An open letter to the India cricket team
Updated - Apr 1, 2016 5:02 pm
To the India cricket team,
First off, thank you for all the memories you have given me since I began the following cricket. It has been an absolute pleasure to watch the Indian tricolor embedded in your heart. One heart, one spirit, and one cricket team.
I even remember breaking down in tears when Australia just pummeled to victory at Johannesburg. The tears once again, of a different kind, resurfaced once again when we won the World T20 in 2007. In the context of the World T20 2016 at home, I really didn’t know how to react. This was perhaps the first time, that we went into a tournament knowing that the World T20 was certainly ours to lose.
India lost the opening match at Nagpur. That was ok, just a minor setback in the context of a massively followed ICC event. Then came the battle with the old enemy – Pakistan. The latter has an unbelievable fan following in what is perceived to be enemy territory. Just Wow! That bogged with my imagination to quite an extent. What came out of it was the prodigal son of Indian cricket – Virat Kohli. Never in my years of following cricket, have I seen such a genius wield the bat as masterly as he did. The turn on the track was evident, but Kohli wasn’t playing on the same surface, it seemed as though the “Magical world of Narnia” had opened up its gates, admitting just Virat Kohli and Joe Root.
The Bangladesh game at Bangalore, as far as I was concerned, changed the course of history. For the Indian team and myself personally. Apart from the movie-type drama towards the end, this was the first time the Indian side had won while I watched from the stands. India v England – Rain intervened, India v Australia – Ponting rips India to shreds, India v Pakistan – Inzy carries Pakistan home. Finally, to that list, we had India v Bangladesh – Pandya becomes a folk hero.
In an effort to be honest, I was skeptical when we took on the Aussies. But then again, it was Virat Kohli who stole the show. I’ll also admit that I was a bit overcome with emotion after what happened, and especially after seeing Virat Kohli on his knees after the win. Even another feature from me wasn’t enough to quench the wave of emotion that I felt after the match. At that moment, it was full speed ahead to Mumbai.
The game against the West Indies didn’t go as planned. First, we lost the toss, second the dew played a major role and three was Lendl Simmons. He had been pulled out of oblivion to come and do battle against an Indian team who could do no wrong. Two no-balls. Just two marginal front-foot breaches and that was it. The game had well and truly slipped from our fingers.
In spite of the semifinal loss and the substandard performance, the Indian team has seldom ceased to entertain. Unscripted and exciting cricket right through the tournament, despite what anyone said is something nothing short of amazing.
Agreed, things didn’t go as planned. Agreed, we could have done much better and I will always endorse the fact that there is always room for improvement. However, one thing will always remain as long as there is an Indian cricket team. Each time the Indian team dons the jumper and the tank-top of the Indian cricket jersey, they touch the hearts of almost a billion fans. Say what you will about them, but that for me is simply limitless.
I don’t care that they came up short against the Windies and neither do I care much for those who give them stick for throwing the game away against the Kiwis. I was entertained, to the fullest extent and treated to some amazing cricket right through the World T20.
Another brick in the wall.