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15 Apr 2010

Selfish Or Foolish?

Another win for the Royal Challengers Bangalore! Starting off as the underdogs in the first IPL, with a fair deal of growling by the king of good times, Vijay Mallya, firing a player or two, Dravid ousted from captaincy, the RCB team has emerged to the second position in the points table in IPL3. The first, of course, is our Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar's team, the Mumbai Indians. 

In last year's IPL, Jacques Kallis and Ross Taylor were the names I constantly heard. This year, it's been Uthappa in every game. He's been the hulk flinging the ball left, right and centre, with an amazing show of strength. Macho! Watching him and Kevin Pieterson play in positions 3 and 4 was a treat for me, as an RCB supporter today. Pieterson was simply superb. Standing tall and lean, this was one guy worth watching. And I don't mean just his game today. LOL. Then, Uthappa made way for Virat Kohli. 

This blog is dedicated to Virat Kohli's moment of dilemma. Both Kohli and KP were on the same side of the crease, KP taking a run. It was a split second decision for Kohli. Looking at the way KP was making the ball fly, should he have stepped up and gotten himself run-out? Instead, he stood his ground and let KP go. Was that selfish of him or simply foolishness? 

Selfish? What did he want? Some more batting time? We did that as kids, refusing to 'get out'. How much time? Surely, not the 6 and odd overs? Foolish? With 16 runs to go and 39 balls, there was really not much he could have achieved. Even at a couple of sixes or 4 fours, at worst, he would just be another name, in front of KP's knocks. KP appeared furious and rightly so. He could have finished the match for us in less than another over, given the game he was playing. It was a needless loss. 

What came of it? Four runs later (not sure if Taylor got them or Kohli did), Kohli was gone. An easily forgettable few minutes and 14 runs later, the man who refused to let KP stay, was gone.

I'm listening to the post-match analysis on TV. Former cricketers Akash Chopra and Anjum Chopra (captain of the Indian Women's Cricket team) insist that Kohli was right. Their argument is that Kohli did not call for the run and KP being the senior should have gracefully bowed out. Anjum says that we were in a good winning position and that KP need not have taken the chance and run, there was no need to rush. They end by saying what I hoped no one would say but was sure someone would - In the end, we won, so whatever happened does not matter

To me it was not about winning. It was not about whether KP should have let go because he was the senior. Maybe the Chopras were right about not having to rush to make runs and that he should not have run when Kohli did not call for it. That is not my point of focus here. It is about the attitude. Was KP wrong in getting annoyed at being let go, when he was playing so well? Was Kohli wrong in making a decision to stay? In KP's place, I would feel the same way. If I'm doing exceptionally well, I want to be allowed to keep going. To nip me off is frustrating. In Kohli's place, I would have let myself go, for someone who was already doing an awesome job. Either way, I do not support what really happened in the end. The winning would have happened anyway. RCB was destined to win. RR had boys gliding and swooping seconds after the ball passed them by.

It reminded me of some people I've met in the corporate world. It is hardly about their performance or that of others'. Hikes, bonuses, promotions and self-advertisement seem to be their focus. If somebody else delivered a high quality product and they were part of the team, they would happily take a large chunk of credit for the work. Where do they go, in the end? How are they able to sleep at night? I could never understand that...

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