Politics and cricket operate in separate trajectories. What is true for one may not be true for the other in ordinary circumstances. However, there could be lessons for the BJP in the defeat of Royal Challengers Bangalore at the hands of Sunrisers Hyderabad in the final of the 9th edition of the IPL. RCB were playing on their home ground and with all their big guns were firing consistently, it appeared there was no way they could lose. But they did. The BJP has everything going for it, but it could meet the same fate in 2019 if it’s not careful.
You can have the best of captains but that is no guarantee that a team won’t fail.
Virat Kohli was simply phenomenal throughout the series. He led from the front both as batsman and skipper. Close to 1,000 runs in a single series is a humongous feat. His captaincy was hailed by all cricketing greats. He had controlled his impetuousness and it was a more mature Kohli on display, they said. No disputes about that. Yet he ended up on the losing side. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has led the government with authority and performed with a certain Kohli-like flair so far. He has also led the BJP to significant victories. Yet, his party’s disastrous performances in Delhi and later Bihar suggest that the captain, howsoever good he may be, cannot be the only decisive factor in wins or losses. Assam results could have made this clear to the BJP.
Star players fine, but team performance is more critical:
RCB had the most enviable top batting order in this IPL season. Imagine explosive players such as Kohli, Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers in one team and at least two of them firing on all cylinders on any given occasion. In the final, Gayle and Kohli led the run chase with quick 50s. At 114 in 10 overs, RCB was in cruise mode; then the fall began. The team lacked balance to begin with. The bowling was weak and fielding just above average. The stars did more than their bit, but that was not enough with others, barring Rahul, punching way below their weight. Modi’s government has a few star players, including Modi himself. Their performance has been superlative, but this cannot be said about all in the Modi cabinet though. The others have been a drag on the government’s overall performance so far. Unless they pull their weight, a repeat mandate for the BJP in 2019 might be difficult.
Never underestimate the underdog:
David Warner, the Sunrisers’ skipper, termed his team as the underdog in a pre-match interview. Since RCB were the favourites and had the star power to outshine any opposition, the pressure to win was more on them, he hinted. It’s typical Australian mind game, said experts. However, there’s no denying that RCB had a point to prove. There was a hint of understated arrogance, or call it overconfidence, in the way the team went about its matches. Maybe it had to do something with the personality of the big stars yet it was there. Warner had the last laugh finally.
Overconfidence could well be the BJP’s second name. Perennially in a boisterous self-congratulatory mode, the party tends to forget that politics can be a tricky game where you can take nothing, even a visibly weak opposition, for granted. The India voter is known to deliver nasty surprises and is particularly unkind to arrogance. The Congress can still strike back in spectacular fashion with Rahul Gandhi, a subject of derision in the BJP, in the lead. After so much big talk, the pressure is on the BJP to perform now. The Congress can stay the underdog and still win.
Published Date: May 30, 2016 06:08 pm | Updated Date: May 30, 2016 06:08 pm