Down Under Diary – Run up to Round 2


yadav-2612-350_122811090626Some changes needed for the Brisbane test in the India side. Am not sure how much spin friendly is that wicket. The changes for me are:

  • MS for Saha, (chances are MS might sit this one down too)
  • Ashwin for Rohit – Am backing Ashwin to bat as well as Rohit (as of now their test records look very identical – so might as well go with an additional bowler who can bat a bit). Ashwin does have a good cross batted game, and does have the height to his advantage while batting.
  • Umesh for Karn.
  • I am pondering on Shikhar vs Raina too. However, will persist with former for the moment – he had a tough call against him the second innings at Adelaide, and his intention for once was to leave the short stuff which is good to see.
  • Bowlers need to be worked upon a bit. Shami and Aaron, will need to work over the next one day on understanding and reducing their margins of error. Too many boundary balls reducing their efficacy – even if they bowl 2/3 good balls. Ishant responds well to Dhoni, question is if the others will too.
  • MS must leverage Virat’s voice while influencing the younger lot. (Will he?).

It will be ideal if we can look eye to eye at Gabba, or better if we can put one across here. There is nothing like going for the jugular when its least expected. It will be well and truly game on!

My recommended team:

Shikhar, Vijay, Cheteshwar, Virat, Ajinkya, MS, Ashwin, Shami, Aaron, Ishant, Umesh

Team that I think will play:

Shikhar, Vijay, Cheteshwar, Virat, Ajinkya, Rohit, MS, Shami/Ashwin, Aaron, Ishant, Umesh

Advertisements

Down Under Diary : Round One – Australia


200733.3A great test match to start a series that promises to be an engaging one. The events running upto the test match were grossly unfortunate ones, and its admirable the spirit that both the teams brought to the ground to play a game that will long be remembered for its fighting qualities.

For starters am not disappointed one bit. I believe transition happens gradually. And this result is a big shot in the arm in that transitional journey.

For the recent history of Indian Cricket it was heartening to see couple of the top order batsmen putting their head down and make a serious headway towards the summit. Alas, at the end the lack of plan, match awareness and sheer mis fortune of some of the others made it yet another case of “So near yet so far”.

A few things that I pondered at the end:

The curious case of Karan Sharma: I am a huge supporter for giving new players opportunities at the big stage. However, as I saw Karan in this game I wondered if he himself had any plans for his debut. We hear legends talk about visualizing their first test match as they grow up the ranks. And when it arrives how they are keen to put the plan to action. I read Ponting, Hussey, Hayden speak about this in their autobiographies. However, I didn’t see that from Karan. I mean, for a leg spinner his plans were to look for the rough outside or around the leg stump and relentlessly try and land the ball there, irrespective of the outcome. Players like Warner will come hard at you yet one has to have the gumption to stick to that plan.

This also brings to the fore the question of why Karan Sharma? And not Ashwin? Probably our think tank thought about the number of right handed quicks (3 in India and 4 in Australia) who will create the rough around the leg stump (of a right hander), and went with the Leggie. And then our right handed bowlers kept bowling around the wicket, which fed to the aid of Lyon – to decimate us. Bizarre planning. Sometimes its good to not have options. Australia has one spinner, he has been told what is needed and he went out there to create havoc based on the rough created by just one of their bowlers (Johnson). Ashwin is our best spinner in that team, and he has to play if at all there is a chance of using a spinner. His batting too would have come in handy to reduce the lead in the first innings and some support for Kohli in the second.

Our Batting: Dhawan is struggling. Rohit lacked vision or plan or match awareness. Pujara’s footwork and technique looks downright dodgy (too much gap between bat and pad). Its great to play be instincts, however match awareness is a critical component and in tests does dictate the approach. Steve Smith demonstrated it how one needs to curb one’s instincts and dig in for a long innings. Am not sure Dhawan and Rohit have any of that on their mind. You cannot have “I will play like this only” attitude when expectation is for you to buckle down and play a certain game. It was heartening to see Vijay leaving 98% of the short stuff dished out to him. And its no surprise why he is the most improved and most successful Indian batsman over the last year or so. Time is running out on Dhawan / Rohit. Ambati Rayudu is snapping at Rohit’s feet and for Dhawan – it wouldn’t harm to try out Raina, with Rahane at the top.

