Will Perth mould our outlook?
Time never stands still and life goes on. When, at Perth, India did almost the unthinkable, many images flashed in the mind’s eye, writes Pradeep Magazine.cricket Updated: Jan 20, 2008 20:53 IST
With each win we tend to gain something valuable; with each loss something within us gives in. In the dull drudgery of living, some see dreams for themselves and pursue them till the end; the majority gain fulfilment from the achievements of others.
Time never stands still and life goes on. When, at Perth, India did almost the unthinkable, many images flashed in the mind’s eye.
When, in the early seventies, India beat the West Indies and then went on to win at the Oval, one felt proud of being part of something bigger. Those were early pages of a life in its formative years and a Sunil Gavaskar or a Chandrashekhar became larger than life. The world seemed a wonderful place to be in, specially as a teenager living in India.
But somehow we could never win regularly and defeats were so common that each time we beat a strong team, we could feel a throbbing elation, a sense of having something in us which could one day make us an unbeatable team. Like the ebb and flow of life, Indian sports too gave you intense moments of euphoria, only to bring you down to the harsh reality that we are not good enough.
The heart-breaks are many, the peaks few: A few Test wins abroad, the 1983 World Cup win and a few memorable performances that spur you on to still watch cricket with expectation and hope.
Indian cricket, mired in corruption, apathy and greed of the administrators but fuelled now by the Corporation, which is keeping it alive in the drawing rooms of India, still comes alive now and then, like it has done now. Just a year back we had almost given up, like during the match-fixing days and were wondering, is the end near, where to dream is to be silly.
Somehow, somewhere and all of a sudden it all changed and we started winning again, this time more often than we had ever done in the past. There are more images of victory celebrations jostling for space in the mind, and one is almost tempted to believe that at long last we have arrived. We as cricket fans in India know what victory means after a spate of defeats. We have never known what it would mean to lose a match after 16 consecutive victories: A despondent feeling that the Indians must have gone through when the hockey team was knocked down from its perch.
As a cricketing nation we are still far, far away from becoming an Australia one day. A strong enough team not to have made a fuss of the two glaring umpiring errors on the final day that could have also contributed to their defeat. But, has our time come? An Indian team after the Sydney fiasco was not supposed to fight back against a real champion side, like this one has done. That itself is the stuff dreams are made of.
Are we finally near fulfilling that dream where victories like these won’t make us react as if we have conquered the world? There does seem a hope that this team is capable of giving our headline-hunters in the media enough wins to treat sport as it should be: Sport and not war.