Anyone who understands the game of cricket may be quick to understand this, though it no doubt applies through other sports and, of course, business.

During the week Australia played South Africa in a test match. Each party has two innings (where 11 players bat and total score for the two innings is registered.) Australia batted first, and only one batsman, the captain, did any good, and Australia got to through on a paltry score of mid 200's. South Africa, then batted and fared badly, with no batters doing any good.

At this point it gets interesting, since now there is an "acceptance" in the player's mind that the track i.e the batting pitch is very difficult to get runs on. Australia then go into bat for their second innings and don't make a combined score of 50 runs! South Africa then comes out in the notoriously difficult last innings of the test, where the pitch notoriously has deteriorated, which should be the most difficult innings of the match, and they then smash Australia, scoring runs with ease.

What is of interest here is the role the past conditions and the perceived situation has in affecting the batters mind set. With Australia having trouble in the first innings, then seeing South Africa in the same situation, there was acceptance by them walking out for their second bat that "no one can score a run", and so they didn't!

Is there a lesson to learn here? Probably. Don't accept the norm, and the less you know about the past, in one of the great contradictions of investing, the better off you may be, and stay flexible and adapt on your feet, (if you're a one trick pony, you have to know when the crowd is after you), and don't give weight to the excuse "markets are tough at the moment.


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