign in India, it is evident that Bharatiya Janata Party thinks 'India = Modi', hence the nation can marvel only through Modi-fication of corruption. 

Below is the masthead of a leaflet cum EDM - Electronic Direct Mailer - BJP is circulating to Modi-fy India, magically, helping you look at and look into the socio-economic condition of India through only Lotus Glasses, but no more rose for that matter. 


Makes sense, because a rose comes with thorns while a lotus comes with just a venomous snake, and thorns are more dangerous than a snake, since, the former lets you bleed while the latter helps you die. And death is better than bleeding, for, death means mukti - freedom from all tensions, frustrations, pains and agonies of corruption brought to you by Congress and UPA only.

So, obviously, you should always VOTE AGAINST CONGRESS to benefit from the Modi-fied India i.e. 'Modindia'. 

However, before you do that, if you have just two minutes time - from your very busy schedule of Liking, Sharing, Commenting and Promoting Text and Photos of Facebook and Twitter - to think, you may consider to ask yourself the following questions... in case that help you know, understand, realise and accept what kind of 'a better tomorrow' you are about to create today with BJP in reality:

Question No. 1: If BJP is 'Bharatiya Janata Party' then how come their 'call to action' to the people of India is "VOTE FOR INDIA, VOTE FOR MODI" instead of "VOTE FOR BJP, VOTE FOR PEOPLE, VOTE FOR INDIA"? 

Question No. 2: If BJP is "committed to a strong and developed India" then the party is actually admitting that India has already been strong and developed. So, why shouldn't people vote for Congress (led UPA) again to re-elect them, as under their governance only India became strong and developed?

Question No. 3: "Vision of Modi - Nai Soch, Nai Ummeed". Okay, so the Modi-fied vision is "New Thinking, New Hope". If anyone asks you what is your vision, say for your organisation, and you answer, "New Thinking, New Hope," what will it mean actually?

Question No. 4: So Modi has a vision, but BJP doesn't have any? In that case, is BJP a political party, or just Modi's kitty party to freak out over tea?

Now, rest is your call, entirely. Keeping one simple thing on mind, and deep in mind as well, that the word 'Modification' or 'Modi-fication' means neither 'Change' nor 'Transformation', and the word 'Growth' doesn't also mean either 'Development' or 'Evolution'; 'Welfare' or 'Progress'.

Mushrooms grow faster than a Banyan Tree does, but that doesn't mean you can take a shelter under them - unless of course you are a frog.        

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Want to make a smart choice? Use WBT: Whole Brain Thinking.

First picture is my 'Brain Mapping' by 'WBT: Whole Brain Thinking' that shows how my 'Thinking Preferences' work.

Second picture is the detailed report of the same.

(Click on both the pictures to enlarge and look at them in a better way).

Once this clear to me, as well as to others who deal with me and vice versa, 'relationship' - personal or professional - becomes much easier to maintain and manage.

For, relationship entirely depends on two parties' 'behaviour' and, not to mention, 'behavioural preferences' - which are changeable - depend mostly on 'Thinking Preferences' i.e 'ESA: Emotional Self-awareness'.

So, recruiting employees on the basis of CV, or selecting partners on the basis of horoscope or bank balance or look, or guiding students on the basis of report cards is a medieval practice.

If anyone really wants to make a 'smart choice' today, s/he has to do that by WBT because that's 'intelligence' in real sense.