Most cricket lovers would have skipped calls, meals, and spreadsheets to support India’s valiant fightback today. What a wonderful lesson we got on the various types of Courage every leader exercises over time.
The Courage to attack: Pant took the attack to the opposition. Indeed, he opened up the prospect of a potential win. Leaders lead from the front.
Self-confidence, the Courage to play second-fiddle: Pujara allowed Pant to be in the limelight, playing a sedate but crucial knock in the background. Great leaders have the self-confidence to step back and let someone else be a hero.
Grit, the gutsy side of Courage: Ashwin found himself facing the second new ball. It was threatening, but he had to hang in there. And what an incredible display of grit he showed! A dozen overs later, he came into his own and showed his class. “Weathering the storm and making hay while the sun shines” is a great leader trait.
The Courage to accept situations: Vihari had to play with an injury. His request for a runner was turned down. He and Ashwin were the last bastion before the tail. His form wasn’t great. He had to accept the situation – including becoming the guy who shifted India’s strategy from seeking a win to playing out a draw. This total acceptance and making the best of whatever is thrown at them is a leader trait.
The Courage to Innovate: Captain Rahane sent Pant ahead of Vihari. He probably saw a glimmer of a win when most saw only a loss. This ability to see the sun through a crack in the roof and then build on it is a super leader trait.
Five players, five leaders, five lessons. Great match. What more can you ask for?