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7 CEO Lessons from the India-New Zealand semi-final match

Innovation based on insights leads to glory

India lost the semi-final match to New Zealand. It shouldn’t have happened in the normal course, and there are some great management lessons from the game for us, which I share hereunder:

a. Over-dependence on a few critical resources

The Indian cricket team has so far been led well by the top order. Together, Rohit, Rahul, Kohli & Shikhar had always set the team’s pace while batting and scored big to not just set up big totals for the opposition to chase, but also to ensure that any total faced by India was chase-able. When it came to the semi-final, it was a classic failure, where, for the first very time in India’s history, the top 3 batsmen departed scoring a single run each. When the big 3 fell so early, the otherwise small chase became daunting, and our middle order couldn’t cross the total.

b. Inadequate fallback options

The renowned, but unsteady, middle order of the most-feared batting unit in the world collapsed when it needed to perform the most. Pant, Karthik and Pandya all added a little bit to the total but their cautious (much needed at that time) approach made the required run rate go out of hand slowly and steadily. By the time Dhoni came out to bat, we were already reeling at 92/6 in 30.3 overs – a really sad total even by test standards. However, all was not lost, as the required run rate was 7.6 for the remaining 19.3 overs. Could have been chased had we enough wickets in hand.

c.Wrong utilization of resources

When in doubt, go with your instinct, goes the saying. Predictably, that’s what the Indian team did in sending Karthik and Pandya ahead of Dhoni. What we needed after the departure of Virat was the calming influence of Dhoni. We decided, instead, to go with our younger go-getters, in the hope (definitely not in the belief) that they would not just stabilize the innings but keep scoring at a decent enough rate for Dhoni to come out later and finish the game with aplomb as he usually does. Sadly, we left too much for too late for Dhoni to turn things around.

d. Reliance on historical data ignoring current evidence

Dhoni… Dhoni… Dhoni… that’s what the stadium chanted as the captain cool walked in to bat. Dhoni fans continued to believe in his super-human abi