Drawing Parallels – Lessons for the Corporate World from India’s Tour of England

Lot of analogies do get driven out of the game of cricket in India. Cricket, after all, is a source of inspiration for millions. So here’s a look at top 5 lessons corporate world can draw from India’s latest tour of England.


The India cricket was riding the No 1 tag last year. Virat Kohli became the No 1 batsman in the world; Indian team became the No 1 test team in the world after a stupendous some season in 2017. So when the team set foot on their first international tour after a long home season, the word of mouth was that India will create history in test cricket and scale new heights.

The first opportunity was South Africa. While India did brilliantly in the T20s and ODIs against the spring books, the real test lied in test cricket. Unfortunately, the world no 1 team came 2nd and lost the series 2-1.The lone victory did show glimpses of form but a dearth of consistency meant India had to wait longer.

So before India went for its 2nd international tour of the year, the experience from South Africa and a weak England team meant that the world no 1 team were the favorites. This was though 2 months back. India’s tour to England ended a few days back and score line once again narrates the sorry state of affairs of India cricket team when it comes to playing outside India. India lost 4-

Lot of analogies do get driven out of the game of cricket in India. Cricket, after all, is a source of inspiration for millions. So here’s a look at top 5 lessons corporate world can draw from India’s latest tour of England.

1, is just a number - The Indian team while wearing the crown of being no 1, did not plan for the future. While it can’t be said that they were over- confident, complacency did creep in.

Time and again the corporate world has proven that being No 1 is just not good enough. Brands like Nokia and Kodak have paid a price for being overconfident. Hence, it is so important to plan for the future and never be complacent. Remember, 1 is just a number.

Best Player Vs Balanced Team conundrum – The Indian cricket team is once again going through what pundits call the “Tendulkar conundrum”. In the 90’s and early 2000, Sachin Tendulkar was the best batsman in the world. Unfortunately, that also proved to be Achilles heel for India. His wicket meant the half the game in the bag for the opposition. It’s deja vu time for the current team and in the recent tour exposed this weakness. The gap between other players and Kohli is widening and that’s not good for the team.

In the corporate world too, one’s needs to be competitive for sure, but one has to tag along with the team. Teams which have 1 or 2-star performers who outrun the rest, might do more harm than good in the long run. Hence, it's important to maintain an adequate balance in every team. One needs to keep identifying new talent, nurture and mentor them regularly to ensure the gap between the best and other members is not too wide.

Consistency over transient success - The India team did well and had the opposition on mat many times in the series. Barring the game at Lords, in all remaining 4 matches, England had lost half their side with hardly anything on the board. In spite of that, their tail was able to wag and they put up competitive totals. The irony was that they were consistent in coming out of crisis every time. India, on the other hand, lacked any sort of consistency, instead just showed intermittent sparks of brilliance. This though looked good while it lasted, but unfortunately, it had zero impact on the end result.

In a corporate world too, many times, we invest a large part of our energies in creating and achieving transient success (sounds like an oxymoron). While we have been told success in any form is always good, but there has to be a trade-off with being consistent. Remember, being consistent over the year, will work any day, instead of ephemeral bouts of success.

Form is temporary; class is permanent – Alistair cook had a fairytale ending to his career. When everyone had written him off, he came back and not only scored more than 200 runs in the match but ensured England won the match in the process.

In the corporate world too, while it's important to have young blood in the team (the millennial of today are after all shaping the future), it's important to also have experienced pros in your team. This is more pertinent for the startup world. Hence, a right mix of Old wine and a new bottle is a must.

Humble in Victory and Gracious in defeat – One thing team India did display was being humble when they won the 3rd match and gracious in their defeat. The series, while it was competitive and brought the best of many players, the overall rivalry was restricted to the field of cricket. We all know what happened in the last series between Australia and South Africa. Overall, the game of cricket won.

In a corporate world too, while we are passionate about our brands and products, and will go an extra mile to outsell and outsmart our rivals, we need to also be gracious when competition does something good. Remember, many times, such gestures do help the industry to grow, thereby proving to be a win-win for all.

Considering the corporate world is one the biggest sponsor of the India cricket team, it’s befitting to draw some positives out of defeat.

(Amit Nanchal--The author is Communications Expert, an avid street photographer and a Twitterati.)

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