EQ or IQ? How Great Cricket Captains Get The Best Out Of Players
What makes a great cricket captain, a great team, win in the finals, or his ability to get the best out of players? Over the years, we have witnessed some of the great cricket captains from different nations, who have ruled their terms with innumerable wins and with players that made those win reality.
While it’s true that for a winning team you need some great players, exceptional leader and commendable synergy, getting the best out of players based on their EQ or IQ is the foremost step to a successful team and sign of a great captain.
Master Blaster, Sachin Tendulkar ceaselessly kept on improving in his technique and output in his cricket career between 1989 and 2011. He willingly dropped from captaincy to focus on his skills and continued creating world records. According to Geoffrey Boycott, Tendulkar cannot go wrong with his technique, whatever the bowling style.
Therefore, being an expert in his domain with remarkable skills do not necessarily make a great captain which he should be smart enough to comprehend and still be the inspiration for the other team members. YV Verma, COO of LG Electronics India says “The biggest lesson from Sachin is how a person can sometimes lead a team even though he may not be in a leadership position. Sachin has been an anchor.”
While Ricky Ponting had this uncanny understanding of bowling changes and field placement, Tendulkar knew exactly where and how to find the gap between even the closest placed fielders for his classic shot. In such cases, a great captain should be able to quickly grasp this quality in his best players and use them to his benefit. However, that would be limited since not all team members would possess that kind of IQ.
At times, even the best of players would lose their focus and go through their worse phase. That’s when a captain’s role comes into effect, when he needs to understand the struggle. Like as said by Mike Brearley “Some of the great players haven’t been great captains because they have not been able to understand the struggle. You have to have an empathy for other players”
A belief like this can help even the most ordinary player evolve into a millennium star. While Brearley believed that the skipper needs to possess a sound knowledge of the game, he also needs to motivate his teammates to get the best out of them, like he got the best out of Ian Botham and Geoff Boycott.
Richie Benaud on the contrary was more focused on the IQ aspect of the players, as he wanted his team to bowl as many overs as they could. His theory was based on the fact that the more balls get delivered, more was the chance to get wickets.
ArjunaRanatunga was another great leader who made the most of his handful of performing bowlers. While he was excellent in field setting, he was also a great motivator. He emotionally motivated his two most important players SanathJaysuriya and RomeshKaluvitharna and had them perform as opening batsmen. This placement eventually helped Srilanka win their first World Cup in 1996.
Imran Khan was another gem who knew exactly how to inject faith in his team. He led a team of limited capabilities to register their first World Cup win. He gifted one of the best talents to Indian cricket, Inzamam-ul-Haq and nurtured exceptional talents like, WasimAkram and WaqarYounis under his hood. He chiefly eradicated the fear of getting dropped from the team from the minds of his players and brought in that positive effect.
While Allan Border led his team with his own example and made Australian team rise from the dumps, Steve Waugh demonstrated strength of mind who read the game just perfect and could maintain his clam even at the most difficult situations.
In the recent times we had our very own “Dada”, SouravGanguly who was emotional as a player, however, immensely intelligent when it was about getting the best out of his players. He transformed two players into stars, Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh by using their best qualities. He created a strong team out of nothing and at a time when India as a team was struggling for its existence.
MS Dhoni teaches us how to extract talent with emotional strength. MD of Nokia India said once in his interview that the fact that Dhoni belonged to small town and was handed over a team full of senior players made him depend on the emotional quotient. He has this quality of immense control on his emotions which lets him keep his calm even in the most tensed situation, and that’s what leads him to be in charge of the situation.
MSD had remodeled a team that was at its worst in the 2007 World Cup, to World Champions in 2011. What is to be noticed here is that he hardly made any changes in the team, and showed the way to success in just six months.
So what special did MS Dhoni do in order to transform the team? Aditya Birla CEO, Thomas Varghese believes the biggest lesson Dhoni’s leadership teaches is the art of establishing faith in young players “Dhoni has picked up his team and backed them over a long period.”
Having an emotional quotient, therefore, plays a major role in all fields and cricket is not exception either. According to studies, presence or absence of EQ directly affects a person’s abilty to perform under stress, deal with challenges and resolve issues. In that case a cricket captain should also be high on EQ to get the best out of his players.