Debutante bowler, Ravichandran Ashwin, spun India to victory in the first test match against the West Indies this week. Can you believe that the off-spinner who turned in the second best match figures by an Indian cricketer on debut actually wanted to be a batsman? And that too, an opener???
Yes, you heard that right. Ashwin was a wannabe opening batsman who could also bowl a bit of off-spin. At one of the trials for junior cricketers, Laxman Sivaramakrishnan had a look at the youngster and adviced him to focus on his bowling skills rather than his batting. And the rest, as they say, is history.
This is what the art of uncovering hidden talents is all about. A good leader/coach can see in his protégé what s/he cannot see in herself/himself. And then help the protégé discover and develop the talent within.
By the way, there is another example of a cricketer who wanted to be a fast bowler but was adviced by the coach to take up batting instead. The coach was Dennis Lillee. And the batsman... any guesses???
Well, it was Sachin Tendulkar!!! :)