Temperament and Concentration - cricket for india

Temperament and Concentration

A tennis player who loses the first set of a match due to nervousness, can still pull himself together and go on to win the match. A golfer may duff his first drive, but still go on to win the championship.

Footballers and hockey players can make up later in the match for errors they may have made in the early stages. Even a bowler in cricket can take his own time to recover from an early attack of nerves and finish with impressive bowling figures. However, a bowler shouldn't be a mechanical propeller of the ball. He should study the 'temperament' of every batsman he bowls to, for no two individuals are alike.

However, a batsman rarely gets a second chance after making a mistake. If he is really unfortunate, a mistake might well mean the end of his career!

It can be safely said that no other sporting exponent is as 'temperamentally tested' as a batsman in the game of cricket.

How does one acquire a sound temperament? This is something no one really knows. It has a lot to do with your basic nature. Some players are marvellous in the nets but not half as good in matches. Then there are others, who are poor in the nets but brilliant in matches. These are the ones who possess big-match temperament.

Hand-in-hand with temperament is the attribute of concentration. It should be honed and cultivated by every player who wishes to rise to international standard.

"Concentrate", and "watch the ball", are two bits of advice that every batsman should mutter to himself when he walks out to bat.

The batsman should observe the bowler's arm as the latter comes in to deliver the ball. The arm movement provides the first indication of the bowler's intentions. Keen observation can help the batsman detect any variations that the bowler might be attempting, like a slower ball delivered by a fast bowler, or a googly bowled by a leg-spinner.

A batsman who is in his formative years and facing a spin bowler, should be able to see the ball turn in the air, as it descends from the bowler's hand to the pitch. His eyes should be glued on the ball until he meets it with his bat. A batsman who possesses this attribute will go a long way.

Every youngster interested in cricket in general and batting in particular should play with a ball whenever he / she gets an opportunity to do so. It doesn't matter if it's a golf ball, table tennis ball or even football! The process of playing with a ball helps enhance brain-eye-muscle coordination.

I will advise all budding batsmen to play table-tennis. The intense concentration entailed by cricket can lead to mental staleness. Table-tennis can help a cricketer relax mentally and physically. I say this from personal experience!

Success on the cricket field is achieved by a combination of logical thinking, a never-say-die attitude, a good temperament, the ability to concentrate hard, guts and a big heart. There is no need to do anything extraordinary to acquire these attributes. Each of us possesses them, and all we have to do is use them optimally.