What we learn from cricket
You may have been entertained/distracted by yesterday’s cricket. I was. The good news is that I am providing you with a completely valid business reason to keep watching.
Stuart Broad was superb and Joe Root’s inning (so far!) has been wonderful. They both stood up and made individual contribution that have shaped the match so far. But let’s not forget the rest of the team because their role has been just as important.
Have a look at the scorecard. All of Broad’s wickets came from catches at the slip. The fielders held every one (including Stoke’s remarkable catch) and knew exactly what they were doing. They gave Broad the confidence to do what he does best. Everyone in that team played a part.
Let’s go through the first innings. Broad. It’s pretty obvious what he did. With that sublime spell of bowling he made the batsmen do what he wanted. Cook let him. He was there to provide support and advice when needed but didn’t interfere unnecessarily. Bairstow stopped byes. The slips provided pressure on the batsman and caught. The outfield fielders swept up stray balls. The bowlers worked together to keep the batsmen off balance.
They England team had a plan and they executed it. Everyone knew their part and played it well. They had flexibility to change things around if they needed to and they all supported each other. And Australia were all out for 60.
Now let’s compare England’s first innings. Australian slips missed catches and let balls go through. The bowlers didn’t work together to unnerve the batsmen. Easy balls were dropped. They stuck rigidly to their plans even when they didn’t work. And because they had panicked about one part, their batting, they had unbalanced the side and lost a bowler so they were all having to work harder and longer than they should. By the end of that first day England’s score was four times Australia’s first innings.
OK, bear with me, we’re getting to the business bit. Look at each team as a small company. One had a leader who was prepared to let his players work in a way that suited them and provide support when asked. One had a field of players who all knew their own role inside out and performed it to the best of their ability. One team celebrated each other’s success.
And one team didn’t.
Work out who you are in those two teams and work out who you want to be. If you can work like England played you’ll skittle your opponents too.
Enjoy the rest of the match.