By Pankaj Tibrewal
Investing and sports may seem like two very different worlds, but they share many things in common. Cricket is one such sport that offers great insights even for the world of investing. When we talk about Cricket, the name that instantly comes to everyone’s mind is Rahul Dravid.
Rahul Dravid is a name that resonates with excellence and discipline, both on and off the cricket field. His career in cricket spanned over 16 years, during which he earned a reputation as one of the greatest batsmen of all time. His career in cricket has some striking similarities with the world of investing. Let’s take a closer look. Just like investing, Dravid’s career was marked by discipline, patience, and a long-term approach. Dravid holds the record for facing the most number of balls in Test cricket, with a total of 31,258 balls faced in his career. This shows that staying on the pitch for the longer term is very important. Similarly in the market, longevity and making fewer mistakes is the most important attribute of a successful investor.
Dravid’s innings of 233 against Australia in Adelaide in 2003 is a perfect example of his resilience and temperament. I am sure, cricket fans would remember, India was struggling at 85/4, and it was up to Dravid to stabilise the innings. He batted for more than ten hours and faced 446 balls to score 233 runs, which helped India record a glorious victory. This innings is often regarded as one of the greatest moments in Test cricket history. His grit and determination led India to a famous victory, earning him the moniker “The Wall”. Similarly, in investing, it is even more crucial to have a long-term approach and not get swayed by short-term market movements. As Warren Buffet famously said, “The stock market is a device for transferring money from the impatient to the patient.” Just like how Dravid focused on building solid innings, investors should focus on building a solid and anti-fragile portfolio that can weather market volatility and deliver returns over the long term.
Dravid’s career was also marked by his adaptability and versatility in the sport. He was known for his ability to adjust to different game formats, playing both as an opener and a middle-order batsman. In the 2003 World Cup, Dravid played a key role in India’s campaign, scoring 318 runs in the tournament, including two match-winning innings in the knockout stages. In investing, adaptability is the key to success. Markets are dynamic, and a successful investor needs to adapt to changing conditions and make decisions accordingly. A good example of this is the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw the market crash in early 2020. Investors who were able to adapt and make the right decisions, such as buying stocks during the dip, were able to reap the benefits when the market rebounded later in the year.
Another key trait that Dravid demonstrated was his ability to remain calm under pressure. One of his most famous innings was the match-winning partnership with VVS Laxman in the 2001 Kolkata Test against Australia. India was forced to follow on after being bowled out for 171 in the first innings, but Dravid and Laxman put on a mammoth partnership of 376 runs, with Dravid scoring 180 runs. His calmness under pressure was critical for India’s historic victory.
Similarly, in investing, remaining composed and not making rash decisions is crucial during uncertain times for the market. As Dravid once said, “I’ve always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come.” Investing is a long-term game, and success requires discipline, patience, and a well-composed approach. Finally, the career of Rahul Dravid has several lessons that investors can learn from. Discipline, patience, process orientation, adaptability, and calmness under pressure are the key traits that are critical for success in both cricket and investing. As Dravid himself said, “To be successful, you have to be able to relate to people; they have to be satisfied with your personality to be able to do business with you and to build a relationship with mutual trust.” Trust, discipline, and long-term vision are essential ingredients for success, both on and off the cricket field.
(Pankaj Tibrewal is Sr. EVP & Fund Manager (Equity) at Kotak Mahindra Asset Management Company. Views expressed are author’s own.)