6 learnings to help build my Second Innings @ 35

ChildWhen I was 36 months old, I used to be a shy, introvert, bald boy who was still coming to terms with life. I shall be 36 years old in a few days time and am still that man who is bald and who is still to come to terms with his life. Time flies and so do hair. Okay, am not going to rant over my hair loss anymore and talk rather about my experiments with life so far. 6 truths of life I have experienced in the corporate world in the past 12 odd years and these truths shall be my guiding light for my second innings. My concept of second innings is 35 to 70 years which as per life expectancy norms is not a bad expiry date.

First innings was a mixed affair wherein I scored 60 odd runs and played a Sehwag style innings full of risks, adventure and chutzpah. It could have been a triple hundred for all you know, but then like a typical Sehwag shot labeled as ‘rash’, I got out. Few others scored centuries which gave me obvious discomfort and some scored very few for whom I always offered my sympathetic ear.

So, in second innings wherein the run chase is a tall order, 6 philosophies that I think should lead the way for people like you and me who are on the verge of second innings or already into it, are–

    1. The pitch has changed, ADAPT accordingly – So far, the match was being played on home ground under known conditions. Yes, the pressure to perform is always there but when there is a comfort factor involved, then life just gets a bit dull and non challenging. Now, it is a pacy and bouncy pitch and it is imperative that the batting style changes giving due respect to the changed conditions else competition is always vying for your batting slot. The chase needs a good contribution from each batsman and failure would not be appreciated. Of course, past laurels may help but they shall not prevent your slide from the International arena to domestic arena in due time.
    2. DO NOT throw away your wicket – Is it always necessary to play like Sehwag? Yes, the temperament and aptitude may motivate or rather force to play in your natural style, however, the attitude towards batting should take into cognizance the pitch, the opposition and the situation which may simply demand to spend some time in the middle and bail out the swinging deliveries. So, be a Dravid or Sachin, as per the need of the hour and even if that does not suit your natural style, adapt it till the conditions again suit your style of batting which eventually will happen as the ball gets older.
    3. Build your innings – As the commentators often say, pace your innings well. You had a decent first innings score but let a rash shot overrule the logical reasoning of your brain. The end result, you have achieved something but not completely true to your potential. The idea in second innings is then to take small strides and then jog and then sprint towards your goal. Accumulate feedback from peers, colleagues, friends to know your ‘blind spots’ and work towards it so that a rash shot is never developed.
    4. DO NOT be afraid to play the big shots – Be true to yourself. If your objective is to score big and you have paced yourself well, then at some point in the match you have to announce your superiority over the bowlers. Seek that opportunity. A well-timed six on the front foot is a well measured risk once you have settled in and playing your shots well. A six may be followed by defensive strokes but that shot is enough to let the selector as well as the opposition know that you are prepared to take risks and grow along with measured defense.
    5. APPRECIATE your role as an Individual as well as a team player – Run chases cannot be achieved by one batsman only. You need to build the score along with other team players and yet stand out as a major contributor. At times, it is critical to rotate the strike and at times it is important that you take on the bowling on your own. That judgment is critical and you should appreciate both the options.
    6. REMEMBER the above five and MAKE IT COUNTThe above are 5 simple learning which hold true in the world, especially the corporate world where you strive to make it big. The truth in these is even profound if you do not have a Godfather in the system. And most importantly, if you have sincerely adopted the above 5, it is critically critical that you make it count. I always wondered why Mr. Gavaskar always used to say it when a batsman reached a century or some other milestone.

Today, the realization is clear – You may score a 95, 97 and 91 in 3 consecutive innings and someone else has scored a double century 3 matches earlier and has followed it up with mediocre scores of 20s and 30s. Yet, the chances of being selected is equal if not more for the other guy, merely because he entered the record (perception) books. That someone could be your colleague, peer or even your senior. So, make your efforts, intelligence and skills be perceived at the right place in the right manner so that you achieve deservedly right results.

3 thoughts on “6 learnings to help build my Second Innings @ 35

  1. Absolute truth. Some of us are lucky enough to lose a wicket and still stay in the game. This happens with step 7. Creating a fall back when the going is good. I.e. get selected for a longer series. Achievable by maintaining the right professional relationships.

    Finally always remember, the game won’t leave you, so make sure you don’t leave the game!

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    1. What you say is very true. In addition to the very relevant points made by you – is the role of sheer hard work, perseverance and perspiration. Above all – seeking to Understand before seeking to be Understood. As the great Mr. Gavaskar used to say – “give the first hour to the pitch and the bowler and the next five hours are yours” – Shyam Viswanathan

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