Peak Performance and Creating the Winning Edge

Written by Grace C. Sorongon

Anil Kumble, current head coach of India’s national cricket team (Team India), is a highly-acclaimed cricketer. He was responsible for many of India’s victories and brought honor to the country by winning against Pakistan in 1999. Anil made his cricket debut at the age of 19 and was nicknamed “Jumbo” because of his big feet. He holds a number of world records and is known for his pace, bounce, and accuracy. Married, with two kids, he retired mainly because he wanted to spend more time with his family. Upon his retirement in 2008, he was appointed chairman of International Cricket Council and has, since then, dedicated his efforts to mentoring different Cricket teams in India.

What is a former cricketer doing at the NASSCOM forum? To my mind, the terms cricket and digital have no relationship with each other at all. Cricket is a sport and depends on human power.

The discussion started with cricket terminologies and technicalities. Since I am not a cricket fan, I was not able to follow the discussion, but as the discussion progressed, it proved to be of great human interest. It was a great diversion from the mind-grueling sessions that filled our brains with so much information.

Anil Kumble’s cricket career exemplified peak performance; he always gave his best and focused on winning the game. He practiced regularly and stuck to his routine that it became a habit. Anil also mentioned that playing cricket requires science and mathematical computation. An engineer by profession, he calculates speed and distance to prevent the ball from being intercepted by the opposing team. He also tries to study the moves of his team members and their opponents. This, for me, is data analytics in action. He may not have sophisticated data analysis tools, but he manages to come up with winning strategies using gathered data.

What struck me most were the soft skills he exhibited. Throughout the discussion, he showed humility, agility, honesty, and good communication skills. In the end, he was able to prove that a person can evolve; he has become a mentor to future cricketers. Indeed, being human dignifies our place in this new digital world. We are still relevant, provided that we find our place and transform ourselves to become experts in our chosen fields.