INDIA V ENGLAND | PAYTM TEST SERIES | 2ND TEST | CHEPAUK, CHENNAI
DAY 4 REVIEW
Ravichandran Ashwin deservedly walked away with the Player of the Match honor for his 8 for 96 and 106 in the match, Rohit Sharma rightly with the game changer award for his 161 when India batted first that set the stage for complete domination over England.
However, a resurgent display of collective effort following a huge loss has gained the spotlight once again, after a similar act in Australia.
The 1-all series result in this 4-Test series became apparent after England's first innings folded on 134. The stranglehold increased resulting in a whopping 317-run defeat for the Joe Root-led team.
Anand Mahindra, chairman of the automotive-to-Information Technology Mahindra Group that has presence in 100 countries, commended Virat Kohli and his victorious men with: "So our team members have confirmed their competence in scriptwriting as well as sports...From the ashes of defeat to the roar of victory. Keep weaving such great stories... #INDvsENG."
In fact, Team India's senior and the Young India brigade are writing a script resembling 5 successful corporate management team characteristics. Here's how:
1. Communicate well: There have been reports of discord among members of the team. Instances of skipper Kohli and Rohit Sharma not getting along, or Ashwin having difference of opinion with his captain or coach have been doing the rounds.
Such chatter seemed true when India lost the pink ball Test in Adelaide by eight wickets and Kohli identified the cause to lack of intent from team members.
It looked clear then that cricketers playing the highest professional game, a Test match, were not aware the intent they needed to show for their team's cause.
However, from that moment and six Test matches later (2 defeats, 3 wins and a draw), Team India's members have displayed remarkable communication skills.
A lot of this exemplary art of communication was evident during this second Test when Rohit Sharma sought valuable feedback on field, initially from Pujara and later Rahane.
Other marked moments of such good communication could be seen when Kohli and Ashwin were batting together in India's second innings.
Axar Patel, who excelled on debut with match figures of 7 for 100 and Kuldeep Yadav benefited by communicating constantly with their senior pro Ashwin as well as their captain.
Finally, most corporate teams have that amusing member who communicates loudly and chirps to keep the team's spirit high. Rishabh Pant played that role to good effect.
2. Focus on goals: Stung by the first Test debacle, you'd have thought this India team would find it tough to regroup and bounce back immediately.
However, as Rohit Sharma and Ashwin explained, the team devoted the time between the two Tests to focus on how the second Test pitch will play and ways to capitalize on it.
Among the goals was to focus on playing the sweep shots often not before choosing which bowlers and which deliveries to play them.
The sweep show helped both Rohit and Ashwin establish their innings.
Kohli too revealed how he focused on correcting his mistake from the first innings when he was bowled for a duck to an awe-inspiring 62 in the second innings.
"I've taken a lot of pride in correcting mistakes quickly, which I haven't done in the past because I'm rigid. But, I want to correct those quickly now," Kohli said after the win.
3. Support for each other: A lot of those individual brilliance you got to see during this second Test received timely help from other members of the team.
"For the 15-20 mins, when the bowler needs support from the crowd, it's my responsibility [to egg the crowd on]," said Kohli who'd be seen helping build the support his bowler needed.
Kuldeep, playing in a Test after two years, said return to Test cricket was like making another debut. However, he had able support. "I always speak to Ash bhai [Ashwin] a lot, even during the Australia tour. He was telling me a lot about where to bowl to which batsmen, what shots they like to play," said Kuldeep.
Ashwin himself sought tips and support from his more accomplished batting mate before he scored that ton. "I was having a chat with Rohit and the batting coach [Vikram Rathour] about the options to put pressure on the bowler than waiting for the loose balls. First couple of sweeps I connected, I got a hang of the wicket."
4. Diverse yet one team: Not all members of this Team India are academically qualified.
It's not clear if all of them are graduates. Ashwin seems the only one who is a BTech in Information Technology.
Although majority of them read, write and speak the English language fluently, there are members such as Axar Patel, Mohammed Siraj and Kuldeep Yadav who struggle to hold a conversation in English. And there are a couple who do not speak Hindi.
This because the team comprises members from the country's north, west, south, and east zones, and converge representing a nation that has about 1581 languages that have script and more than 2000 dialects.
It's the admirable manner in which these players from diverse culture and languages join hands to play as one and win encourages corporates to use them as an example in better employee engagement programs.
5. Having fun: This Team India knows to have fun. There were plenty of fun moments on display during this Test.
Funmaster Rishabh Pant received good backing from his skipper who could also be seen indulging in a few pranks and acts of buffoonery.
Ashwin and Team India's fielding coach R Sridhar recently regaled viewers of Ashwin's YouTube channel with a fun filled incident involving coach Ravi Shastri during the Sydney Test.
While Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari were facing up to the onslaught from Nathon Lyon and Pat Cummins, Sridhar had the chance to also observe a tense Shastri react to every ball in a manner that was funny.
According to Sridhar, Shastri would let out "Shabash" (well done) every time Ashwin or Vihari defended a guileful delivery from Lyon or Cummins.
The funny part, Sridhar narrated was: Shastri's tone and duration of "Shabash" would vary according whom between Lyon and Cummins was bowling.
So, a shorter "Shaa..bash" would mean spinner Lyon was bowling and a longer "Shaaaa...baash" would mean pacer Cummins was in the act with his comparatively longer run-up.
You can imagine the fun those watching Shastri let out those different shabaashes would have had as Ashwin and Vihari stood at the crease battling an epic 256 deliveries to help Team India draw the Test.