Former Australia captain Greg Chappell has drawn parallels between sports and life in light of the current coronavirus pandemic that has engulfed the world. Chappell reckons that the qualities a sportsperson needs to excel in his/her discipline are also needed in living our daily life too.

Patience, determination, and a bit of initiative, is what the batting legend feels are the three basic qualities applicable to both aspects of life.

“The current testing times are demanding a lot of citizens round the world,” Chappell wrote in his column for ESPNcricinfo. “I’ve learned that rules that apply to athletes prospering at sport are also helpful in living life. With the Covid-19 pandemic biting hard, citizens of all countries are being asked to display – among other attributes – patience, determination, and a bit of initiative. These are qualities essential to playing Test cricket at a high level.”

To drive home his points, Chappell recalls two ‘influential innings’ from the past including that of former Australia opener Ian Redpath and Sachin Tendulkar.

Tendulkar played a brilliant innings of 155 not out during the Chennai Test against Australia in 1998 that helped seal a memorable win for the hosts.

“To highlight the point I’ve chosen two particularly influential innings. The first one is a Sachin Tendulkar masterpiece in Chennai in 1998. His brilliant second-innings 155 won the Test for India, but it wouldn’t have happened without the initiative displayed by Tendulkar in the lead-up to the series,” Chappell wrote.

With Warne on top of his game, Tendulkar sought out the help of former India allrounder Ravi Shastri on how to deal with the Australian legspinner should he go round the wicket to exploit the rough.

“Shastri’s reply was tinged with common sense. ‘Because of my long reach,’ he replied, ‘I had a defensive antidote to Warne bowling in the rough, but you don’t. You’ll have to devise an attacking option to combat Warne bowling in the footmarks’,” Chappell recalled.

He continued, “Following that sound advice, Tendulkar spent time at the MRF nets – where he deliberately scuffed an area outside leg stump – facing the wristspin of former Indian leggie Laxman Sivaramakrishnan.”

Tendulkar’s approach, Chappell says, imbibed all three qualities he has mentioned that eventually helped him in acing the test. “Fast forward to the fourth day of a tightly contested match where India are in trouble. Tendulkar, having been dismissed cheaply by Warne in the first innings, strides to the crease with his team two down and only 44 runs in front. The ball is spinning sharply and Warne, boosted by a four-wicket haul in the first innings, is confident.

“Tendulkar struggles to assert any authority early on and Warne, sensing his opponent is vulnerable, opts to come round the wicket. It’s rare that a Test match is so finely balanced on the fourth day with the champions of each team doing battle with each other. At that moment the result was on the line,” he wrote.

He added, “Tendulkar’s determination and initiative were rewarded when he put his well-thought-out plan into operation. He immediately attacked deliveries pitching in the footmarks, and after a series of electrifying shots reached and cleared the boundary, Warne reluctantly went back over the wicket. Tendulkar had won the battle and India would go on to win the Test.”

The other innings Chappell cites is of the patient and courageous knock his countryman Redpath played against the West Indies at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 1976. “Combine Tendulkar’s initiative and determination with Redpath’s patient courage and you have some of the qualities required to survive this devastating pandemic,” he said.