Author: Dr. Ajit Varwandkar

Two tricky situations are frequently seen in the game of cricket.

Situation I

When the batsman performs very well, the bowling team tries hard to make him “out” somehow or by any means. With every ball bowled, they put pressure to send that player back to the pavilion.

One such strategy to pressure the batsman is placing many players within the 15-yard close circle. Usually, six or seven players get placed very close to the stumps. Thus, the batsman gets surrounded by fielders who start scaring him and building psychological pressure on him. This tactic usually works, and the batsman on the crease gets beaten by the ball, which costs him his wicket.

Well, there are times when this strategy doesn’t yield the desired results. Some focused players do not get distracted by such measures and stay firm on the crease. On the contrary, they make the bowlers get frustrated and start feeling uneasy.

The learning for a batsman from the above anecdote is to stay focused on your ball. Do not allow external circumstances to create undue mental pressure. You will suffer only when you get carried away by distractions.

Situation II

When the batsman is seen performing undauntingly well, the bowling team sometimes executes a unique strategy. In this situation, the fielders are placed far away from the player – all of them are asked to stand close to the boundary line. Then the bowlers start throwing wide balls and ‘full toss balls’. The idea is to provoke the batsman to step outside the pitch and attempt to hit a loose ball. In such situations, the chances are very high that the batsman may either give away a lousy catch or may get caught behind the wicket.

Since the batsman is tuned into full performance mode, they are often tempted to make a mistake. Invariably this error becomes fatal for the batsman, and the bowling team achieves its objectives.

The lesson for a cricketer here is that one must always maintain basics and core values. Never get dragged into the pit of temptations and short-term gains. If you do so, be ready to face the drastic consequences.

In life, most of us go through similar circumstances.
Suppose you are in a difficult situation at work. There may be a variety of external stakeholders influencing your performance; however, all that your seniors would rate you on is the output you deliver! You might have to give some unrealistic results, whether business or your job. Under such situations, maintain patience and focus. Stay focused on your objective, which is “the ball” in the case of cricket! Let the outside influencers do their work, just like the six players in the close circle of the batsman. However, if you concentrate on those pressure-building external influencers, you may get clean-bold soon.

Likewise, from a student’s perspective, when it is examination time, you may get pressured by many unwanted factors. Like your friends claiming to have completed the syllabus (which you are yet to finish), some colleague telling you that a particular topic is very easy (which you might be finding it difficult to understand), a few careless friends wanting you to join their gang and watch movies or play sports, etc. In all such situations, only those students focus on their key objective (i.e. studies) and stay focused on coming out victorious.

Focus on primary objectives when life circumstances corner you with multiple lucrative and easy success offers. Never get carried away. Eventually, the disturbances would dilute like a melting cloud, and you could move ahead productively.

Like the second situation in the game of cricket, there are times when things go very well. All your efforts deliver the desired results. Businesses flourish, you get a lot of name and fame in society, you are awarded for your performance, and money flows in almost effortlessly. Remembering to stick to your core values during such situations would be best. The moment you break the discipline, just like that batsman who gets tempted to hit the wide ball, life may not spare you. Never succumb to temptations and shortcuts. All your achievements might get beaten to dust just by virtue of one silly mistake! Think about this.

Do contact me in case you have any career queries.

Dr. Ajit Varwandkar is the Director of He is a leading career counselor and can be contacted on 9826132972 or email him at

This column was originally published by the author in The Times of India