It’s right to have egos as long as they exist in a good dressing room culture, says Jayawardene
Former Sri Lankan captain and current Mumbai Indians coach Mahela Jayawardene said that it is all right to have egos in the team environment as long as they exist in a good dressing room culture. He said that It’s about treating everyone professionally, and about treating everyone with respect. It is a team culture that you create. Once you create that culture, it’s hard for an individual to go beyond that because according to Mahela, players who come in the tournament like IPL, they have something good that’s why they reach to this level and it’s upon them to try their talent and get them to prove their ability to perform.
Mahela Jayawardene said:
It’s good to have that (big egos), It’s nothing harmful. It’s about identifying and making sure that they thrive. Everyone has got to this level because they are good, right? So you try and get them to prove that. That’s all you need to do. It’s about treating everyone professionally, and about treating everyone with respect. It is a team culture that you create. Once you create that culture, it’s hard for an individual to go beyond that. The rest of the players will bring that person down to the group level. If you haven’t created that team environment, then you can have a problem because there are no boundaries, and people drift.
Once you create a culture and get them to buy into that culture, it’s quite easy. We also give them the freedom to express themselves within that. Lasith Malinga came into the team and we just gave him the space to grow. We also put him in tough situations. Even though he didn’t talk much, he was a very street-smart bowler, so we knew he had that capacity. He had a unique action, so there was an advantage, but you still have to execute. He developed a slower ball, a good bouncer, and then he managed to use all those attributes effectively.
The more you threw him into the deep end, he found good solutions. We wouldn’t have thrown other bowlers into those kinds of situations, knowing they probably don’t have the skills to be able to learn that quickly. The way we handled Nuwan Kulasekara was different. Ajantha Mendis, when he came into the scene we protected him, and then threw him into situations where you knew he would be good. We could do that when you had guys like Muttiah Muralitharan or Chaminda Vaas in the group.