India's ambition backed by sound logic
Recollection of the past and reconstructing moments as they may have exactly happened can be a difficult task. An India-Bangladesh World Cup opener evokes nightmarish memories for an Indian fan, of a similar encounter four years ago, on the same grand stage, which produced a result that shattered the Indian dream even before it had acquired concrete shape.columns Updated: Feb 19, 2011 10:51 IST
Recollection of the past and reconstructing moments as they may have exactly happened can be a difficult task. An India-Bangladesh World Cup opener evokes nightmarish memories for an Indian fan, of a similar encounter four years ago, on the same grand stage, which produced a result that shattered the Indian dream even before it had acquired concrete shape.
In the faraway land of Trinidad, whose capital Port-of-Spain, known for the Indian Test team's stirring saga of scoring more than 400 runs to achieve a famous Test victory once, is today remembered for India getting knocked out of the 2007 World Cup even before it had begun.
On the eve of this year's tournament in which India, unlike then, have a far more secure, settled and formidable look to it, the Indian team may still be carrying the wounds inflicted on them by a team which we all believed were there to fill in the numbers. Despite the Bangladeshi journalists reminding us that their team could be dangerous foes, we had paid no heed to them, till they pushed us from the perch we thought was ours.
The shock of that premature exit stunned the cricketing world, from a commercial aspect, so much that four years on, we have a format in which all top teams are guaranteed at least a month's participation, regardless of the results.
Not that India needed that charity this time, given the fact that we are the number two team in the world and, by unanimous consent, the strongest contender for the throne.
Home conditions, crowd support, a billion good wishes and multi-million dollar sponsor backing would be enough incentive for a team to jump from the moon and still hope to survive. And even if on their way, they were to encounter rough passages, this team is strong enough to navigate its way towards its final destination.
From a shifting perspective, Bangladesh must be in greater stress and tension as this time around they are not exactly the "underdogs" they were four years ago.
And the reassuring thought for both the teams is that no matter what the result, it is not going to be the end of the road, just the beginning of a long journey.
India, in any case, are not a team to be trifled with and their ambition to become champions has the sound backing of cricketing logic.
Yet the beauty of sport, the reason why we all follow it, is that the outcome is always shrouded in many ifs and buts till the final moment arrives.
At a time when cricket is itself facing many difficult challenges, let us all hope to witness many nerve-tingling, coruscating, edge-of-the-seat thrillers and not the dreary, boring one-sided games, which could sound the death knell of the World Cup itself.