After India’s semifinal loss on Thursday, two videos from the teams were on Whatsapp, TV, YouTube and Twitter. Both were brilliant in content and right up the alley for media houses.
One was of Darren Sammy and Dwayne Bravo in the boogie-woogie mode on the latter’s new song ‘Champion’. In the dressing room at Wankhede and from the team bus at the hotel porch till they reached the elevators, the West Indian pair unleashed dance moves, letting loose the free spirit of the Caribbean region.
The other video was of India captain MS Dhoni answering the retirement question at a post-match press conference.
The journalist was an Australian whom Dhoni asked to come over and share the microphone with him. People have castigated him for counter-questioning the journalist. The feeling is Dhoni should have said, “No, I haven’t thought about it,” and moved on, rather than make a show of it.
Some writers have also highlighted that Dhoni’s indifference towards the Indian media can be contagious. I think it made for an interesting video. What about the merit or demerit of the act? Well, let us leave it to the wisdom of the protagonists and antagonists.
I am sure there will be some clever stakeholders who will try to label India’s aborted campaign as a good one. I say this with conviction because the same thing happened when India crashed out of the 2015 50-over World Cup. At that time, the only good team we had beaten was South Africa and to an extent the West Indies before crashing out to Australia in the semis.
Besides that, we beat an ordinary-looking Pakistan, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Ireland and UAE. Any proud cricketer will tell you this was an ordinary show by a team that went into the competition as defending champions. I hope the same is not repeated and we address our challenges head on.
When you play at home, you expect better but it seemed our team was confused about its strength – whether to play on flat tracks or turners. I also think leaving Shikhar Dhawan out wasn’t the best move. Like I mentioned in my earlier column, if ever there was a venue where a struggling batsman could have got his form back, it was the Wankhede. I don’t think we dominated the competition the way we could or should have.
With our team not there in the competition, there is less pressure while watching today’s final. This will be one of the games where I can sit back and relish cricket and not worry about the result. Actually, wait a minute.
What fun if the West Indies beat England and we have another version of the ‘Champion’ dance from the entire team, although my mind says England are a better team. Maybe, England can present another version of the ‘Sprinkler’ dance. One way or the other, we are in for some fun.