Cricket is not something you are skilled from the day 1 when you were born. Even the great Sachin, Lara or Don Bradman practiced for endless hours everyday since their childhood to attain high levels of success in cricket. It doesn’t matter if you are talented if you are not practicing hard on your fitness and technique & at the same time you have to focus on a lot of other things if you want to succeed in cricket. The sheer example of that is Vinod Kambli & Sachin, while both the players were equally talented, both of them started playing together and also broke numerous records on their way but Sachin never stopped practicing on his technique and fitness while Kambli on the other side started having fitness issues while also started taking the success of international cricket on his head. That was the reason Kambli’s career ended 15 years ago with just 17tests and 104 ODI’s while Sachin went on to play over 450 ODI’s & 200 tests for India.
1 You have to accept there will be players better than you!
When you are playing cricket at a competitive level, there will be players who will be better than you. But instead of getting jealous, insecure or trying to imitate their way of playing, focus on your natural game as that’s your USP. Instead of wasting time thinking on how good that player is, use that time on your game on how you can improve it
2. Not let success or failures reach till your head…
There will be days when you will get thrashed for a lot of runs, you will go wicketless for many matches but that should not define the end of your game. Even the biggest of players go through this phase. Instead that is the best phase of your career when you get time to really evaluate yourself, focus on getting your skills improved, survive and sustain while proving others wrong who try to mark you off or shut the critics who think you are not good enough. It’s the time where you get to showcase your real strength and willpower. Similarly when you reach high levels of success in cricket, that success & attention should not reach your head either, as if it reaches your head, you will lose your natural way of playing cricket while also develop superiority complex which may hamper your career with over-confidence and gradual loss of technique. Hence, neither take too many failures and criticizm while also not to take too much of success reach your head. Just remain unaffected by what’s happening around you & play and improve your natural game.
3. Work on core body strength
Be it smashing the ball out of the park like Pollard or Maxwell or bowling at 140 plus like Brett Lee, Shoaib Akhtar or Shaun Tait, you require immense levels of fitness to do so. Strong muscles, strong legs and shoulders, strong forearms are a necessity if you want to become a consistent player in Cricket or else you may suffer with injuries and timely loss of form. Cardio, weight-lifting, running and stretching exercises are a must.
4. Bad form occurs to everybody but that should not stop you!
The best of the best right from Sehwag, Ganguly to Ponting have surpassed rough patches where in they were not able to just hit the ball. Sehwag and Ganguly were even dropped from the national side while Ponting was sacked from his captaincy but these are the same players who are the most successful captains & batsman in the history of cricket while Sehwag is the only one to comeback and score over 8000 test runs with 14 double centuries and 2 triple hundreds. So moral of the story is bad form may haunt you but if you are talented, you will surpass it soon. So never give up! Instead enjoy the criticism as you know you will shut their mouths soon!
5. Yes there are bad days and there are days when you will feel unlucky….
There will also be moments when you will think why is that player getting everything he wants despite you being more talented. You may be even dropped many a times from the team or no one may select you or buy you, injuries may also haunt you but these are just the bad days. In fact it is very important to face these days as it will give you strength and resistance to survive anything in life. The lessons you will learn during this stage are the lessons which you will cherish for life. So take your bad days and failures in your stride.
6.Learn from others instead of getting insecure…
Instead of feeling insecure or jealous on why a particular player is doing better than you, learn from him, take away all the good things he possesses and add it to your skills. You will just become a better player than what you were yesterday.
7. Polish your technique and skills everyday!
Just because you are doing good and performing well, it does not mean you should stop focusing on your game & technique to improve it. Work everyday and practice for atleast some time, find something new everyday which can improve your game, think over it, practice and implement it when you play and just see how you keep climbing the ladders of success.
8. Patience & Resilience
These are the core things when you are playing a high intensity match. Even if the target is more or you got a chance to prove, don’t start hitting the ball from the word go, have some patience, analyze the field, the players, spend some time at the crease instead of playing reckless shots. Same goes for bowling too, never fall under pressure if you got thrashed for a lot of runs or when your team is defending a small target, just bowl to your basics and strength while focusing on your natural game. The biggest examples of patience and resilience at the crease are Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, MS Dhoni in ODI’s and T20’s while bowlers like Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Glenn Mcgrath.