Shailesh's Blog >> Latest Post

Playing well in all conditions

Posted On 14-12-2009

As you would imagine I am delighted that India are finally on top of the ICC rankings. The way the rankings are structured there is going to be a bit of a traffic jam on the summit but this is an endorsement that India are a very good side and we should celebrate that.

The process actually began, as it so often does, about seven years ago when India won a test in England and then in the West Indies. It signified to me that, under Sourav Ganguly, India were determined to do well overseas. For too long India were, as you must have often read, tigers at home and lambs abroad. It had as much to with the pitches and consequently, the kind of cricketers, as it did with a mindset. On too many tours, especially in my early years in broadcasting, India gave the impression that they did not believe they could win. Losing then is only a tiny, easy step away.

By 2006-07 India had begun to win test series overseas. India did this without losing on their core strength which was to win at home in conditions they enjoyed. There is nothing wrong in that, virtually every country enjoys a very significant home advantage. But it is in becoming better travellers that the secret to India’s current status lies. The moral of the story to me is that to succeed you have to play well in all conditions, whether it is bouncy pitches or indeed, a rapidly changing industrial environment for a corporation.

It is no coincidence that India’s success at cricket is happening around the time Indian corporations are growing in size and confidence and are starting to look beyond our shores. Corus and Jaguar may have been the eye-catchers but there are many more, equally strategic but low-key acquisitions, that have only come about because of a belief that India is good enough to compete on the global stage, not just in our own cultural sphere.

It is in being wired to the world but not neglecting home strengths that both successes have been achieved.