What Cricket Teaches Us...

Cricket, being a team game and a popular sport worldwide, teaches us many lessons in life. Sportsman spirit, team leadership and mental toughness are a few attributes one can pick up courtesy of cricket. In this article, I discuss three crucial life morals, a true cricket fan would relate to.

To begin with, what history teaches us is that you've got to be all-round in order to be successful over a period of time. The Australian cricket team, ten years ago, was often considered invincible. They had explosive batsmen at the top of the order and good finishers constituting the middle order. Moreover, they had agile, wicket-taking bowlers. They had all facets covered, and hence they dominated world cricket for a good ten years. This was the time when India had the best batsmen in the world and Pakistan had the most talented bowlers, but these teams were weak in one department of the game. The West Indies team in the early 1980s had destructive bowlers along with batsmen like Viv Richards and Clive Lloyd who were capable of demolishing any opposition. Nowadays, its South Africa dominating world stage for obvious reasons.

One phase every individual goes through at some point or the other in life is failure. Its not embarrassing to fail, but its embarrassing to keep failing for a long time. How a person reacts to failure and retaliates is what defines him. All those cricketers who are right now in the 'Hall of Fame' were once struggling to find a place in the side. Many of them were sidelined and criticized, but they all came back stronger and better-prepared. The Australian Cricket Board selects its players very carefully, based on their first-class careers. The runs scored or wickets taken aren't the only factors taken into account. Infact, the selection committee looks for players who have gone through the hard times at first-class level, and have subsequently come back with good performances. You might take things for granted when everything is going like a song. Its when things go deadly wrong that you need to change a few things and fight back.

Handling the pressure in crunch situations isn't for the feeble hearted. This is a skill you learn only with experience. The pressure factor comes into play whenever there's a do-or-die situation. For instance, when the play-offs of a multi-nation tournament are played, the previous matches in the tournament hold no importance and are forgotten. You've got to start from scratch. India might be the best team in the Cricket World Cup 2015 thus far and they might win all their group games. However, in order to lift the Cup, they'll have to win three pressure matches on a trot. There's no other alternative but to remain positive and stay mentally strong. Its much easier said than done.

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