That brings me to Pujara. The amount of Clean Bowled dismissals in England certainly underlined that yawning gap between Bat and Pad. It still exists. Add to that his neither front nor back approach to Lyon. He will need to soul search a little. This is the only format he plays and he should clear all mental cobwebs and focus on his balance, focus and technique. He will have to revisit the technique he leveraged well in South Africa and find what was working well then. At present there are a few issues there. Its very important for Pujara to be at the top of his game for Indian batting to be solid.

Mohd. Shami: Someone in that tent needs to have an honest chat with Shami, on where his head is at. Again I don’t see any plan in his head. He isn’t visualizing his bowling and its just running in and putting it there kind of approach. He does have a lot of potential. Its unfair to judge based on this wicket, am sure a wicket like Gabba / Melbourne will bring out a different Shami. Yet he needs to run in with intent and a plan. He will be a different bowler from what he is today.

Virat Kohli: He has arrived and how. I am amazed at his coming of age over the last 18 months or so. The biggest point he made with his twin tons is how to put your head down and shed a poor overseas form. We have often seen players let the poor form meander for too long. He worked hard and made sure he was ready with his top game for his debut at the helm. While one outing as a captain is too short to judge his performance in the long run, yet in his case we can be rest assured the future is in safe hands. Its increasingly clear now that this may be MS Dhoni’s last overseas tour as a test captain (or player). My gut says he may choose to not play tests going forward. I seriously feel the move to let Virat captain the Adelaide test in spite of Dhoni being in Australia is an intentional exercise. Whatever the reality, Kohli will be the go to man soon – and he has certainly made a huge shout out for it. Its great that we have transitioned into a younger test team (kudos to the present system which worked for it taking some really hard calls), and I also believe it will take some more time for this team to fully be there. This young band of people have a lot of time ahead of them to play themselves into a formidable unit. And going by the age group this team will be ideal for Kohli to lead. We can clearly say – exciting days ahead!

Clarke: Its sad to see what we saw – Clarke hobbling off. News coming from the Aussie dug out is a sad one. He isn’t going to play for the rest of the series that’s certain – he may not play Cricket at all. Whatever it is, its highly unfortunate to see a champ like Pup have an abrupt ending to his career. All our best wishes to him as he embarks on a long rehab plan. Hope to see him in the whites soon leading his band of boys out in the middle. In the last couple of weeks, I have been deeply impressed, moved and inspired by his leadership presence. It underlined his character as a person, mate, player and leader. To see him go out almost on one leg was certainly & utterly unfortunate.

For the remainder of the series, We will need a bit more planning, bite and effort from our bowlers. Dhoni will be back. He will need to continue this aggression. With Ravi Shastri in there one can be rest assured on the aggression bit. MS will need to play it out in the middle. Its certain the Aussie Zip will be well and truly in display at Brisbane. It will be for our boys to have their chin up and give a fitting reply to the questions posed.

Game On!

#GrowthHacking at KXIP #IPL2014


1904629

King XI Punjab, has well and truly redefined the way to play T20 cricket. And even after watching that model in play for about 8 games some of the other teams haven’t picked up a lesson or two to adapt and adopt. As a result, their southward journey continues as Bailey and Co, keep toppling the other teams with utter disdain.
So what is this shift?
Simple few:

  1. Get your best batsmen – your biggest hitters right on top and give them maximum overs to face (and not worry about – whether Bailey is a better technically equipped batsman that Maxwell etc.) – Funny. This isn’t a new idea being tried here – this is exactly what Warney did in the first edition of IPL playing Watson and Pathan in the top 3 – and ended winning the edition. Surprising to see no one repeating that tactic – till now.
  2. Start the Counter Attack as earfly as possible – if it comes good then we look at 200 or thereabouts, if not there is enough time for the later batsmen to arrest the slide and get to a respectable 150 – 160 (till now that hasn’t happened).
  3. Add to these, the ability to hit shots 360 degrees (Maxwell, Miller and Bailey) – an art that is paying off big time. The only other players who I have seen can pull that sort of play is AB and Eoin Morgan. Just the sheer array of shots – leaves the opposition at sea, and the intensity of the counterattack is so vicious it numbs the best of thinking minds.

