Follow by Email

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Whose approach is right - Gambhir's or Dhoni's?

Gambhir had said that Dhoni should have ended the second one-day match with Australia early ( played in the current Commonwealth series) and should not have waited till the last over, when he had to hit a six.

Dhoni in response to this comment replied, "It's different when you are playing in the middle. If you see his innings today ( after Gambhir played the next innings against Sri Lanka) , he also found it difficult to rotate the strike consistently, and once you are in that situation it is very difficult to play a big shot. You can easily play big shots, but the difference is it always has to pay off. So I am never in a hurry to finish it in the 48th over or 47th over. Even if it goes to the 49th or 50th over, I am quite happy".

Whose approach is right? Dhoni's or Gambhir's? What do you think?

In cricket, it is the bowler who makes the 'first move', so to say. Like white pieces in the chess, who make the first move, decide the course of the game, so it is with cricket. It is the bowler who determines the course of the game. If the bowler therefore is bowling beautifully, it is more likely that the big shot will not 'pay off'. And if it does not 'pay off', the team goes behind further. As the 'big shot' is predetermined, it is more than likely that one will also lose a wicket. This increases the 'risk' further. Not only deliveries are lost, but a new batsman has to take even 'higher risks', which is unlikely to pay off. Hitting a predetermined big shot to end the match early is less likely to produce the desired 'result' because one is ignoring the situational context of the game. (Gambhir's approach)

Given the nature of the cricket game, it is therefore prudent to 'wait' for the 'right delivery' of the bowler and play a big shot only on a 'loose delivery' ( which is Dhoni's approach) and keep on playing 'safely' until then. And if the bowlers are bowling well, ( if you remember that match, Jadeja got out in the 49th over) one may have to wait till the 50th over to play the 'high risk' shot. Although this approach may seem 'risky', you will realise, that it 'safer bet' than trying to play the high risk shot early.

More importantly, one has to be careful to ensure that one does not evaluate the two approaches based on the desired 'result'. That is called hindsight bias - in hindsight any approach can be justified based on the 'result'. Sometimes Dhoni's approach may work, sometimes Gambhir's approach may work. (Overall, Dhoni's approach will always give a higher average.) But the 'specific' result does not determine the 'rightness of approach'. That is a wrong way of evaluating an approach. The approach has to evaluated  from the 'strategic' and the 'risk' angle, given the nature of the game and the situational constraints. ( as-is reality)

More importantly, your approach has to be evaluated on the fundamental principle of success, that 'your efforts alone do not produce the desired result'. This is true in game as it is true in life. Gambhir's approach is wrong, because he believes that 'his unidirectional predetermined effort' can determine the 'result' of the game. He forgets that it is the 'bowler's delivery' which gives him the 'workable options', not the other way round. ( Just because his approach works sometimes, it does not mean that it is right). Dhoni's approach is right, because it is based on the 'reality' that his options are limited by the bowler, and if one respects the as-is reality, one is more than likely to produce the desired outcome ! Dhoni's seemingly easy success is based on very sound principles !

In other words, your pre-determined unidirectional effort does not produce the 'desired' result; it is your 'appropriate' effort , based on the situational constraints, which determines whether the 'desired result' will emerge. In the language of systems thinking, 'result' is the emergent property of the system, not the property determined by you alone!

Please remember this basic principle when you are giving CAT exam of management, aptitude test of a company, an interview of a company, or getting a performance rating from your boss for your last year's efforts. Your unidirectional effort does not determine the result; it is your 'appropriate' effort based on the given constraints of the situation. One has to be smart like Dhoni to find the appropriate effort, and not do what others think is right. If you are not smart like Dhoni, you can learn it through systems thinking !

By the way, there is another cricketer in the Indian team, who believes in Gambhir's approach. Do you know who he is? I will give you a hint. If he had used Dhoni's approach, he would have broken many more records ! 

No comments:

Post a Comment