Has the World Cup win sunk in yet? And other questions... | Crickit
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Has the World Cup win sunk in yet? And other questions...

BySharda Ugra
Jul 02, 2024 08:00 AM IST

Okay, maybe statue is too much for a man who turned 30 only six months ago. But surely something to show Bumrah the love?

On these days of disbelief and wonderment, of the swift disintegration of soul-crumbling memory, of a lightness and an elevation and a bubbling over of, I suppose, bubbled-over feels and thoughts, some pertinent questions:

Barbados, Jun 30 (ANI): BCCI Secretary Jay Shah hands over the ICC Mens T20 World Cup 2024 trophy to India's captain Rohit Sharma after they beat South Africa by 7 runs in the final match, at Kensington Oval in Barbados on Saturday. (ANI Photo) (BCCI-X)
Barbados, Jun 30 (ANI): BCCI Secretary Jay Shah hands over the ICC Mens T20 World Cup 2024 trophy to India's captain Rohit Sharma after they beat South Africa by 7 runs in the final match, at Kensington Oval in Barbados on Saturday. (ANI Photo) (BCCI-X)

Where is the Bumrah statue going to be built?

Still don’t think he needs one? Okay, maybe statue is too much for a man who turned 30 only six months ago. But surely something to show Bumrah the love? This bowler come into Indian cricket like a messiah who makes the downright miraculous routine and the unprecedented predictable. At the point at which fans stop breathing or reach for tissues or glasses (not spectacles), the Bearded One arrives and delivers. Not snail mail delivery, steady, reliable. But of a crackling electronic age, of AI and high-order neural networks. Except, Bumrah is of mind, muscle and bone, real, human. His bowling is fast, decisive, short, sharp, jagging, zagging, zigging, reversing, yorking, cutting through gaps created in the batters’ body and brain. His mental markers creating order from chaos -- 107 dot balls from 178 bowled, Player-of-the-Series, 15 wickets @8.26/ SR11.86. Those cities that claim to be cricket-loving or star-loving whatever, bring on your A-game. Bangalore’s got its Anil Kumble Circle. Surely you have expressways or flyovers, or hell even speeding zones that must salute this once-in-many-generations fast bowling genius?

Who plays Rohit in the biopic?

There’s got to be a biopic, surely. Have we ever had a captain with a career that’s gone through more switchbacks and hairpins and dark tunnel entries and exits than the Monte Carlo F1 circuit? Who has remodelled his batting so much it’s virtually split its personality. It began with a fluid easy-on-the eye beauty which rendered scoreboards irrelevant. But a late-career drive and purpose has brought a Mad Max white ball version which left bowlers imagining they’ve gone a few rounds with Oleksandyr Usyk. Shunted from Mumbai Indians captaincy, Rohit’s 400-plus 2024 runs came at his highest strike rate across 17 IPLs.

In the T20 World Cup, he was the second highest run-scorer @156.7 SR, his highest in any multilateral tournament, at age 37. In the midst of this, Rohit has carried multiformat captaincy, multi-title defeat and multimedia lunacy with what’s best called a comfort fit. Bollywood, do your best. While you’re at it, please come up with a better nick name than Hit Man?

Does Rohit-Virat T20I retirements mean end of superstardom?

I have two words for you: Hardik, SKY. Whatever else they do or don’t do in the rest of their careers, Bridgetown, June 2024 is forever. Pandya will always be the man who cut off South Africa’s oxygen supply, leading them to drop the T20 World Cup from their hands. Surya is the guy who caught it in a mystic combination of untrammelled athleticism and nerve-chilling spatial awareness. Pandya will no doubt believe he is owed a drama series of his own, morphing from a franchise cricket showboater into a big-game, big-show death overs superhero. In T20I death overs, Pandya’s taken 20 wickets in 165 balls, ER@7.27. He is India T20I captain and can order his team to walk on fire and swim in ice because he’s done it too. Surya will forever be flying around the long-on boundary doing in perfect two-step before sprinting towards his teammates, signing No.1 in the air. In 2009, he had lost out a Rajasthan Royals IPL contract because of his, er… fielding. Superstars, they’re rockstars, these two.

Has Dravid copyrighted the Buddha coaching template?

See, you can’t ask him, “who writes your scripts, Jammy?” because you’ll get an eyeroll as reprimand for usage of that nickname. Which he dislikes a little less than The Wall. Instead of scripts, let’s do this the logical orderly and methodical Dravid way and talk of templates. Of starting from the bottom – coaching at the NCA and the under-19s and unlearning a previous century’s learnings to find ways to work with Millenials, GenXers and Zoomers. Of virtually managing to invisibilise his very famous older self into something other than media personality out of a comm box. Coaching not just cricketers, but schooling media and broadcaster promo makers into binning those tropes of redemption and closure. “You know, I don’t really believe in this ‘Do it for somebody’… I want to win this World Cup because it’s there. It’s not for anyone, it’s not for anybody, it’s just there to win.” Yes, fine Jam/Jammy but you know the sight of you, hands around the trophy, bellowing and fist-pumping like an Indiranagar ka goonda is anyway going to be memed to eternity.

When’s the victory parade?

Depending on the age of the Indian cricket fan, the 2024 ICC World Cup victory will have ended a wait between 17, 13 or 11 years. Depending from where you count: the first ICC World T20 in 2007, the 2011 ICC World Cup or the 2013 Champions Trophy. Anyway, it’s been too long. The time lapse between India’s first and second ODI World Cup was 28 years. And when 2011 was won, Mumbai poured onto the streets, the team partied madly through the night, went to meet the Maharashtra governor and then quickly separated as IPL was starting in a few days. You just don’t do that to the fans. In 2007, the victory parade and the motorcade took hours through Mumbai. Surely, the fans deserve to see their team with the 2024 T20 World Cup trophy. Okay, don’t stop traffic everywhere, but some celebrations, please? In India’s great cricket cities which the fans can share. Please tell me it’s on your mind, BCCI?

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