Like many others I too thought initially this to be a flash in the pan, but must admit now (after witnessing more than half of the edition completed), that this is a well thought out Science. George Bailey, is bit of a Gun slinger when it comes to captaincy – he doesn’t go in there with too many “what ifs” in his mind. On the contrary, he smiles his way through (which can be interpreted as a boyish grin to a wry confident smirk) the game rarely breaking into a sweat. He is one of the many Australian cricketers who have spent time in the shadows of mightier colleagues waiting for their moment in the sun (He spent 3 seasons in the CSK dugout playing just 2 games – maybe that’s a reason of the additional fury against CSK in the recent games). So like some of others who have been through similar experience (Hussey, Hayden etc.) he too comes with a matured head, quality game and an ironclad temperament. To add to this his ability to bring out the best from the younger players as a leader makes him a true asset. He caught my attention during the last ODI series in India, which they lost 2-3. But the performances from Johnson, Maxwell, Faulkner and Bailey himself underlined the kind of environment he was able to create for the younger daredevils to express freely. Its no secret that Maxwell expresses more and better under him than any other leader. And now its evident from the way KXIP are enjoying on the field – that players enjoy and thrive under his leadership. This is a great space to be in as a team – when the leader isn’t worried about losing or any other consequence and is unflappable, the team derives an additional (read hidden), repository of energy, confidence and courage. When they started they didn’t look as confident a team, but when I look at them now – they have that sense of self confidence (enveloped by a touch of good cockiness). They have managed to instill a lot of concern and fear in the oppositions, and one can see teams battling those monsters more than focusing on their own strengths.

What can some of the other teams learn from KXIP?

Start thinking like a CEO – Our best Impact batsmen should play maximum balls. Period. Forget seniority, Reputation and all the other horse-manure. This is typically applicable for MI,KKR and RCB. MI especially – they have killed Pollard for 4 seasons now by letting him languish at the lower order getting to play only few balls – whenever due to circumstances (when they lost quick wickets), he has played more overs he ended up scoring upwards of 70. This is a celar example of being totally strategically and tactically numb – I fail to understand what the thought process there is, and what is the value of the galaxy of stars being present, as support staff in that dug out. On my book, Rohit opens and Pollard’s #3 – every game. Rest can figure out how they play around this. This is their best chance to get a decent score in most of the games – rather than fearing “what if we loose early wickets” “What if we need additional poush at the rear end” etc. Same for RCB – De Villiers need to play #3 with Virat as Opener… Rest can go figure. KKR has killed Yousuf Pathan’s Career completely even after Warney taught the world how to use him as a giant force (at #3). At KKR he was relegated to the #6 / 7 to handle the rear end – when he thrives in situation when the skipper backs him with maximum deliveries. Today Yusuf’s confidence is at its lowest ebb (I don’t know what his role is in that team – He doesn’t bat or bowl and misfields). Warney’s Rajasthan Royals had roles fixed for everyone – and Yusuf’s was that of the terminator – who comes in at #3 and decimates the opposition. His job wasn’t to think about holding one end steady etc. – he had to do what Maxwell does for KXIP – The “Big Show”. From being a “:Show Stopper” he is now a “Stopped Show”. But all isn’t lost – he can be revived – Make him play #3, and give him the freedom to be him. We may just see the spark back – for if there is one man who can create the “Big Show” consistently its him.

It will be unfair to not mention Sanjay Bangar here. While Bailey’s over simplified captaincy is admirable, Bangar’s low profile calm presence as the head coach is commendable. He was the brains behind constructing this outfit. He played domestic cricket till last year – and is instrumental is bringing together a highly potent band of T20 experts from around the world and fusing them with some of the sharpest young cricketing talents from India (Sandeep, Askhar, Shivam, etc.). To add to this the way Sehwag, Balaji, Pujara, Murali Karthik have responded to their roles – does speak of his communication ability to extract the best from the seniors too. One noteworthy story about Bangar is his presence in the team during the 2003 World Cup at South Africa. He didn’t get to play any game – But the work he did to motivate the entire team (Especially in that game against Pakistan) won him a place in Captain Ganguly’s heart. A true professional – who never yearned for personal moment in the sun, but tiled hard as a workhorse for the cause of the team demonstrating supreme Work ethic. Its not surprising that he is excelling as a Coach – For me a stellar moment for Indian Cricket. Its time we produced a world class coach – and Bangar, has made a solid start in his Power Play.

In all the 7 editions, I have rarely seen this sort of dominance from any side. So as much as its refreshing, it also has made all of us sit and take notice. As the dust of the madness settles down, the method behind it is increasingly becoming apparent. Hope, this is a method that pushes the T20 science to another unexplored level. Viva KXIP …for demonstrating to the world a classic manifestation of “Growth Hacking”

 

Where is MSD’s head at?


The most tormenting experience after a crushing cricket defeat is to relive the ignominy endlessly as numerous experts analyze the event on various media. The helplessness of not being able to give your point of View or counter some of the juvenile comments, makes it even more excruciating. But in a cricket crazy nation this is a reality and as a viewer I need to exercise my choice of using the remote control more proactively.

