Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Why We Need More Bhuvaneshwar Kumars

Ever since the slim, almost frail, 22 year old young lad from UP came on the national scene, he has been impacting matches in India's favour in a quiet but highly effective manner. Both 'Quiet' and 'effective' make utmost sense when one talks about him. Carrying a mature and canny head that belies his years, a talent that is prodigious and more importantly well under control after years of training and dedicated practice, and a fierce competitiveness that balances both aggression and cold blooded efficiency, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar is an unlikely hero who has tilted the balance decisively in India' favour in many matches already. I admire and appreciate the way he goes about his job - showing little emotion in the ways of his skipper MSD as he goes about doing his job at the office - unlike several others in a team of boisterous characters to whom every tv frame and every media visual is something to be exploited with magnified emotion.

Teams have different sets of players. The show men who magnify their contributions - most times even when their contributions do not impact the result. The hard workers who go about doing their work and ensuring that a minimum guarantee is assured. And then come the captain's delight - the hard worker who knows his job, who knows his role and executes it to perfection under stressful times, in fights above their weight - many times rising above the expectations. These are the ones who tilt the balance in tough games, the same games where the showmen are falling to pieces, showing no gumption for fight. They are the ones who can tie up Gayle and get him out after stanching the flow of runs with the new ball, the ones who can hang in there and bat out of their skins to fetch an unlikely last wicket win over a strong North Zone attack. And they are the ones who can pick up brilliant catches and walk up as if nothing much has happened. For Bhuvaneshwar, bowling a tight first spell to the most destructive batsmen in the world is a day in the office, not something to be celebrated in gay abandon. He will bring the early breakthroughs, push opposition batting sides on the backfoot on the flattest of wickets, and he will walk up to the centre of the wicket in an almost shy manner, willing the spotlight to go away from him. No over the top histrionics, no outward show of emotion - just blows the smoke of his gun and returns to complete the job.

Bhuvaneshwar is an apt example to follow for most of us. His skill with the ball is unbelievably good (know your job well, be the expert), completely legitimate (honest), and shows his years of understanding the process (a growth oriented attitude). He can adapt to all kinds of wickets (prepare well), all kinds of conditions, and produce the same match winning results (consistent, not easily satisfied). He is fiercely competitive and keeps his mind positive and his nerves relaxed in the direst situations. He remains committed to the job, to the process, to the next delivery, to the job still left to do. You see, there is really much to do, a lot more left to do, many miles to walk. There is no need to thump the chest, to overplay the moment - it is a game, it is a job to be done well.

We need more of us to do our jobs well like Bhuvaneshwar. We need to know what we are doing, to hone our skills so they are effective on all kinds of conditions, to compete and to prepare, to keep the team interest paramount and to step up a bit more when required and not just do our bit. More importantly we need not bother too much about advertising the fact from the rooftops. The recognition will come - right now, focus on doing the job well. Quietly and efficiently, precisely and effectively. Like Bhuvaneshwar Kumar does.

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