A daunting target, a ruthless opponent, alien conditions, a certain loss, yet our warriors, lead by their charismatic leader, tried to live up to the limitless demands of a fanatic nation in the world cup.
For a change they were able to satisfy the over expecting crowd even with a defeat. This performance in a losing cause commanded respect, partly because of the fight shown in the losing cause and partly because of the overall performance over the course of the world cup.
Although it would have been amazing to win the cup again, yet I believe that the performance of the team and the graceful acceptance of defeat by the fans is commendable and as good as a victory in itself.
The way the fans connected with the players, understanding that they gave it their all but came second best, indicates an improvement in the thinking standards of the Indian mindset. This augurs well for the country, not only in sport but also in its widespread development as a united and connected nation.
O Captain, My captain
While Sir Ravindra Jadeja was bowling to Michael Clark in the 42nd over, Dhoni was heard saying on the stump mike””Aage nikal ke marega (he will charge you)” a subtle observation, but enough to help the bowler vary his bowling enough to save some valuable runs. The next bowl Jadeja slowed it down and Clarke, as predicted by Dhoni, came out of his crease but just to defend.
The smartest cricketer in the World who has done and seen it all. Observing his leadership style is better than reading a million books on the subject. The calmness, sacrifice and hope he brings to the team is unparalleled. Like an alchemist he has turned many base men into match winners. So adept in his art that he actually predicted what the batsmen would do the next ball.
Dhoni brings to mind King Leonidas, who fought valiantly knowing he will eventually be defeated. With his level of respect and achievements, he sacrificed meeting his loved ones and was ready to be humbled in defeat, just to put on a show for his fellow countrymen to be inspired.
The way he scampered for every extra run, the way he hit those sixes at the end, conveyed that he wanted to contribute to the entertainment of the millions watching and justify their hope, even though the match was lost.
The cause was lost but like many a mighty warriors, Dhoni etched his mark on this world cup with his grit and astuteness. The team flourished under the inspiration of a great leader, who gave it his all and lead by example, keeping all his star players together as a unit.
A proud Indian
As I reflect back to the days when effigies of demi gods(cricketers) used to be burnt, their families harassed and houses pelted with stones after just one bad result, I am filled with a sense of ultimate elation looking at our progress as a nation.
Back in the day we used to let our passion turn into violent anger which made us curse the ones we worshiped in a matter of ours. This not only crippled the working of a cricket crazy nation but also lead to a generic negative vibe among the people.
The educated and graceful response to this defeat, comes as an indication of how far we have come as a nation. Yes sports are meant to unite countries and the people within them, but not only in times of victory, for the first time I see the nation backing its players and supporting them in defeat in this world cup.
It was an absolute pleasure to experience the joys of Shikar’s dominant demeanor, Shami’s swing, Umesh’s pace, Mohits run out and slower deliveries, Dhoni’s comments on the stump mike, Ashwin’s revolutionary marvels, Jadeja’s athleticism, the brute force of Raina, the class of Rahane and Rohit and of course the lack of reaction of Virat Kohli. It was great to see the biggest stadium in the world filled with more Indians than fans of the host country. This world cup might not have got us a trophy, but it got us memories which considering our cricket craziness, will last us a lifetime.