So as it happened, the floodgates opened and every yesteryear cricketer worth his salt and glucose, came out yesterday to strategize a resurgence in Indian Cricket, and everyone seem to have a clear path defined, only if the establishment gives them some sort of mandate to execute the same.

As the tirade grew, I started pondering on M S Dhoni. The man who for me has been a great story representing the emergence of the modern India – that of being driven by the growth of the hinterland. His exploits to emerge from the backyards of Indian cricket  as a daredevil swashbuckling batsman – wicketkeeper to seamlessly transition into a daring and gambling skipper with instincts as that of a hawk, certainly captured the imaginations of zillions, and to aid it there were results to see. Under his leadership we conquered 2 world cups, numerous other glories, scaled up the heights of Test Cricket and achieved that unthinkable – a harmonious, united and happy dressing room.

However, since that glorious day at Wankhede on April 2nd 2011, the fall has been dramatic. Not only in terms of success %age of the team, but also Dhoni’s confidence levels as a skipper – or so it seems or appears to the naked eye.

Back in 2007 when MS took over captaincy, India was lurking in an abyss. He had nothing to lose. He was entrusted with a young uninhibited team and no expectations. They say, that’s a deadly state to be in. He worked out a brilliant winning concoction from that state that caught everyone’s attention and a new fearless leader emerged. Over the next couple of years, his composure, his calculated and sometimes purely gut-driven instinctive gambles paid off big time making him that ultimate punter who unnerved the opposition with his calmness + grit + fiercely combative spirit of a pugilist + daring of a punter. Effect was there to see. India came out of deep holes, turned it around with their backs to the wall, unlikely heroes emerged who saved or won games, unexpected moves caught oppositions by surprise and games turned head on…et al. India found itself a leader who simply dared – a quality last seen in another ex-leader, Sourav Ganguly.

It is this “Ability to Dare”, that made MS that glorious leader for that period of 2007 – 2011. Irrespective of who played, India kept winning games. Not just at home, even away some great stories emerged – The Triangular series victory in Australia, the Series win in New Zealand, Gritty performances in South Africa. While there were many other contributors to this journey, MS’s leadership was a critical one – as he was sure of what he was doing. He was relaxed, and at peace with himself.

Then the WC 2011 happened. Those 45 days on the road changed the way India played its cricket. The relentless pressure of a Cricket Crazy nation was visible on the players. Tension was writ large on everyone and for the first time MS Dhoni faltered with the bat – he was feeling the heat. His wicket keeping suffered. But he kept his composure intact. For the first time the stubbornness of MS as a skipper surfaced – (persisting with Chawla). Fortunately it was his masterstroke to promote himself in the finals to counter Murali, that clicked and clicked big time. The punter had played another masterly hand – and won. The world was at his feet, and he remained non-challant in the face of all frenzy.

At this point anyone willing to look at the period of 2007 – 2011 from a leadership lens would figure out great nuggets of wisdom from MS’s leadership journey that can be a great material for leadership thinking and learning.

However, the period post World Cup changed many things. For starters, India’s results away from home. Performances for some of our prominent names. But most importantly that “Ability to Dare” aspect of MS Dhoni. So I thought it would be worthwhile to explore a much larger question – Is there a shelf-life for Leaders? What happens when a leader hits a plateau or a downward curve? Is exit the only option?

Post the economic meltdown in 2008/09, the world has witnessed countless examples of Executive shakeups targeted at inducing newer thinking, energy and vitality into Organizations – all of them with the intent to reinvigorate their Organizational fortunes. There have been some sparkling stories too of revival and resurgence and in some cases things haven’t worked out the planned way – only to walk into another shake up. The primary driver in many of these shake ups have been the Incumbent’s ability to make a difference. It’s a confidence thing. If the appraisers lose confidence in the incumbent, then it’s a done deal – the shakeup. This confidence is evaluated from the thought process the incumbent exhibits – if it is tentative, low on conviction etc. its always thought to be better to have someone else with a different yet confident approach hold the reins. It’s a harsh world out there.

From that lens when I see MS’s leadership over the last 2 years and try to ask these questions – How confident does he look? What mindset is he operating under? I start getting some disturbing answers.

