What do Sachin, Kohli & Pant have to do with CAT Prep?

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I tend to relate a lot of cricketing stuff with CAT Prep. Tendulkar was really good when he was just 14 years of age. He was smashing school records and dominating the best bowlers in the Mumbai circuit. He wasn’t a novice when he played against a formidable Pakistan pace bowling attack as a 16-year old in 1989. In fact, he was the next big thing after Sunil Gavaskar. But he, and many others, had significant doubts about his ability to play at that level after his first innings. He wasn’t sure of whether he belonged there (just imagine that against what he went on to achieve after that).

He was stuck by a bouncer on his nose during that tour and he bled on the ground. But he continued to play. He made runs not just in that match but in 100s of matches after that. He made more than 100 international 100s, a feat that was earlier unimaginable.

How did he manage to do that and how is it related to your CAT preparation?

Tendulkar was able to summon that self-belief when he needed it most – he was the same player technically, with or without that belief. But he never would have been the same player overall, without that. That self-belief is the one thing that differentiates success from promise, super-stars from stars, and greatness from skill.

Kohli was the next big thing after leading the Indian Under-19 Cricket Team to a World Cup win. A super batter, an energetic fielder and an aggressive leader. Everyone hailed the promise of this magical combination. But his first IPL season was a series of failures – some 165 runs from 13 matches. Many a star would have withered after such a show – as many have done since then. Find out about Unmukt Chand who had a fairly similar start but an absolutely contrasting finish to his career. On the other hand, Kohli – the chubby, seemingly arrogant lad, brought into play all the self-belief to become one of the best ever over the next decade. And he is still going – and he recently went through a phase that once again tested his mental approach and strength.

Rishabh Pant burst into the scene in the Under-19 Cricket world cup in 2016, wherein he smashed an unbeaten 78 off a mere 24 balls as an opener – an under-19 world record for the fastest 50. He then made a promising debut for the Delhi IPL team. His star fell after a flat 2019 and his wicket-keeping was labelled ‘poor by international standards’ and his batting ’too risky and not rewarding enough’. He grew fitter and better and made a huge comeback in 2020-21 India Australia Test series in which he was not the first choice wicket-keeper and therefore missed the 1st Test.

Thereafter, he was seen as a match-winner and a series-winner despite his apparently risky approach to batting. Again, the change has been more in his mental approach towards the game, rather than a big change in ability or the physical aspect. He is right now facing probably the biggest challenge of his life after a road accident. But if past is prologue, he will come back strong.

The above is true not just on the cricket field, but in life – be it at your CAT coaching or at the final interviews for the IIMs. How you move past your struggle, how you believe in yourself, and how you script your story – and whether you change the level – in your mind! Success (or failure) is almost always rooted in those few inches between your ears.

About the author: Deekshant has sleep-walked through several 100 and 99.9 %iles in practically every section of the CAT. That he is a cricket fan and he writes okay is evident from most of his posts. 1000s of our students swear that he can motivate almost anyone to double his/her percentile through very simple yet powerful inputs. And that’s why every MBAGuru student has direct access to him via mail and Telegram. Oddly, he somehow also finds the time to write songs professionally. And yes … almost missed this … he is an alumnus of IIT Delhi & IIM Cal 🙂

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