Jan 1, 2011

Ashes, India and Hofstede Index

Ashes was retained by England this week. There have been several articles on analysis and criticism of the game and series. The one article I found very interesting was this one in New York times by Huw Richards: England leaves Australia in ruins.

One paragraph that was extremely interesting was this one:
"There is more than captaincy at issue. Australia — unlike India, which has two former captains playing in the current test match at South Africa — dislikes demoting skippers to the ranks. Displaced captains generally leave the team."

Very interesting comment. I scratched my head and found it is true. Australia captains leave at the end of their careers. But their benchstrength, backup options have always been their strengths. In this team, there is not a dearth in options, there seems to be a crisis this time.

It is the example of India that has struck me. Yes, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid are playing under Dhoni, one of the most prolific captains India has produced. Also, Kapil has played under Azhar, Azhar played under Sachin and so on.

This defies the logic that the PDI in Hofstede Index gives us.
PDI in Australia is 32
PDI in India is 71

PDI is Power-Distance Index - a cultural norm that explains acceptance of superiority etc. More on http://www.geert-hofstede.com/

So how do you explain this paradox? Is there something amiss? By a simple fact - Dravid and Tendulkar are outliers and these facts do not matter to them anymore. They are far too detached from these trivias to block them from performing. And yes, Dhoni accepts their greatness and uses their resourcefulness. That is obvious when Sachin often fields at mid-on and Dravid is constantly talking to Dhoni from the slips.

One thing for us Indians to learn. Miracles happen when we break cultural norms for betterment of our performances. This Indian team is one such miracle.

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