For example: As I sat in the stands in Colombo watching India play Australia in the WT20 Championship, I knew the key to India winning would be the wickets of Warner and Watson. If we got them the rest of Aussies lineup was vulnerable. And the key to these wickets was India to have started with spinners. Yet MS began with the pacers – now one can understand pacers for the first 2/3/4 overs, but he continued till 6th and by then they had amassed almost 70 runs. Game over. Couple of days later Pakistan defending a similar total bowled 18 over of spin and not only defeated Australia but kicked India out of the competition. MS’s explanation to this was he wanted the pacers to use the new ball when it was swinging – Now that would never have been the approach 2 years back. This is head of a leader who is low on confidence, feeling tremendous heat under the burden to live upto expectations created by past glories and who wanted to play safe. Of all people MS was not the one to pay by the book. He never did. He was the one who tossed it to Joginder for that last over, he was the one who dropped Sehwag from the team for the Triangluar series final to bring in better fielder-batsmen, he was the one who created Ravi Ashwin the new ball offspinner, he was the one who made Raina the match winner with the ball, and so on.

The whole episode of “Wanting a Turner wicket” reflects the mindset. Past 2 years his comments on conditions, his anger on curators, his displeasure on umpires – reflect the “victim” state his mind is at – finding solace in things beyond his control as an excuse. This isn’t him. Here is a man who nonchalantly would look into the camera and say – No international cricketer is 100% fit. But we are professionals and the only thing we need to do is to perform, no excuses. To hear him give so many excuses does reflect where his head is at.

Its evident, this leadership head isn’t clear. And this isn’t a one off case. These happen all the time. In Corporate parlance this is where Leaders are assigned to support system (Exec Coaches, Mentors etc.), to sort their head out. I don’t see that happening much now. (In the past the dressing room had a character called Paddy Upton, whose day job was to ensure there wasn’t any mental cobwebs). Unfortunately there isn’t anyone.

This is where the board needs to intervene. One thing that is disturbing me greatly is MS’s ability or inclination to listen. This has declined greatly. He has chosen to operate mostly on his own instincts. This is concerning. This is where learning ends and knowing begins. This is where listening ends and talking begins. This is where player ends and victim begins.

Some years back we saw one of our best captains disintegrate in a similar zone. The system didn’t catch him midway and prop him up. I hope the system is more proactive this time around. For this is a story that needs to succeed.

That’s the way – Mahi Way


Being a die hard fan of the game of Cricket, it’s a no brainer to say that I did see every game of T20 and did enjoy every bit of it. Finally, the custodians of the game have managed to take it out of the closet of the purists and make it s thrilling 3 hour adrenalin-pumping-edge-of-the-seat spectacle which can be viewed with a large bucket of pop corns in your living room, and if you are lucky you might save some corn even till the end of the game, as you will be totally engrossed on the see-saw battles that this format promises. So it wasn’t any surprise when Zimbabwe drew the first blood and set the cat amongst the pigeons after beating Australia. To me that the was the turning point for the tournament as that made every single team realize the Aussies are beatable, thereby giving everyone a fair shot at the title. After that it was an open war, as match after match it was a great roller coaster ride for all of us.

Finally, the wish of billions came true. For decades now the citizens of both these cricket-crazy-title-hungry nations have been praying an India Pakistan final in a World level tournament. Their wishes did get answered. And how?

A match that was scripted by the Almighty in the heavens and placed in the Wanderers for us to savour and sweat over. And Sweat we did..right from the first ball when Yousuf Pathan escaped marginally till the ever so suspicious scoop shoot from Misbah, which will remain a real scoop for the entire world for many years to come now. India are champions and they will remain so forever as the first champions of T20. A truly admirable effort from a band of boys who came together at a moment when the trinity of Indian Cricket decided to give a chance to the talent of tomorrow. And went onto win zillions of hearts across the globe, with their simplicity, screaming passion, burning desires, and liberated spirits. For a moment we the hung up mortals of this nation couldn’t believe our eyes that this was modern India sending the best names in the game packing.

This post, is not to write what happened. I am sure millions of articles, talk shows, blogs have already captured that. What I wanted to write here are a few things that I noted:

1. Venkatesh Prasad & Robin Singh: Come Forward and Take a bow.
Amidst all this brou ha ha, I am amazed how the Cricket Pundits and so called custodians missed the efforts of these two simple souls. Irony is it was the same with these two when they actually donned the Indian Colors as players. Like true backstage technicians they remained backstage till the energetic malyali pouched that scoop at Wnaderers. I was pleased to See Robin rushing on to the field and actually beating a lot of players from the bench in that sprint to the middle and hugging Sreesanth. Noone realizes what it is to be a fielding coach for Team India, which has always taken its fielding as drudgery. Its one hell of a thankless job description which will never promise any great moments in that man’s career. I have been watching Robin for sometime now, and I have always found him mesmerized with the likes of Powar, and Munaf, who just do not like fielding. And here was a team which probably was like Robin’s long lasting dream come true. In the entire tourney very little went abegging from the Indians. Catching, Throws, Direct Hits, Pick up and throws, Charging the ball…everything seemed right from the top drawer, and Robin deserves a champagne for bringing this Cultural change in the Indian think Tank.

