Rohan Singal is a life coach and a mentor at Rejoiss Learning LLP.
This blog contains inspiring stories and video links. It also has articles and some practical tips on how to be a powerhouse in life, how to maintain your shine and glow, how to treasure your uniqueness.
Friday, 18 May 2012
Critics are our best friends!! - Story of Sidhu, Stroke-less wonder to palm-groove hitter
Let this blog find you blossoming to your full potential
Here is one more story from one of my favourite books “Habit of winning”
by Prakash Iyer. You may find it inspiring:
From Stroke-less wonder to Palm-groove hitter: Navjot
Navjot Singh Sidhu, former Indian cricketer perhaps
better known for his witticisms on TV than his exploits on the field, tells an
inspiring story. Sidhu made his debut in Test cricket against the West Indies
in 1983, in three innings, he managed a high score of 20, in a painstakingly
long stay of 114 minutes. The critics were trenchant and well-known cricket
writer Rajan Bala (alas, now no more) famously branded Navjot the ‘strokeless
wonder’ in an article in Indian Express. Not surprisingly, Sidhu was
dropped soon after from the Indian Squad. And confined to the unfancied
backwaters of first-class cricket in India.
Navjot was born to an affluent family, and he tells a
story from his early years. His father would wake him at 5 a.m. and ask him to
go for a jog. Navjot would get up and once his father was out of sight, he’d
bribe his servants to let him sleep in another room. At 7 a.m., he’d wake up,
splash water on his face and shirt and present himself looking all sweaty
before his father. Impressed by his hard work, Sidhu Senior would encourage his
sher da puttar to take some well-earned rest. And Navjot would go right
back to bed!
When Sidhu was dropped from the team in 1983, after just
two Tests, his father brought him the newspaper with Rajan Bala’s article and
left it on his bed, without uttering a word. Young Navjot was devastated. He
cut out the article and pasted on his closet. The ‘strokeless wonder’ tag would
stare down at him, every waking moment.
That one article, the accusation of being a ‘strokeless
wonder’, the criticism from a senior cricket writer, seemed to set off
something inside Sidhu. And he was determined to prove his critics wrong. He
was determined to take fresh guard and shed the tag of being a shirker.
Forever. He took it upon himself to turn things around. He resolved to become a
cricketer his father and his country would be proud of.
Now when his father came into Navjot’s room to wake him
up at 5 a.m., he was already gone. He was out in the nets at 5 a.m., having
already jogged a bit. He practiced hitting sixes and smashed the ball around,
keen to become an attacking stroke player, not a strokeless wonder. His target:
hit 300 sixes, every day. He still paid bribes though—not to his servants to
let him sleep a few extra winks but to young lads, as an incentive to bowl at
him late into the night, to allow him to complete his daily quota of 300 sixes.
At the end of the day, his gloves were soaking wet, with sweat and even blood
Four years is a long time to be out of the Indian team.
Most players would have given up on their dream of playing again for India. Not
Navjot Singh Sidhu. After four years in the wilderness, Sidhu was recalled to
play for India. He was, in fact, selected to play for India in the 1987 World
Cup. And what a comeback it was! In his first game, against the formidable
Aussies, Sidhu scored 73 runs off 79 balls, with 5 sixes and 4 fours! He went
on to score 50s in his first four One-day innings, with a strike rate of over
The newspaper clipping stayed on the closet but the
‘strokeless wonder’ tag was history. Wiped out by determination. By blood,
sweat and toil. Sidhu went on to play with distinction for India: over 4400
runs in 137 One-day games with average of 37.08. And yes, 44 sixes! And in his
Test match career, Sidhu played 51 tests, hit 9 centuries, aggregated over 3200
runs and averaged a respectable 42.13. And the crowning glory? A certain Mr.
Rajan Bala wrote about how a ‘strokeless wonder’ had become a ‘palm groove
The next time someone criticizes you, remember you have
two options. You can either sulk and give up, complaining about how unfair the
world is and how your efforts go unnoticed. Or you could get back to work on
your shortcomings and flaws, and emerge a winner. The choice is yours.
Rajan Bala may not have realized it but his criticism
actually helped Sidhu shake off the cobwebs of complacency and become a
successful cricketer. It sparked off a new determination, a new resolve. It led
to long hours of practice. To 300 sixes a day. And all that blood, sweat and
toil created one of India’s most attacking stroke-makers.
It worked for Sidhu. And it can work for you too.
You may not want to hear it, but your critics are
often the ones telling you that they love you and care about you, and want to
make you better.
Habit of winning:
How about choosing to hear your critics and being