Monday, September 24, 2007

That forgotten feeling!

Ohh, how does it feel to win! Today, I was haunted by the ghost of Javed Miandad hitting Chetan Sharma for a sixer on the last ball at Sharjah in 1985. Today Joginder Sharma and the rest of the Dhoni gang helped drive that ghost away. Team India deserved this victory, they have proven that the dismal performance in the World Cup early this year was just a passing bad phase. They beat South Africa (threw them out of the tournament), Australia (what effect this has on the Ozzie egos remains to be seen) and then Pakistan!! And they beat all of them in Duckworth-Lewis crap!! It does not get better than this.

This victory will do a great deal for the team and the nation as a whole. We had all forgotten the feeling of a thumping "Victory". Soak up this feeling India, bask in its Glory.

There was no one hero in the final - Gambhir and Sharma did it with the bat, Irfan Pathan and Joginder Sharma did it with the ball. CONGRATULATIONS to all of these young winners. What makes the joy of winning a million times better is defeating Pakistan in the finals. I remember the 1996 Hero Cup match when India defeated Pakistan in an absolute "stop-your-heart" match in Bangalore under the lights at Chinnaswamy (Jadeja hitting a Waqar Younis yorker for a cracking Six is still fresh in my memory). After that delicious victory, the whole of Nagpur had spontaneously gathered on West Hight Court Road for an impromptu celebration.
I missed being in "Hindustan" today....what I did not miss was how it feels to WIN.
Thank you Team India for the feeling....Thanks for an early Diwali....Here's to more such victories.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

David and Goliath

Today's victory over Australia should be a huge boost to the Indian cricket team's psyche. This team played with a "Nothing to loose" attitude, a trait rarely seen in the recent times from any Indian sporting side. Yuvi, Dhoni, Sreesanth, Utthappa and company are all young bloods who do not have the weight of expectations that the Sachins, Souravs and Dravids drag with them. Resting these thespians for the 20/20 series turned out to be a good thing eventually.

The real stress test of the temperament is in the India-Pakistan final of Monday. Good luck to Dhoni and his boys.

The fall of the "Wall"

No its not the Berlin Wall, I am talking about. Its Rahul Dravid. Dravid's resignation as the captain of the Indian cricket team was as quiet an affair as his captainship itself. From the day he took over from Sourav, he has been criticized for his "no grit" attitude. Captaining the Indian team in today's "Cricket is a religion" India is as stressful a job as being the Prime Minister of India (probably more so). He was a captain who was burdened by the idiomatic phrase - 'lead by example'. You could see the strain it was causing on him on his face.

I guess he realized the toll this was taking on his life and his cricket. Its time to pass the baton and enjoy the pleasure of being on that pitch and building a wall - one ball and one run at a time. Good luck Rahul, and thanks for your sincere services. You did not let us down, 'we' let you down. You still make me feel assured of a good innings when you walk from that dressing room to the pitch.