Saturday, June 25, 2005

Yesterday Once More

... while we wait for a repeat. June 25th is a red-letter day in Indian sport history. Probably the greatest. And I don't remember any moment of it. None at all. A month shy of my fifth birthday, what else was so critical to my life on that day that clouded my memory thus? What other momentous occurrence caused me to forget the exuberance that I have waited another twenty years to feel and haven’t felt yet? Kapil’s Devils had won the World Cup on this day circa 1983. Out of the blue, up against the odds, the underdogs had defeated the rampant West Indians. I have seen highlights of the match several times since. From Srikanth’s 38 to Kapil’s great catch of Richards to Amarnath’s match winning performance, the match was the making of a cricket team. The cricket mania took off for good in India ever since. In a way, it was this match that caused the downfall of other sports in India (I mean this is a relative sense, other sports weren’t phenomenally popular, but they just vanished after this).

The closest we got was the last World Cup finals. I wanted India to win because Tendulkar deserved it. The man has practically constructed India’s team since he joined in 1989. Your Sehwags and Dravids are direct products of the Tendulkar effect. He single-handedly shepherded India to the finals breaking the record of most runs scored in a single World Cup tournament as well as becoming the highest scorer of runs in World Cups. The finals were a great chance for the resurgent Indian team to show its mettle too. Alas, the finals were lost at the end of the first over from Zaheer. I don’t remember the pleasure of India’s success at the world cup, but I remember the agony. How I wish I get to see the joy of seeing India win next year. The World Cup is next year. Why am I writing this article right now? You are right. The timing is off. This article should have been written a year back. In this day and age, its all about preparation. You can’t start six months in advance and build a winning team. That’s how Australia won the last two world cups and may win the next one. That’s why we need to fire up our one-day team which is in the pits right now.

Am I just a die-hard optimist or can the Indian team bring me yesterday once more?

Running away with the match Posted by Hello

Kapil with the World Cup Posted by Hello


Jayesh said...

2 key questions:
Will sachin still be there or get 'elbowed' out? and
Is Greg Chappell the panacea we fans have been waiting for?

sd said...

Hi Parth,

I am not sure I share your optimism... but the next World Cup is in West Indies... I am thinking of flying extremely excited about that...And ofcourse...I hope India win!

phucker said...

Correction - the world cup is two years away (or one and a half rather) - it'll be in 2007, not 2006!

Parth said...

Tarun, indeed it is .. I had 2007 in mind all the time. Perhaps I am wishing it were 2006 right now.

SD, I am planning to go watch it in WI too.

Jayesh, yes, Tendulkar will survive till the WC if he plays selectively henceforth. The Chappell experiment is too difficult to predict at the moment.

Surinder said...

tendulkar or no tendulkar .. i think we will have a good chance again in the next world cup too ! :-)

another optimistic here :-)

phucker said...

Thoughts on the new one-day rules? I personally like the substitution rule. Bowler #1 gives 300 runs in his first 2 overs. Captain quickly changes him, gets a wicket, saves the game!...or not.

I'm not so sure about variable fielding restrictions though....I think this will just magnify the gap between good and bad teams...or not


phucker said...

Two more things -

I'm an optimistic too, and believe we should start getting used to a Tendulkar-less Team India..and that we can still win without Sachin - thought it would be sad for him if we did win that cup without him.

About Australia winning again...don't be too sure, England are looking good... let's see what happens in The Ashes.

Parth said...

I think the new set of rules are interesting and probably necessary to break the monotony that currently exists in the game. Remember how the 15-over restriction meant that Jayasuriya and other master blasters came to the fore.

I agree that England is getting better and is likely to challenge the Australians more than before. How intense is the challenge? We'll see