If you are an upcoming cricket captain, you will be able to learn a lot from MS Dhoni, the erstwhile captain of the Indian cricket team. Here are the seven top lessons that you can learn from Dhoni and incorporate them in your captaincy.
MS Dhoni is one of the most successful cricket captains in India. His calm demeanour and exceptional ability to manage the team has won him accolades world over. His captaincy has been instrumental in India winning several crunch matches. The way he strategizes during each game and comes up with a unique solution is something upcoming cricket leaders can learn from.
Whether you are playing fantasy cricket or traditional cricket, if you want to enjoy winning moments, there is a lot you can learn from his captaining style. If you want to be at the helm of your cricket team someday, here are seven tips that will help you transform from a good cricket leader to an exceptional one.
1. Never Let Failures Overcome You
In 2011, India had a disastrous series with Australia and England. The Indian cricket team received a drubbing Down Under, and the same thing happened on fast and bouncy pitches in England. However, when questioned in an interview which loss upset him more, he had a befitting reply for the journalist. He said that he had not thought about it.
As an upcoming cricket captain, you too should not let failures on the pitch get the better of you. In sports, winning and losing is part of the equation. However, how you deal with failures is important. If you keep thinking about them and it adversely affects the next game you play, failures will not let you grow as a captain and player. Instead, you should treat each game as a new challenge and pick up the learning from lost matches and apply it to this challenge.
2. Have Confidence in Your Ability as a Captain and Player
MS Dhoni always has belief and faith in himself and his team. He knows the team he selects can perform under his captaincy. It is this belief that has helped him avoid failures and enjoy spectacular results.
So, it goes without saying that if you let losses bog you down and believe that fate or luck was against you, you will never be able to perform. However, if you have confidence in yourself as a captain and your chosen team, you will always give 100% on the field, and this will reap rich dividends.
3. Delegation Can Help You Win
If you have seen MS Dhoni play a game, he is forever encouraging his bowlers from behind the wicket. Rarely, will you see him go up to the bowler and tell him how to bowl. He also has no qualms about consulting other players when the going gets tough. Dhoni has taken effective delegation to an art form.
When players are inexperienced, you can guide them so that their potential comes through. However, you should not be scared to delegate certain responsibilities. As the captain, the buck stops with you, but when you resort to effective delegation, other team members become accountable for their actions. You can also take advice and recommendation from other players so that it benefits the team as a whole.
4. Have a Well-Balanced Team
You may be the best strategist, but if you don’t have players to support your strategies, nothing will work. Dhoni believes a captain is as good as his team, and that is something you need to learn and respect. When every player has a role to play and performs that role perfectly, the team will work as a cohesive unit.
Hence, spend time choosing your players and ensure each one complements that other; and the team as a whole should be the right one for the strategies you have in mind. It is only then that everything will be in sync.
5. Cope with Pressure in a Calm Manner
Imagine Dhoni – always had to carry the dreams of a billion people. His was a high-pressure job. However, he always had a calm and serene composure on the field that it used to rub off on his players.
You too will have pressure to perform as a captain and carry the dreams of your players and their families. If you succumb to this pressure, you will be unable to perform at your best or guide your team the right way. So, learn to channelize pressure so that it helps you perform your best in crunch matches and allows you to make the right decisions during the game.
6. The Buck Stops with You
If you get the accolades when your team wins, you should be prepared to get the brickbats when it loses. You cannot pin a defeat on your teammates. This is something Dhoni followed throughout his captaincy. He was quick to give credit for wins to players and used to accept the responsibility loses.
You too should aspire to follow Dhoni and be accountable for your team’s performance, be it good or bad. After all, it was based on your strategy and motivation. So, don’t be quick to take the credit and offload the shame.
7. Know Your Team’s Strengths and Weaknesses
Every cricket team has its strengths and weaknesses. Dhoni understood this all too well. That is why he would back players even when their form was poor. He knew that when they recovered form, they would a force to reckon with.
You too should know each player’s strengths and weaknesses so that you can formulate your on-field strategies accordingly. It will help you grow as a captain and player.
These are a few things that any emerging cricket captain can learn from Captain Cool, MS Dhoni to improve their gameplay and captaining tactics.