Monday, May 09, 2011

The Best of Times

As this is my first blog on Eye On Cricket, its nice to be able to begin on a cheerful note. If you are an India cricket fan, times couldn't be better. Most of us are still walking on air after the World Cup triumph. For what its worth, according to the byzantine calculations of the ICC we are the #1 ranked test team. We won the T-20 world championships not that far back; triumphed for the first time in a one-day series in Australia; and came back from a South Africa tour with a tied test series. What is more, of late we've repeatedly snatched victory (or at least a draw) from the jaws of defeat instead of the other way around. This is heady stuff for those of us who remember entire decades going by with little or nothing to show - barring the odd individual performance. That we've managed all this with a fairly weak bowling attack and one of the least athletic fielding sides is remarkable.

I think we should take a moment and savor all this. Not merely because, chances are, its going to come to an end fairly soon but also because as fans we are so focused on what comes next that we forget to enjoy the present. We know that our brilliant middle order (Sachin, Rahul, and VVS) is saddling up to ride out into the sunset and that our only bowler who can take wickets anywhere (Zak) is aging fast. Unlike the Aussies under Waugh-Ponting or the legendary Windies teams under Lloyd-Richards, there is no question of India dominating world cricket for anything longer than a season or two. And even at that, 'dominating' sounds too strong a word.

So, every now and then, I've gone onto youtube and watched the final moments of the World Cup and the revelry that followed, or the highlights of the quarterfinal against the Ozs and the semis against Pakistan. Just to relive the moment and to appreciate what these guys have been able to accomplish. To put in perspective, I'd just like to remind everyone of the sort of pressure the India XI constantly play under. After his fabulous knock against Shoaib-Wasim-Waqar in the 2003 World Cup in South Africa, Sachin mentioned that he had not slept properly for the previous ten nights, and had been thinking about the match (or more accurately was constantly reminded about that match) for at least a year prior to that day. More recently when Dhoni was asked how various players reacted to the pressure of expectations, he said that it varied from person to person. And almost casually he went on to say that Yuvraj had been unable to keep his food down now for weeks now.

To be able to play their game as brilliantly, and win as often, as they do amidst such enormous tension and stakes, is just incredible. So, lets enjoy this while we can, and appreciate what the men in blue have been able to pull off in recent times. The good times will inevitably be followed by dark days - making it all the more important to savor this here and now.


Blogger Golandaaz said...


I am not sure if India's dominance will end soon.

Reason being money. High levels of funding will mean talent will get attracted and India seem to be the only country who seem set to maintain a steady pipeline of good players.

Australia could not do it, England seem to be doing a bit better than Australia, SA can't win at home consistently and hence can never be considered truly formidable, SL without Murali have won not more than half a dozen tests in total, Pakistan is in perpetual self destruct mode.

In sum I won't be surprised if India stay on top through the next 2 world cups.


But what the heck!

6:33 PM  

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