India, the 2011 WC champions - It has finally sunk in!!
Unlike 1983 win, this triumph was more or less expected. But to overcome those expectations, and that too in some style by beating all the previous WC winners - West Indies, Australia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka was icing on the cake. Contrary to the popular media belief, i don't think Sri Lanka was the best team to made into the finals. They had pretty easy Q/F and S/F against non-Asian teams in England and New Zealand respectively who have traditionally always struggle in sub-continental conditions, and more so in Colombo where these matches were played.
A lot have been said about Dhoni captaincy, Kirsten calmness, Sachin greatness, Yuvraj flamboyance, Raina fearlessness, Harbhajan aggressiveness and Gambhir gutsy display. But for me, the player of the tournament was Zaheer Khan - the unsung hero of this WC win. Apart from those last 5 overs in the final, he was always spot on with line and length and provided crucial, sometimes magical break-throughs. This win is special, coming after 28 years, first time for a lot of people of my generation. But does it really change things in this country? Does it really make a difference to a nation plagued by scams and corruption? Does it change the way other sports are perceived in India? I don't know about all that. What i do know is the way this win makes a difference in a monotonous, almost passive life of 1.2 billion Indians.
Yesterday all through the day, i made a point to observe people closely everywhere. And i realised even though momentarily only, suddenly something has changed in their lives. More confidence, more laughter, more jokes being cracked, less cribbing wives, less irritated colleagues, less nagging girl-friends. May be this is just for a few days or weeks. But the way almost every Indian was beaming proudly, with broad shoulders, with that unbeatable confidence...it was mesmerising. Just what a cricket win can do in the lives of a common man (and woman) in India. May be i am taking this a little too far, but hell, which Indian cricket fan don't !!
Indian team have hell lot of cricket in the next one year, with tours to West Indies, England, Australia and possibly Pakistan (if there is a revival in cricketing ties). Along with this, West Indies and England will be touring India in Oct-Mid Dec period. Add to this, IPL-4 and Champions League T20-3 and you know the picture. But no other win is BIGGER than this win, no other win will be BIGGER than this win, this is the pinnacle and we have the bragging rights of being at the top for next four years. Enjoy this, INDIA....BLEED BLUE !!!
PS: After reading this piece of news, i can safely say there is no difference between Justin Bieber and Shahid Afridi. One sings S.H.I.T, another one talks S.H.I.T. Don't trust me, watch this and then watch this and draw your own conclusions. For me, this double standard is exactly the reason why the cricket matches between India and Pakistan will never be less than war. In such a scenario...... Aman ki Asha and all that jazz, well, JUST trash it. We are the bloody WC champions for the next 4 years, let's keep celebrating and let others keep cribbing!! :)