Reams of papers have been written on how good RP bowled, how great was Bhajji’s Yorkers, How cool was Irfan Pathan in his return to Indian Cricket, and in doing so we forgot to look beyond these personalities. I would like to draw the attention on a few areas like the zone in which these bowlers were bowling. Each of them had a specific zone and that to me appeared to be a well thought out game plan. And that cannot be so consistent match after match unless and seasoned technician like Venky is keeping a hawk’s eye on proceedings. Barring Agarkar, every bowler who gto a chance was on the money right from the first ball. Hats off Venky, its time you too toasted a bubbly for yourself.

2. Opening Combination:
Its been some time since we have seen a well planend opening at the top. Of course Sachin- Sourav duo are a class apart and most recently in England they did showcase that yet again. But at T20 we saw a well planned strategy in every match at the top. A plan to score 40 – 60 in the first 6 overs withour trying to go over the top. Most of the big upsets or losses that happened in T20 was due to the mistake that the top batters tried to be too over ambitious in the Power Play overs and gave away more than 3 wickets and thus, the match. Not with India, and to some extent Aussies. India (except for their first game against Pak), had a plan of being subdued first 3-4 overs, scoring at a rate of 4 -5 runs per over and then going on. In fact what this did was, unsettled some of the tope bowlers who generally came in for a spell of 3 overs each at the top, to become a little impatient (for not getting wickets) and dishing out hittable deliveries which were sent packing by Veeru and Gambhir. Fantastic Ploy. Every time we had a situation of 60 – 70 runs in first 8 – 10 overs without loss we had a great batting display to follow.

Somewhere I reckon India showed the world how to play 20-20. This is where Pak lost the plot in the finals. They gave away 5 wickets in first 10 overs of which 3 were in first 7 – too much pressure to come back from.

3. Running between the wickets:
This is where I think India scored an extra 20 – 30 runs every game. The dab and run policy in the first 5 overs really gave a good rate at the top thus not putting undue pressure on our openers to unnecessarily hit at the top. Many teams lost here. They went for expansive blows which were too expensive for them on the long run. Dhoni’s reading of the oppositions that no one except Aussies were bothered to stop the singles ans mentally everyone wanted to stop the sixes and fours, was Spot on !!!

4. Mahi Way:
No amount of praise is enough for this free spirit from the ranches of Ranchi. He is a cowboy to the core and made his team into a bunch of cowboys in SA. Of course the world is overawed by his straight talk and straight face. To me he is an astute reader of the game, a good clean thinker and a master executioner. I like the way he made it clear “who’s the boss” – by calling the shots. And how? The team was bowled over by his ability to smile and be cool in the most strenuous circumstances. And they were only to happy to respond back with whatever they could muster within. After ages, I witnessed sheer joy in playing, a joy which was not only after a victory, but the joy of every passing moment, the joy of being there, the joy of a sport. I think some management gurus wrote reams of paper describing Employee Satisfaction under a manager. Dhoni exemplified it for us. A Manager who was a great motivator, planner, executioner and Servant Leader.

I can bet if the establishment and the corrupt babus at the helm of affairs in cricket administration in India, doesn’t pollute this soul, Mumbai is in for many more such manic traffic jams that the team caused this time on their return. Because this man doesn’t want to win. He wants to enjoy. And victory always somehow loves people who are happy.

I would just want to reflect on those moments of bowl out against Pakistan. When the entire Paki team was puzzled thinking how to handle that new monster, We had a confident Dhoni smiling and joking and laughing almost making a mockery of that nail biting moment. That relaxed demeanour got 3 of our bowlers to hit the stumps as if they are having the morning nets. Priceless !!!

Good days are here. Because they are not just good but intelligent too. They say theres always some hidden method in every madness. Well, T20 and India proved, there is no madness without method !!!

Bravo guys !!! After a long time you have made us proud by making us feel more intelligent than the world !!! That’s the way – Mahi Way