Play it like Virat

Winning Like Virat: Think and Succeed like Kohli by Abhirup Bhattacharya
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The last ball of the last over has been bowled long time back.
There was nobody in the field- even the grounds men have long been gone. Only a slender boy was there-in the empty stadium-with a vacant look in both his eyes. He has scored duck in this match, too!
This is his third consecutive duck. His friends are talking about three consecutive tons-and here he is-with third consecutive duck.
His gleaming eyes have transformed-transformed completely-all roads before him have been closed. Will there be any way out?
Well- it is not my intent to write a tragic story-although the initial lines may sound a little dramatic. My intent is to say that even when the world seems to be against you- you can win. The boy has two avenues before him-either to succumb to the pressure and to let his cricketing career dies a natural death or to fight it out bravely-with grit.
Everything is imaginary here- the boy, the stadium, the match and even the duck-but not the eternal person within the boy. At the crossroad of life we all feel like the boy at some point of time-perplexed –unable to find the right way-the right direction.
Often we forget that there is no short cut to success!
Honestly speaking I was a little nervous When I first got-‘Winning like Virat-Think & Succeed Like Kohli’ by Abhirup Bhattachrya-a NIFT alumni with management background-after peeking into the book. The book is full of figures that resembled like Venn diagram-and there are lots of graphs. Now I bade adieu to mathematics a long way back and to be modest everyone around me has a frightful impression about my strength in mathematics. So much so-that once I asked my plumber that I want to install a five liter reservoir in my house- how much will it cost. But soon I saw there are no scales attached to graphs. I got assurance. These must be hypothetical graphs aimed at mathematical genius like me. And I started reading the book. Abhirup has written the book in a way as if he is giving a classroom lecture and keen eyes are watching him. So it is easy to go from one topic to another-in the intermediate phase he has tried to answer probable questions that might arise in reader’s mind.
Virat Kohli has become synonymous with the face of Indian cricket for quite sometime- both in and out the ground. These days he is the Czar of the social media-he is the third most followed Indian on Facebook and 12th in Twitter. But his success did not come so easily. There were days when he scored single digit runs in international cricket. There were days when he was not considered an automatic choice of Indian squad. These were days of hard struggle for the current Indian ODI skipper. He overcame these days with dedication, hard work and temperament. Abhirup seeks to find the key to Virat’s success from the perspective of management. In his words, the aim of the book is to –“attempt to unravel the reasons for the phenomenal success and his philosophy towards life. It is an attempt to decode and unleash the success of the consistent performer so that we all can learn from him and improve our lives.”
The idea is innovative- instead of writing a plain book on being successful in life from the viewpoint of management -Abhirup used Virat as a role model to elaborate the success mantra of life explained from the angle of virat’s quest for excellence. It is easily understandable why he used a cricketer as his set piece example. In a country where cricket is considered a part of life- success story of an iconic cricketer-who is heartthrob of billions will bring far greater readership than a formula one driver or a medal winner Olympian. But why Virat? There are no dearths of stars in Indian cricketer. That toohas been answered by Abhirup himself .Virat is not as talented as Sachin Tendulkar-his technique is not as perfect as Rahul Dravid. He did not have a spectacular debut in Indian cricketing arena either. But he knew his limitations and his relentless quest made him come closer to perfection. He is self-made man. But how? That’s the main theme of the book.
The book is divided into seven sections and each section is attributed to certain quality of Virat explained from cricketing point of view as well as from the view point of management. Although the book begun with a brief life sketch of Virat –by no means the book can be dubbed as his biography. Qualities of Virat have further been elaborated with examples and discussions on real life business world and hypothetical business situations. Although Abhirup made sincere efforts to match them perfectly- they are not always very corroborative. Take the example of discussion on importance of sacrifice in success. Abhirup begun his discussion citing the example of Flipkart co founder Sachin and Binny Bansal-who used to stand outside Gangaram Book Stores in Bengaluru –and distribute bookmarks to the persons near the store or who had made a purchase to promote their brand. Point of the author is that not everyone can sacrifice their self esteem in zeal for success. Abhirup correlated this quality with Virat’s quest for perfection- his relentless practice to make his shoots improve-his sacrifice of once his favourite food in his endeavour to be a consistent performer. Although both does not fit properly-one is physical sacrifice and the other is emotional -but Abhirup made it sounds correct. His message is clear –if you want to achieve something in life-you have to be ready to sacrifice something. Another quality of the book is that Abhirup summarises his findings in a nutshell as learning tips- these one sentences may be proven really useful when the reader is in a hurry!
I was particularly curious what Abhirup makes out of Virat’s aggression on and off the field. He discussed it under the discussion topic-Ethics makes a difference. The idea is that Virat has controlled his aggression to a large extent and now uses it as a tool for improved performance. That resulted in Virat turning out to be one of the most respected batsmen. Abhirup concluded his discussion by saying
“In corporate life we are often faced between choices of doing what is right for us and doing what is right for the company. If one is talented enough, one can find another job no matter how good the current opportunity is. One should never forget the fall from grace of the ex-McKinsey chief Rajat Gupta who was found guilty on charges of insider trading. The point is, how should we wish to be remembered?”
To prove his points-(as I have mentioned earlier) Abhirup has taken help of diagrams, charts, graphs, theoretical discussions throughout the book. His English is fluent and writing style modern-so it will be rather easy for reader to finish the book in one go!
But do not think that overnight this book will not transform you from a dejected soul to a person beaming with confidence. Success is not an instant noodle. What you can achieve is confidence at your heart that yes, I can win!
You can-because you have miles to go before you sleep!
View all my reviews
Book information
Paperback: 141 pages
Publisher: Rupa Publications India (24 April 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 8129146061

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