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
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
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
"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.