“In sports, there’s nothing more satisfying than hearing a big crowd go silent and that’s the aim for us tomorrow,” said Pat Cummins, Australian cricket team Captain, the day before the ICC World Cup final match held on 19 November.
And boy, did his team silence the crowd at the Narendra Modi Stadium that Sunday. The silence was deafening.
I’ve been cricket crazy for well over half of my life now. I still remember — I was home studying for my grade 11 exams, and my dad, who was the most hardcore cricket lover in the world, was watching an India-Pakistan cricket match. I walked into our living room, sank into our couch, and asked him what the fuss was about. Eight hours later, I was well and truly sucked into the cricket frenzy that grips most Indians. And the rest, as they say, is history. I went on to watch every match India played for the next few decades.
So, I was one of the ‘over a billion’ silenced spectators of that World Cup final match a few weeks ago. After the utter heartbreak at losing a match we were so confident of winning subsided, it struck me that there are several life lessons neatly tucked into this loss, which could even translate into New Year’s resolutions for 2024, if you are on the lookout for some.
I’m listing five life lessons for you to ponder on below:
1. Don’t get predictable
The Indian cricket team played sublime cricket all through the tournament. They won all ten matches in the run up to the final. You can’t help but feel for them. But when I think about it, they stuck to the same game plan in every match. The game plan worked like a charm — Rohit Sharma came in, smacked the ball around, got India off to a flying start; once he got out, Virat Kohli aggressively took over… it was a set formula that they’d perfected over ten prior matches. Which brings me to the lesson here — India became predictable.
When you are predictable it’s easy for your opponent to ably counter you. Keep your opponent guessing, have a few plans in the pipeline, change things around constantly… stay unpredictable, stay impossible to conquer.
Nalini Sorensen is an award-winning author of children’s books. She has contributed to anthologies, children’s magazines, and has written readers for schools in India. She is a TEDx speaker and has presented at literary events across India.